• An important color

    Thursday, November 26, 2015 2 Permalink 0

    Hue and hewn When I first came to France I thought I would be a flag-waving purist about French Revolutionary values, and at the very least, for sure, always eschew any hint of royalism. Liberté-Egalité-Fraternité all the way! Napoleon Bonaparte was as far as I would go. It would be clear and distinct unadulterated colors for me: Bleu-blanc-rouge, ...

  • Foggy Mountain Breakdown, Overseas Edition

    Sunday, November 8, 2015 3 Permalink 0

    A rose by any other name... still has thorns It is hard to imagine, in pastoral moments driving the beautiful country roads around here, why the ancestors chose to describe their environs with such sinister bleakness, but the place names in translation map with uncanny exactitude to the names I grew up with in the colonies settled ...

  • Ceci n’est pas un agneau

    Saturday, October 24, 2015 6 Permalink 0

    We had a sheep visited upon us. We are still recovering. I say visited upon us, in that plague-like way, because despite the fluffy imagination of a lamb, all cloudlike and angelic, a fullgrown 100kg sheep is a curse from hell, not a blessing. Unless you get to either shear or eat it, and we got neither. She ...

  • Two forts

    Wednesday, September 30, 2015 4 Permalink 0

    Jean Lafitte The ruin we called Jean Lafitte's Fort. Photo by Edibobb, Wiki Commons. When I was a child in Louisiana we were let to play sometimes at an abandoned brick fort on the next island over. It was sinking into the sand and our imaginations ran wild, scurrying under the arches lapped by sea water, down ramparts, along ...

  • Plastic Queer

    Sunday, September 20, 2015 4 Permalink 2

    Stripper on the courthouse steps The first fête de village which M. attended in France shocked him deeply. It was a small rural town in the Tarn, much like the one where we live now, and the one where we were last night – a sleepy farming village. But at one point on stage there came ...

  • Shaun, with shades of Andrew

    Saturday, September 12, 2015 0 Permalink 0

    A reminiscence on letting go of trees Indiscriminate Nature discriminates plenty Shaun, the Mr. Haddock of an earlier post called Mr. Haddock's Hammock which was written after my first tour of his fledgling oak tree botanical garden, at a moment that now seems an eternity ago, suffered grave damages in the violent storms of August 31st this year. I ...

  • Entrée Libre

    Thursday, September 3, 2015 1 Permalink 0

    Everywhere a sign As a student now of French language, French driving permit, and French culture in the everyday all at the same time, I am learning much lately about ordinary public signage which I have until now taken for granted. Some of what I am learning makes me less dangerous to my fellow citizens. One example is the yellow diamond that, ...

  • The Eyes of Strangers

    Thursday, August 20, 2015 2 Permalink 0

    Alone with some veritable country French farming élite recently for a long drive though the countryside during peak sunflower season, I took the opportunity to ask something I've wanted to know for a long time: Are the sunflowers in the fields really "flowers" to the French mind, or just an agricultural crop? Whereas we Americans see the fields of ...