Friday, September 26, 2008

Interesting Times

May you come to the attention of those in authority
May you find what you seek
May you live in interesting times

Chinese curse

Well, I am about to become a citizen so obviously the authorities have neatly raked my past history and forgiven me for whatever sins I may have committed in the turbulent 60's. As for finding what I am seeking, I am safe on that score.
So that leaves the third curse, and these are certainly interesting days we are experiencing, aren't they? Whichever end of the political spectrum we, voters, may favor, we are united in uncertainty and anxiety about the future.

As a respite from the disturbing news and somber conversations, I revert to simple occupations: drawing onions on a plate, lining up quinces to ripen on the window sill, picking the last of the apples for applesauce, and last but not least reading about the much more disturbing XIIIth century* while 20 year old Gris gently purrs on my lap.

And you, how do you keep a sense of balance in these uneasy days?

*"Four Queens" by Nancy Goldstone is a splendid page turner even though, since it is non-fiction, you know how it ends. Thank you to Peter who recommended it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Mustafa is in today's news:

I have started a new site called Mustafa's Progress so all who are interested in our little Iraqi boy can keep up with the news. Just click on the picture on the right.
He is facing major surgery today to remove a kidney and a large kidney stone in his bladder. I am not sure whether the surgeons will attempt any other abdominal repairs today.
Keep him and his father in your thoughts!

Further news will be posted on his site as I receive them.

Monday, September 22, 2008

France 2

What with friends to entertain, projects to complete, a bit of shopping to do, and plans for next summer, it was hard to find time to blog in France. All the same we had a great time crisscrossing the countryside, sampling the local wines and food and indulging in reading French magazines (me), writing mounds of postcards (my friend Christiane) and exploring the village (my friend Eleni). We talked and talked and laughed, ate late leisurely dinners at home and out, and have pictures to prove it!
Interested? Go to my flick'r page and check "French Food 2008". We seemed to have concentrated on Atlantic fish - a treat for me living now on the Pacific coast - and desserts.

One happy guest!

Monday, September 8, 2008

In France 1

Weather was scorching for a few days. We took it easy, sat by the Canal du Midi,

watching the boats gliding by

and planning excursions.

we cooked delicious burbot and prawns

After a tremendous thunderstorm the weather cooled and on a somber day we visited Cathar Châteaux. This one is Peyrepertusse

My valiant friend reached the top and I recorded her feat. Click on the picture and see the red dot in the center!

Then we drove home in a wonderfully dramatic landscape

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Where in the world is she?

In Belgium and in France, that's where.

I had planned regular entries while in Belgium and France but a snafu with France Telecom left me disconnected till 2 days ago! GRRRRR!

So here are some notes and pictures from my week in Brussels.

The big event was the female cousins get together to celebrate the birthday of our common ancestor, Christine Henry, born in 1827. We ate, drank, reminisced and shared family stories. It was a great success. Counting every head present and absent, she has 27 direct female descendants alive.

The other highlight for me was getting to know Jill from Charades in Belgium face to face. We sat and chatted at a café, a bock away from where I grew up.

Cute little Foxy was on the alert for any dog that might trespass into our space.

Brussels is a gastronomical paradise and I made the most of it, including a great lunch at my cousin Natacha who grows delicious fruit and vegetables in her Brussels garden.

BBQ duck, fresh baked zucchinis and 2 kinds of potatoes, Mmmm

Tomorrow, pictures from France ...