Monday, May 9, 2016

How about "no news"?

I can't believe I haven't written anything is such a long, long time. We've been busy, but there's really no news.
For AARO there was the official wrap-up of the trip to DC. We held that meeting at Joe Allen's at Les Halles and combined it with a voter ballot request overview. Most of the attendees had already done their ballot requests and the ones who hadn't just wanted the URL's of Overseas Vote Foundation or the Federal Voter Assistance Program. If you are looking at the blog, I have had the link to F.V.A.P. on the right for 2 years already. I've had some pretty interesting meetings with people who want to do educational investment seminars for us Americans living overseas having limited choices of investments where we live because of US tax laws pertaining to PFICs (passive foreign investment companies -- local mutual funds, in other words, or even family businesses) and being kicked out of US investments by their US brokerages. We held a follow-up event with WITAM/WISEAM in April and are having an event with London & Capital next week -- full house, already.
John Richardson, a Canadian-American lawyer, passed through Paris for some meetings while he was in Europe in March, doing some citizenship seminars. He held an informal meeting at a café and gave an interesting perspective on citizenship-based-taxation -- instead of focusing on the individuals who live abroad and who are penalized because of the system, look at the countries whose residents are being taxed on in-country assets and income by this other country that is claiming a right merely through citizenship. It's taking money from the resident country's economy. It's an interesting point of view and some countries are catching on. Maybe even France. A commission has been set up and will be holding hearings, shortly.
The banking committee met -- at the same café. The Comptoir Voltaire is near one of the committee member's home and is his hangout, so this is where we like to meet. It was closed for some time after the November terrorist attacks as it is one of the places that was hit by a suicide bomber who only killed himself. The café needed extensive repair work and the injured needed healing, but it looks like the old crowd is back and the café is busy.
Family -- Dan came to visit. That was nice. We walked around the Marais the day he arrived, then he had a full day to himself, and on Wednesday, we did a walk around Montmartre with Paris Walks, had lunch with Anne, and then split in the afternoon. He spent the rest of the days exploring the city on his own and I think he did a lot and saw a lot. Paris Walks is like London Walks or New York Walks -- you just show up at the meeting place, usually a metro station, and find the guide and other tourists. Pay the guide and follow.
In April, we went down to the Tarn-et-Garonne to see Emma and Gabriel. And the kittens, who are now almost a year old and no longer kittens, except they love to play and they follow you wherever you go. It was a nice, calm few days. The gite is coming along slowly but surely. We went to the St. Antonin market on Sunday and got our fill of ham and sausages before coming home. I also picked up some tomato and cucumber plants. The tomato plants have survived but the cucumber did not.
Just last week, we spent a few days babysitting the Parisian grandchildren as their parents went to NYC for a wedding. They were with other friends and did not contact family -- sorry. The little ones were wonderful but at "just" 4 and "almost" 2, they are quite a handful and when the other grandparents came on Friday, we were very glad to see them. At the end of the month, we're going to England for about 10 days. We'll be distracting A. for the week of school holiday, but will not be totally responsible for her since both parents will be there in the evenings. We'll get her to ourselves for a couple of weeks at the beginning of August before the rest of the family come on their vacation.
I went to see "Word for Word" last week, the annual show put on for the benefit of the library. They are a San Francisco company and if you ever get a chance to see them, do. I go without having read the short stories in advance; I discover them. My friend, R, prefers having read the stories and seeing if the performance is as she imagined. I thought it was excellent, as usual.

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