Sunday, June 14, 2015

Slow

Summer is moving in slowly. We have finally had some really hot days, but nothing unbearable. It cools down at night. There are supposed to be storms moving through, but they seem to skirt around the Paris area. We finally turned on the automatic sprinkling system. I know my friends in California must be outraged, but even if we, here, have not had a recent rain, we're nowhere near drought conditions; we can water our vegetable gardens. We've already had two zucchini from the garden and there are a few tomatoes already getting fatter. We've also eaten two artichokes. The birds did not get to the cherries before I did and I managed to make a clafoutis. With a few more cherries and the rhubarb I made a dessert I will not repeat. The raspberries are starting to come, but they seem smaller this year and there are not as many as there usually are. There are plums on the red plum tree and I think I saw a solitary plum on the green-gage plum tree.
Yesterday was our street's 25th street party. It was hot and sunny, which is so rare for the event it was remarked. The mayor came, as usual, as did a couple of council members, who are also regular visitors. When we started this, back in 1990, it was quite a novelty in France, unheard of, really. Since then, France has invented the national "fête des voisins", but our street still chooses its own date and ignores the mandated festivities. What surprised me, though, yesterday, was that most of the parents of the kids having fun were not there. Not only they were not helping P, who was organizing games and such, but they were not there to supervise their kids or just to converse. The "old" neighbors did show up. We don't have any kids any more, but we just like to hang out and catch up with some neighbors we don't see all the time. I must remember to alert my kids to the date for next year, so the grandkids can join in the fun. It was too late in the afternoon when I thought of it yesterday.
I was going to take S to the library for the story hour on Wednesday morning, but he's been reluctant to go to the American Library for several weeks and I didn't want to make a big thing of it, so we didn't go. He wanted to see the TGVs at the Gare Montparnasse, so we got on the bus and went to the train station. We saw several TGV arrivals and then there was a long break with no arrivals or departures, so we had time to walk along the platform all the way to the front of the train before the engineer even got there. He arrived; we waved; he waved. S was very impatient for the train to leave, and it was hard to explain that the engineer couldn't just start off because he was ready. Finally, the 2-minute-to-departure beeper started its horrible beeping and the whistle-blower blew her whistle to signal the doors closing. The engineer opened his side window and waved good-bye as the train slowly started. S was all smiles and waved back. Then, we walked all the way back and went to see other TGVs go off - and come in -- for almost 2 hours! (No pictures to share, nor full names -- if you know the family, you know who S is. S, 3, is old enough for the story hour and C, almost 1, has started going to the lapsit.)
A few weeks ago, we went to the Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibit at the Grand Palais with Anne. Very interesting, starting with the teddy bear he dressed up when still a small child. We had been to the Velasquez exhibit a few weeks before and this was definitely more refreshing! Velasquez was interesting, from a historical standpoint, but after a while the religious theme became a bit boring to me and then the royal family I found even more boring. Always the same poses, the same faces. With Gaultier, he goes through phases, but its never boring -- almost never anything a regular person would wear, either. I still want to get to the Tudor exhibit. And Bonnard. And Lascaux at the Porte de Versailles, which is not the same reproduction one sees at the Lascaux site; it's a different area of the original site no one is allowed to visit any more. Paul did visit the original before it was closed to the public. We've visited other sites: Cougnac and Pech'Merle and we're going back to Pech'Merle this summer with friends.
I've got the August activites as organized as I'm going to get them: hotel reservations for the traveling part, the reservation at Pech'Merle, the tourist office info for Cordes and Toulouse, maps. For the not-so-mini high school reunion: the dinner cruise on the Seine reservation; bus tour reservation; walking tours reserved; and the date on my calendar to get the dinner reservation. And I have an idea for A's 6th birthday.


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