Text by Linda 2011
under the impression of the incredible news, that „les Benzonettes“ shall receive a dedication from their all-time favourite author world famous and beloved Juliette Benzoni, I shall try to concentrate now to say a few words, about „les filles“next station on their dreamy Spring weekend in May 2011.

Paris…..!!!! What has not been said or written about this beautiful and enchanting city! We think about the „Eiffel tower“ – Nôtre Damethe quarter of Montmartre  – Sacre Coeur - Louvre – the gardens of the Tuilleries – Rue de Rivoli -  the little café’s around the corners - the River Seine… I could go on and tell you eveything what fascinates me and I love about Paris – but this is not the right place – because Frédérique and I had an important mission to fulfil – the returning of the unique and splendid fotos of our Claudine Ancelot, the beautiful woman who had played „Catherine de Montsalvy“ for us!

As some of you might remember, over 300 never seen photos, were left in our care in January by Claudine herself. The photos protected by us, just like the gold at Fort Knox ;-) were divided by JouJou and me – therefore „Catherine“ travelled once more, this time near Reims and as far as Switzerland – not by horse, but by car and train ;-!
It has been a unforgettable moment to upload Claudine’s treasures I hope all faithful visitors can „forgive“ Mistral, that we took our time to let you see these bijous. It would have been a pity to „spill" everything at the same time! 

Before we had left dear Claudine, it was agreed to return the photos by mail or in person. No time limit was given to us (dear Claudine, how can we ever thank you for your trust? ) but it was obvious that these photos had to go back sooner or later to it’s rightful owner. What better opportunity, when I would return to France? We contacted Claudine and to our immense pleasure, Claudine declared that the chosen date, would be perfect for her! While we decided where and when to meet, the glorious thought crossed my mind; why not in Paris, like last time? Why not ask Claudine Ancelot, to go with us to Pierre Cardin’s famous Restaurant „Maxim’s, where Gérard Chambre is staying with his new spectacle Cocteau Guitry chez Maxim’s?

I assume that everyone remembers that Gérard Chambre played Jean de Xaintrailles, Catherine and Arnaud de Montsalvy’s best friend ? To spent an evening together with chère Claudine at one of the worlds’s best address and to have Catherine and Xaintrailles united, after such a long time – wow…I confess when I informed Frédérique about my „phantasm“ I had one moment of anxiety, believing that she would think, now I had gone stark mad☺ However my fear was without cause, it was agreed that we write to Claudine and to our unutterable joy, Claudine answered back to say it was a splendid idea and if she could make it, she would come! Some more mails to and fro and we were certain, on Monday evening 16 May,the three of us would go to Maxim’s!  

During the day we played tourists in Paris. The weather was acceptable, no rain as was forth cast! We strolled down Rue de Rivoli, had lunch at Angelina’s (we come to love that place, do we not Frédérique?) and since we were there, had a go at their dessert buffet! For sure, I love „Le Nôtre“but „Angelina“is a must if you ever go or return to Paris!  

Linda and Frédérique at the famous tea-house ANGELINA in Paris

The hours went by as fast as a trip with the Métro (that was fun, and no..no Audrey Hepburn or Cary Grant (CHARARDE) to be seen down there ☺!! Already it was time to go to our meeting place, to wait for Claudine Ancelot! We sat down in a lovely café, trying to pretend our feet were absolutely not hurting (ever walked more or less the whole day in a city like Paris?) and joyfully looked out for our dear friend Claudine. There she came, already walking towards us, with her unmistakable Claudine smile. We greeted each other warmly, like only very old friends do, beaming at each other. We exchanged some presents and ceremonially we returned her property, now again all together in it’s folder!
We also had a little surprise for Claudine, delivering her the latest books of Juliette Le Bal des Poignardswith a dedication by Juliette Benzoni, to Claudine Ancelot, her „Catherine“. Even if I repeat myself, Claudine Ancelot is such a lovely warm-hearted person. We shared laughter together, amusement, anecdotes, little secrets just as girls do.  

Before we got up to walk to „Maxim’s“ Claudine smiled at us and said she would bring us next time yet another photo of „Catherine“ a very large one – something which has not yet been seen…or as we discussed between us later on…the painting by Jan van Eyck? I am sure, Claudine is laughing when she reads my words here! We shall be more than happy, by whatever she will bring to us!

Dear visitors, if you are still with Mistral and her recounting, I invite you to come with us to "Maxim's now - to hear about the latest spectacle by Gérard Chambre and his troupe and be witness of the meeting between "Catherine" and Jean de Xaintrailles, after many years!

Linda (Mistral) and Frédérique

special note :
all photos were taken by us on one of our stays in Paris

© 2008 - 2019 Linda Compagnoni Walther