Wow another three weeks have gone by. I haven't been taking pictures, but it's been a busy time with friends. First, we started out with family. When I last wrote, Paul and I had just returned from England and were recovering from the move. Well, we had a short, surprise visit from Claire on the 11th, because on the 12th, she had a business appointment. Emma made lunch -- Thai -- and all the kids came. We missed not having Geoff and Aurelia and Charlotte, but we still loved having the others. And not having the little ones running around did make it more relaxing. The spring rolls were delicious and so was the curry.
The only thing I missed was going to the library for a Sept. 11 memorial get-together. Al Herter had lent his pictures and things for an exhibit, which I managed to see anyway when I went in on Tuesday. And Al has started dropping in at the library on Tuesdays, so I get to see him anyway. Funny how we all get into routines. I go to the library on Tuesdays because I volunteer on Tuesdays, but I chose Tuesday because back when I was choosing, that was the day for the movie night. It also turns out to be the day for the AARO board meetings, so it was convenient for me to be in Paris on Tuesday for these evening activities.
Then last week the high school friends came en masse. First, Jackie has been around for a while, and she came to lunch with Ed and Ruth, who was in Paris for a professional conference. After lunch at home, we went for a walk through the Bois de Vincennes. We stopped for a moment to see an inning of the PUC vs Toulouse baseball game, a "play down" since the loser ends up going down to the "National" level from the "Elite". We didn't see the game to the end because I had a bad feeling, but it turns out PUC won and will stay in the Elite. We continued our walk, through the Parc Floral, and ended up at the Chateau de Vincennes métro station, where we split; they returned to Paris and I caught a bus to Nogent. I thought we were going over to Jacques', but it turns out I had misunderstood.
Sunday, Jacques came to dinner and showed us his pictures from Chicago. He's got a macro lens and takes fantastic pictures of butterflies and bees, etc. on flower backgrounds. In contrast, he also took wonderful shots of the Chicago skyscrapers, especially of the buildings reflecting off one another. Fascinating!
Monday, I went out to the airport to pick up Fran and Karel, two more classmates! They're staying on Ile St. Louis. They're in town for the première of Phèdre/Psyché for which Karel's sister did the set art. When you consider that the art and choreography for the original performances were done by Jean Cocteau, you can imagine what an honor it is and how fantastic Karen Kilimnik must be!
Thursday, I returned to the library for an evening event, an Evening with an Author event, which this week featured Tatiana de Rosnay, author of Sarah's Key (Elle s'appelait Sarah, in French). The movie "Sarah's Key" is already on DVD here, but has just been released in the US. I read the book and saw the movie and think they are both worth your while. I will not say they are enjoyable because the subject, the Vel d'Hiv roundup of Jews and their deportation to concentration camps, first in France and then to the death camps, is not a pleasant subject. This evening, she talked about Rose, her new book, out in French already, which will be titled The House I Loved when it comes out in English early next year. Again, it's a story with a secret. That's the key to her books. This time the background of the story is the upheaval of the Haussmann renovations in Paris. Whole blocks of the old city were demolished to make room for the wide boulevards everyone admires today. I've got the book on hold at the Nogent library.
Friday, lunch with Fran, Karel, and Rachel! Jackie couldn't make it. Rachel came with her grandson, and Fran and Karel came with a daughter and niece. So, another 212 get-together.
I should be seeing Candace, too, early next week.
Jackie wrote about the troglodyte homes in the Loire valley that she and Ed saw a couple of weeks ago. My blog friend Ken, who lives not far from some, wrote an interesting piece today: Living the life in Saint-Aignan: Riding the train in France. If you are planning a trip to France, and especially to the Loire area, I highly recommend reading his blog. Also, if you don't know what to have for lunch, Ken might inspire you.
What else? I've started a different painting and drawing course this year. Looks interesting. This is also where Jacques goes, although not at the same time: La Charpente. It's in St. Mandé, so a bit farther than Francine's, but I can bike there or take a couple of buses.