vendredi 25 juillet 2014

Have a nice week-end !

Hello !
 I thought I'd just
wish you a nice week-end

with one of Paris's most symbolic figures, revisited by Dali, but then I don't want to let you get off so lightly                  so I am also going to subject you to a little quizz.

This poor girl has been redone by so many painters; here are a few examples and kudos to you if you can name them all !

1/ a Columbian painter

I'll let you ask a French person to translate the title ...Let's just say that I was a little bit anxious when I typed this on Google but thankfully only that picture appeared !

3/ He died at the age of 28

4/ I'm not a fan ....

5/ La Joconde aux clés

6/ Georges ......................

7/ He bears the name of a country

8/ his full name was : Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y ..............
yes, really !

and of course, because this week has been quite heavy on the News front, where would we be without a little humour ?
Yes, it's a "before and after" ... a week in the U.S.A. !

and my goodness, are we glad we don't see so much of this one anymore !
recognize him ?

Byyyyye ! 


How many did you get ?

jeudi 24 juillet 2014

Favourite motto

As I was reading Jane Barr's other blog : Champagne et Le Chameau 
(she's also the lady who brings you news of Kate, our Princess, on From Berkshire to Buckingham ), I saw a picture with this motto and had to find another one to post. This photo here really appeals to me because I adore walking and I do all my best thinking there, especially if it is in the middle of Nature.

A deep breath from time to time lets us exhale the anger, the bitterness or resentment that clogs the mind as   surely as pollution clogs the pores of our skin.
We can so easily carry our dark feelings from one day to the other and forget the virtue of forgiveness and open-mindedness.
We also forget that we were born happy and pure; 
 we built this shell around us to protect ourselves but it should be used only when needed and not become a permanent armour against humanity.

Does that make sense ?

lundi 21 juillet 2014

in France ....

Hello ! 
This year is the first one that I have watched little bits of "the Tour de France". The contestants had to cycle in such incredible conditions weatherwise that it made their performance even more of a "tour de force". 
The yellow jersey is still on the shoulders of this man, Vincenzo Nibali who rather liked the girl who gave him the bunch of flowers. But feel sorry for him; after having given a kiss to the lady on his right, he tried to do the same on the other side and was rebuffed quite embarrassingly in front of TV cameras. For a Tour de France champion, who moreover hails from Italy, that is an insult unheard of previously !

 Another breath of fresh air on our screens right now is the Tour de France sailing race. This annual yachting race links the Channel to the Riviera and is open to professional and amateurs alike.

Yesterday was also the day the "Rafle du Vélodrome d'hiver" was officially commemorated.  
This round-up of Jewish people, mainly refugees, took place in Paris in 1942. The German occupants, aided by French police, had orders to arrest people "with maximum speed, without pointless speaking and without comment".
13,152 Jewish people, mostly women and children were arrested on the 16th and 17th of July in Paris and most of them were taken to an indoor velodrome. There was only one water tap and five lavatories inside. Anybody who tried to escape was shot on  the spot. Some people committed suicide.
This little child, Marie, managed to send a letter to her parents, who hadn't been taken away. It says "We're been taken to the Vélodrome but you mustn't write to us because we're not sure we will stay here". Indeed all of them were deported by train to Auschwitz; only 100 people returned and all of the 4,000 children died.
 תהי נשמתו צרורה בצרור החיים

While these commemorations were going on, a new demonstration for Palestine was going on although, after the incredible violent scenes that had taken place the day before in Paris, this rally had been banned. 
This one took place in Sarcelles, a Paris suburb which has one of the highest Jewish populations in Europe, Sometimes called "little Jerusalem", this town had always been shown as an exemple of peaceful cohabitation between Jews and Muslims. But no more.

The same kind of "protesters" that had tried to storm 2 synagogues last week this time managed to loot and set fire to several Jewish businesses, burn cars near the hospital and attack a synagogue. 

A  91 year-old woman who lived in the flat above this pharmacy had to be taken to hospital in a life-threatening condition while 17 policemen were injured. 
Whilst I have personally always fought the idea that antisemitism in France is bad to the point that it would be   better to emigrate to Israël, I now find myself telling my daughter to be careful when she goes to the synagogue and one of her friends has nightmares as she dreams about her future children being attacked in the street.

So this is what we talk about in France.
When will it all end ?

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dimanche 20 juillet 2014

On my mind

To be meditated upon by the people who let corpses of plane crash victims rot for days on end without even covering them, by the soldiers who bomb children trapped on a territory from which they cannot escape, by the young punks who throw stones at the police in this city to show their desire to demonstrate for .... peace.
The world is not a beautiful place right now !

vendredi 18 juillet 2014

Oops, I'm French !

You know, nobody should let me loose near a computer ! I dunno what I did but recently, I managed to mess up my blog, couldn't write on it anymore, lost my antivirus altogether and finally cut myself off from the Internet completely.

I always have these wonderful ideas to reinforce security, add new gadgets and end up having to unravel everything when I realize I shouldn't have interfered in the first place. Anyway, I want to apologize to the people who left comments on my last post because they have disappeared ......
 just like that ! ....Gosh I'm old !

 It's a wonder I managed to bring up a child (just the one, mind you; didn't want to push my luck) without maiming it

or forgetting her somewhere (her dad did a good job of that)

Nowadays, I only bring up pets and they're the ones who make me crazy.

But hey, I'm not the only one to make mistakes. Hand up the girl who doesn't cringe when they see this :

and by the look of it, there's a few bloggers out there who shall relate to this but I won't name names ....
With me the scattiness interferes more with the dieting :

Anyway, I have a good excuse for being a bit of a reckless fool, you see,
I'M FRENCH ! And we French have a little issue with miscalculations and errors of judgment. For example,   5 years ago our Railway service, the SNCF, ordered some 2,000 new trains for the modest sum of 15,000,000,000 (just wanted to see what billions looked like in numbers) yes 15 billion Euros.
They finally arrived .
Buuut guess what ! A French newpaper revealed at the end of May that
the new trains were too wide for about 1,300 platforms in the country (1/7 of them all).
Well, we're used to blunders in France but this one is impressive and the social media had a field day with photos and cartoons. So let me show you a few of them and give you my version of the rest of the story as it probably happened:
- On strike again ?
-No, I can't go through, my train's too wide !

Passengers were advised to be patient while the necessary adjustments were made ...

The Transportation Minister asked for explanations and summoned the culprit

who, after having left his sofa

and found himself unable to get his car out of the garage...

...finally retreated to the SNCF headquarters, in need of a little refreshment ...
oops, someone ordered the wrong-size cups ....

Everyone finally put their thinking caps on :

and cogitated hard to avoid some catastrophes.

They suggested first that the tests for recruiting potential engineers be made know, like fitting the right shapes into the right holes ... 

also, adjusting the size of the tickets 

and fitting locomotives with this easy-peasy tool ...

A problem I think they haven't envisaged is that now there will be a slight glitch when passengers on the old trains alight onto the new widened platforms ...

Anyway, if you come to France and see a lot of Railway men doing this :
probably wearing these fitting tee-shirts :

just know that 50 millions Euros of our money are spent on making things right; at least we hope ...
Til next time !
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