Saturday, July 15, 2017


Let's see. We had some strawberries in May and June, but any new ones are now found by the snails and ants before we get to them. The raspberries are finished for the first crop. I've cut the branches that had fruit to make room for the branches that might have something in September. I have 3 bags of frozen raspberries in the freezer. The blueberry bush we bought in May is producing some nice fruit, but not enough for a whole dessert. The other day, we split a harvest of 10 berries. The red plum tree has lots of fruit this year. If the past serves as any indication, the plums will be ripe and fall off the tree right when we're on vacation. The greengage tree, child of the wonderful tree that was here when we bought the house, which produced such succulent plums, seems to have a branch with some plums on it this year. The old tree was chopped down several years ago, after losing yet another branch. This young tree grew right on the property line. Normally, we would have had to cut it down because you're not supposed to have trees or shrubs grow over 2m. high less than 2m. from the boundary, but our neighbor likes it and his side of the tree apparently produces more plums than ours. We just had to cut back the maple trees at the back, which I had planted to be trimmed as shrubs, but which grew into trees anyway. They were up against the boundary wall and were high enough to cast long shadows on that neighbor's yard.
Bastille Day, which is simply known as Fête Nationale, here, is over. The parade was very nice, as usual. The fact that the US President was invited was normal as this year marks the 100th anniversary of the entry of France in WWI. There was a demonstration against him on the 13th, organized by Indivisibles-France and Democrats Abroad. The consensus is that the invitation was the right thing to do, no matter who the President is. And the parade was excellent, with the sun shining and mild temperatures, so it went off without a hitch. As usual, when I see the planes flying over the Champs Elysées, I go up to my room and open the windows to see them fly over us barely a minute later. They don't fly exactly over us, some veer off to the left, over the Marne, and others fly just to the right, more over Fontenay, than Nogent. Still, we have a nice view and the noise drowns out everything.
After that ceremony, Macron flew off to Nice for a much sadder event. It was the anniversary of the 2016 terrorist attack by truck during the fireworks. It was a moving commemoration. I didn't see this last part, but have read about it this morning -- the singer, songwriter Calogero wrote a song about fireworks (Feux d'Artifices) some time ago, not for this, not right after the attack; it's a song that was already on an album of his. It's about taking a kid to see the fireworks, to put him up on your shoulders, to see the "stars", the "constellations", and so on -- you know, what people do at fireworks and what it means to them. He was asked to sing the song after the minute of silence last night. He couldn't finish it. He broke down. There were no fireworks in Nice this year. They had 86 lights up in the sky for the 86 victims.

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