Now that warm weather is here in Paris, it’s time to get out and enjoy the sunshine!
We all know that Paris’ parks are lovely, but they can get a bit crowded during the summer months. To find a quieter place, with shady paths, greenery, and even a bit of art and history, try visiting a Paris cemetery.
Squeamish? These cemeteries are spacious and welcoming, with nary a skeleton in sight.
Montpellier’s Pavillon Populaire, located in the city’s Jardin du Champs de Mars, is currently hosting a two-part photography exhibit which deals with the use of photography as propaganda. It is a moving exhibit, and sheds light on some of key elements incorporated by the Nazis.
I’ve been thinking about relaxing lately. I’m no good at it. On vacation, I like to get up earlier than my family and drink coffee and march around town. I go in churches and bookstores and museums and cemeteries and drink more coffee and eat breakfast. I rack up tens of thousands of steps on my pedometer and buy books and little souvenirs for my kids, all before noon. By then, the family is usually up, so I drag them out of the hotel and show them all the things I’ve learned so far that day. We go out to lunch and dinner and see movies and shop. It’s great, but a loved one recently pointed out to me that I never relax on vacation, and relaxing on vacation is a thing people do. Why? I said. There’s so much to DO.
I went to the Paris Préfecture de Police this week with Kid 3 and Mr. Taquet, the Frenchman we hired to help us with tricky French visa bureaucracy. It was the third time we had been to that office trying to get one little stamp in my son’s passport, and I was going to write a funny blog post about it. The absurdity of the French legal system is low-hanging fruit for humor. I’d describe the three different clerks that gave us three different answers, the various combinations of family members and legal assistants and paperwork we were required to produce each time, the way we finally got the stamp after Mr. Taquet raised his voice and pounded on the desk, demanding to see le chef du chef. You were going to laugh.
It was a hard year, and I lost my reading groove. Usually, reading is a constant in my life. I read on the subway, in my green armchair, in the kitchen waiting for pasta to get to al dente, in bed, in waiting rooms. I devour novels and nonfiction books on social issues, spirituality, history, and sometimes a good biography or memoir. Reading is my thing.
For years, I wondered if my husband Sam were a spy.
You know, like in those movies where a spy has to marry a regular person to help build their cover story. True Lies, for example. Sam did many things right, such as proposing, marrying me, fathering our children, and bringing home some bacon, but he was often distracted, preoccupied, and moody. He stayed out of the house a lot, at church events or playing ping pong. LIke a spy.