I'm going to start with today and work backwards. It's been a busy month!
This morning started out with breakfast with Representative Carolyn Maloney (Dem. NY). AARO organized this breakfast on very short notice. If we had had more time, we might have organized a real event around her coming to Paris. She is the founder and chair of the Americans Abroad Caucus. She's looking for a Republican co-chair, so if your representative is a Republican, suggest it. She has been our champion in Congress. She talked a bit, but mostly she listened to us. We (AARO) gave her a certificate expressing our gratitude for all that she has done, so far. I'm honored to have attended this breakfast and to have met her.
Actually, I met her yesterday evening at the Democrats Abroad event in her honor. There were more people present and she was there to speak about what she and the Americans Abroad Caucus have accomplished and what's to come, but she also spent considerable time listening. In addition to our issues as Americans Abroad, she alerted us to the number of measures that are being passed (although struck down afterwards) against women. Not only the invasive anti-abortion measures and now, anti-contraception. I've been reading about it in the paper, but I must admit I had no idea the extent of the movement. It was a really short trip: arrival in the morning; meeting with the Ambassador Rivkin in the afternoon; the cocktail event followed by a fundraising dinner in the evening; breakfast this morning; train to London for more of the same and return to Washington tomorrow.
Thursday evening was the AARO board meeting followed by a little party for RB, who has left the board after 10 years of being the events manager.
We had dinner with the P's yesterday evening (after that event). It was a nice, calm meal. They've signed up for a trip to China in the fall, so we compared their itinerary with ours from 6 years ago.
Last Sunday, after casting our votes in the first round of the legislative elections here, we set off for Six-Fours to visit the Lebelles down there for a few days. That's always enjoyable. G cooks up a storm and it's so good, it's hard to resist eating too much. Lots and lots of conversation, of course. P has been delving into family history and shared his genealogy files with us. We also spent an afternoon with Ch and Y. We returned on Wednesday.
All the time we were gone and until yesterday, I was working in the background on the certificate for Representative Maloney. I was supposed to do it, but I ran into a little problem because I no longer have very sophisticated image software, so a colleague from the board ended up having to actually do it. It looks great and now we have a good template and an image of our logo at 20% transparency to use as background in future documents.
Paul and I went to the Matisse exhibit at Beaubourg at the beginning of the month. That was fantastic -- all the work he did drawing over and over the same subject. Those fluid lines are not so simple; they come after having drawn the subject so much the hands seem to know what to do automatically. Paintings are the same. He painted, took a picture, scraped the painting and started over for a year, a year and a half!
The first weekend in June was the exhibit of our paintings at La Charpente, followed by a visit from Sacha and his parents. He's getting that Bouddha look about him! I visited him and Gwen yesterday before going to that cocktail event. He's really growing so, so fast. He's smiling at people, now!