On MSD and despair

Saturday, March 3, 2018 1 Permalink 2

Doomed Despair is such a seductive excuse for not taking action, and it is so easy to find. While other people were fretting about gun laws and mourning the young lives lost after the shootings and aftermath at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, I was mourning the Everglades and the lost legacy of Marjory Stoneman Douglas herself. From ...

Mushrooms in meringue

Friday, March 2, 2018 1 Permalink 0

Just before Christmas, neighbors A. and P. were talking during dinner about how to make perfect mushrooms. She was having trouble with hers and wanted his advice - that much I caught, of the rapid colloquial French. They were both very concerned that it be done correctly. There is nothing unusual in this conversation in our region. ...

Snow

Friday, February 9, 2018 0 Permalink 1

Snow does not often come to our region. Five years ago we missed the last one while traveling abroad, but for a few hours yesterday, white preponderated all else. I took the dog for a walk in the Forêt de Buzet. Most plants were already well advanced into spring when winter finally came to the ...

Candlemass 1956

Friday, February 2, 2018 0 Permalink 0

We are closer in time to the winter of 2056 than to the winter of 1956, but there are still those who remember that earlier year as the worst winter of all, even though it was in some ways one of the mildest on record. It was a year of extremes, maybe much like this one, ...

Lord of the Frogs

Saturday, January 20, 2018 4 Permalink 1

A soulsearching post in which childless idealist Yours Truly finally encounters first-hand the much-discussed phenomenon of Bullying Tourists can't be patriotic I have never lived in any other place in which I feel such a full-throated accord with the dominant cultural values. Shout it from the rooftops: Liberté-Egalité-Fraternité ! And better, Solidarité. Solidarity. France is far from perfect, ...

That time Cees ran toward the bombs

Sunday, January 14, 2018 3 Permalink 0

Oh the stories that man could tell. Harrowing tales of gay bravado and Southern Living past, more than a few pointers on matching accessories to suits, and a long list of sexcapades from an era in which most of the players were long dead. I never doubted that he embellished some of those tales, and was ...

Violent Expulsions: My Day with the Martyrs (or, Vomit with a View)

Thursday, January 4, 2018 0 Permalink 0

The photos are of the Chateau de Montségur, the "seat and head" of Catharism's last, tragic, inspiring holdout in the fall-winter-and-spring of 1243-4. When the siege ended and the 200 Parfaits and Parfaites within finally surrendered, they were given two weeks to recant and reconvert to Roman Catholicism or be burned alive at the stake. Instead of ...

Mirror World

Monday, December 25, 2017 1 Permalink 0

Tonight we are home from a brief sojourn just two hours to the north of where we live. It's the best country, in my opinion. La Corrèze is the home of fairy tales, and the bravery of la Gaillarde in wars since history began, and truly incredible food. It is also strikingly similar in both landscape and ...