I moved to Paris last year. It is beautiful. The architecture is beautiful. The people are beautiful. Most of them have enviable figures and wardrobes. They stalk the pavement in front of those lovely buildings like it was a catwalk.
I always wondered if I’d missed my calling. From childhood, I excelled at writing, literature, poetry, reading, languages, public speaking, books. I also played piano, but not too seriously. Then, the week we had to declare a major the summer before starting college, I was flying high after doing a solo senior piano recital and I signed up to be a music major. The program was good, so I stuck with it, taking extra foreign language classes just for fun, enjoying writing music history research papers.
I went to Spain to visit my friend who is guest-teaching at a university there. Only speaking the Spanish I have learned from menus, songs, and signs posted around Texas and California is a little challenging. I can say Donde esta los ban֘os (Where is the bathroom) and Besame(Kiss me) and No hablo espan֘ol (I don’t speak Spanish). Then I learned that ban֘osis used more in central America and they say something more complicated in Spain, but I’m sticking with ban֘osand hoping they get what I mean. With those sentences and my fearless-with-foreigners personality, I can get most anything I need.
We ladies of a certain age have some tricky decisions to make. We don’t want to look like Gramma, but we just don’t want some of the trendier styles these days. More than one millenial sales clerk has tried to get me into a jumpsuit, but I remember how hard it was to go to the bathroom in those in 1984. Nope. A chic French saleslady offered me a blouse with parallel ruffles up the front (the “prairie look”), but I told her I wore that in seventh grade and couldn’t go back.
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.