Saturday, March 1, 2008

Spring is around the corner.

Everything is in bloom - well, almost everything. The lilacs are not out, yet. But many of the trees are blooming. It's too soon. They say that the next week is going to be really cold. I hope this doesn't wreck the fruit trees and make fruit even more expensive. In any case, it's lovely to see all the spring colors already. At the end of the month, we go back to summer time, too. I always love that.

I've been working hard on the trip to Australia. It's going to be a full month from mid-April to mid-May. It'll be fall, there, but it shouldn't be too chilly, yet. Emma says they've has lots of rain this year. They needed it. We're getting very excited about the trip. Bill Bryson's Down Under is a good introduction - very funny, as most of his books are. Many years ago I read Bruce Chatwin's The Songlines and I think that was the book that made me want to visit some day, although the trip we have organized is not at all influenced by it. For one thing, we can't see much of Australia in a month, so we're not trying to.

The STC France conference is coming up really soon - in just two weeks. Normally, I'd be looking forward to it, but this year, I don't think I'll be able to attend. I've got an operation coming up this week and am not sure exactly how soon after that I'll be very active.

What else? I saw my friend, Oriane, yesterday. She came up to Paris from Lyon for one of her linguistic workshops. It was canceled, but since she had her ticket, she came up anyway to celebrate her birthday with friends. We walked from the Gare de Lyon to les Halles and stopped on our way at the Pompidou museum. There was an exhibit called "Les Inquiets" (The Anxious) - photographs and video by Palestinian and Lebanese artists. The videos were disturbing - one was about the reality and fiction of martyrdom - how the suicide bombers spend so much time setting up and doing several takes of their video message, as if the video were more important than the act. Gruesome.

Next to that exhibit there was another exhibit of Richard Rogers 48 years of Architecture, including, of course, the Pompidou Center, itself. That was much more interesting to me. There was a model that showed you how the area south of Shanghai, Pudong, was supposed to work, the different transportation systems, the distribution of space for residential, office, commercial, leisure, and cultural uses. There was another model of central London as he thought of it. Interesting.

That's about all. It was nice to see Dan leave a comment on the blog and it's always nice to get your e-mail when you want to react to an entry privately.

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