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A liar ought to have a good memory. This is true even today.
A liar who is going to take the pains to tell a lie should at least take  the time  to remember it when they need to know what they said.


Louis XVI
Juliette Benzoni favorite King

 

text by Linda , 25 July 2010
I suppose we all know the feeling of "pleasant anticipation" for a happy event! The joy and the excitement when we know we are about to go and visit a special friend, an old friend, dear to our hearts! There are many ways to describe that. Though sometimes, we would almost prefer to keep beautiful memories to ourselves.
However, there is no doubt, that I love to share with my dear visitors and all the fans of Juliette Benzoni, Frédérique and mine latest visit, to
our phenomenal dearest friend Juliette.  We admit we love to call us now:

 

a fact which made our Juliette shake her head, and give us a radiant smile! Of course she had at the first instant understood, why we chose that name! Nothing escapes her, even if it seems a tiny detail!!
So les filles des grands chemins arrived punctually at Saint-Mandé. JouJou, pushed me and said: go ahead: "it is your turn to ring the bell today"! Amazed we realized that just like with a magic hand, the gate openend (yes, we still have to push a bit ;-) and we entered the Benzoni courtyard. The garden was now full of beautiful flowers. I had stopped a moment and smiling to myself: "dear garden, I have seen you now, in autumn, winter, and summer"! The trees seemed to wave at me! The flowers had a radiant perfume and it felt like the garden was also welcoming us back!

This did surely dear Anne, Juliette Benzoni's warm-hearted and sweet daughter. Oliver the "boss" of the house
, ran to and fro, and his happy "woof woof" accompanied us into the living-room. Juliette got up and you can imagine our enthusiastic greetings ;-)
We had so much to talk about, between the obligate delicious glass of champagne! We talked about her newest book: "La dague au lys rouge" and I just had to re-tell her how I was able to read my very first French book! Very theatrically on my part, to demonstrate how I had the book in one hand, and the dictionary on my lap!! JouJou and I had an agreement NOT to ask how the next book
 Le Couteau de Ravaillac was going to be! But of course we could not resist,


yes we cannot talk of it of course! We agreed, it is going to be just as marvellous as all her other books! We told Juliette about a new page Frédérique had made, where her fans can send her photos, which we will later bring to Juliette! She was again very moved that she has so many faithful readers. It touches her to the heart.
 
As we already know, Juliette Benzoni will appear on television on 18 August on France 2
in Stéphane Bern Secrets d'Histoire and like us, our favorite author is looking forward to it: „saying, no no, I will not watch it" but we convinced her that she will look splendid!
We were invited to enjoy a mouth-watering menu! The dessert was so delicious, and we were spoiled like kids on Christmas! We loved that very much, while all the while we had the most interesting topics. Our host shared so many awesome news with us, be it from bygone days or nowadays! Catherine de Montsalvy was never far from the subject. During recounting again the story of that awful movie from 1969 "Catherine, il suffit d'un amour Anne disappeared for a moment.
Anne had returned and showed us a souvenir from that movie, which had made Juliette cry like a fountain! It was a goblet like they used in the medieval times. Celebrating the film with a fantastic banquet, all guests had received a goblet, which they were able to take home! On the bottom is an engraving with the text: CATHERINE LIRA FILMS 1968. Juliette with a twinkling eye said: Linda, I present you this souvenir to take home! Juliette knows of course that I absolutely hate that film - but hating or no hating, this is another rare object for Mistral the Catherine fan. Thank you very much my very dear Juliette. I am always anew surprised at your generosity towards JouJou and me!
 

 
small image  - click - large image

It was our turn in the afternoon to surprise her, with the song of "Catherine ma Mie"! She was deeply stirred to listen to that song, she had so long ago written. When only two of the Catherine books were yet published! I let her listen to it on my iTunes, and I confirm that Juliette Benzoni's ears are still very much intact! Excuse me again dear Juliette, just because Mistral is a bit "deaf" in one ear does not mean our Juliette is also. She had heard the Ballad a long time ago, sung by a woman. It was a premiere for her, to listen now to a man singing the enchanting song and while listening to Catherine, Il suffit d'un amour, Juliette was moved to tears. As a side note, I would be very happy if that song could be recorded again. And I would know the perfect performer to sing that adorable ballad of Catherine, ma mie!
As I have promised, I wanted to lift the secret of Arnaud de Montsalv's father Amaury!
I explained to Juliette, that while reading last week: Le Sang, La Gloire et l'Amour chapter two Bertrand du Guesclin, I stumbled on the name of Constable du Guesclin's page Amaury! Like it was to be expected, Juliette wanted to see the book and where the name was mentioned! For a moment I admit, I was almost embarrassed and anxiously watched her face, while the thought crossed me for a second, now I really have asked something silly! But I did not have to have fears? She looked up and gave us that distinctive Juliette Benzoni look we have come to love so much. What she told me, made me blush a bit, and you will understand, that I want to keep it for myself! The fact is that she told Anne, that her girls were amazing that is for us the greatest reward.

I showed Juliette the Italian edition of La passione di Catherine. As I had imagined, Juliette knew at the spot a new lovely anecdote to relate, when she saw this glamorous image of herself. Actually, it is a rarity I have gathered there, without knowing it! It shows Juliette Benzoni the day she went to her publisher, to sign her very first book!
 
 


thank you LaLuna for this beautiful creation

We asked her with mischievous in our eyes, how we must address her now. She is actually a Countess by the exact name of: Contessa Benzoni di Conza! Learning at the same time, that the Italian publisher Garzanti, had made a spelling mistake. It says there: Contessa Benzoni di Couza! Instead of Conza! Juliette smiled, and we may still call her of course Juliette!! But out of fun I told her, that my family had made some researches and found out that they had also once been of nobility. Now it was her turn to tease me! Just have a look at her dedication in my Italian book of Catherine Il suffit d'un amour II
What I do not want to miss to remark on today is: Juliette Benzoni will gladly answer Mistral's 12 questions! But it will have to wait until she has finished the saga of Le bal des Poignards! I confess, I am always very nervous, when I send out the questions! Never forgetting, that I am not a real journalist! But asking my favourite author, it did need a bit of encouragement from my dear friend Frédérique!
Today we want also to thank Anne, Juliette's wonderful daughter, for surprising us with those incredible adorable photos of her mother. One of them shows Juliette as a young girl of eleven and the other as a eighteen year old girl. We know, these photos have to our knowledge never been seen, except in private. Anne, how can we ever thank you for this stupendous gift!!


 
click..
(thank you LaLuna for these beautiful creations)

The Sunday, we had all awaited with great delight, came slowly to an end! How happy and touched we were, when Juliette asked us:" when will you girls come again" soon I hope?" Yes dear dear friend, your girls will come, whenever and as long as you like us to be at Saint-Mandé, together with you, Anne and not to forget Oliver.

yours very faithfuly

« Les filles des grands chemins »
Linda & F
rédérique


I would like to send Frédérique a big hug for this beautiful contribution
about our magical weekend at Saint-Mandé. Spendid JouJou, BRAVO




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