Saturday, May 23, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety-Jog

Oui, I agree, it has been too quiet here on the blogside while I have been in transition…

First I had to finish up my projets de la maison rue Ferlus so that it is ready for R&C to have a sunny honeymoon here at the end of July – my first renters!  I am convinced they will like it here as much as I do – the village, the food at the Revel market, our Sorezian bakeries, lac St Ferreol just up the hill for swimming and boating, walks and bike rides into the countryside, the fascinating history of the region, the Mediterranean sea or the Pyrennes mountains just a little over an hour a way…  I could go on, but then I might start a landslide of visitors. (I’ll add a photo mosaic of the house soon.)

I had M, D and G over for one more dinner (roast pork loin with shitake mushroom sauce, parsleyed noodles, salad with goat cheese and roasted beets…), took two more walks around town with my camera, slept fewer hours than needed and then scooted with G to the Toulouse airport to leave for Paris Orly.

I met my dear friend S in Paris for Cecilia Woloch’s Paris Poetry Workshop.  We stayed in the 03eme (3rd arrondisement) of le Marais in one of Parler Paris’ furnished apartments – tastefully renovated and on a quiet back street.  We had a talented, supportive group of poets with us in the workshop. Cecilia and her crew of Expat Lady Poets, Heather Hartley, Jenny Huxta and Jennifer K Dick, had us exploring and writing morning, noon and night.
We even made a daytrip to Burgundy on the train where we were lulled by a walk through the quiet village, regaled with the writing of Jeffrey Greene and the cooking of his mother, Gretchen at their 18th century presbytery in Rogny-des-Sept-Écluses (a village with an ancient system of seven locks built in the 17th century).

The last writing event was a reading by all of the workshop poets along with Jenny Huxta of new and existing work at Shakespeare & Company bookstore on the left bank.  We walked across the Isle St Louis in sublime sunset light to have a celebratory dinner at a long table in the upstairs room of restaurant Au Chien Qui Fume (metro Chatelet) – really good food in really good company.

After an arduous day of travel (20 hours door to door, Paris=>Chicago=>San Francisco =0@...), I spent some time in the city with the Son and his smart and lovely Wife and then made my way to the little town in Sonoma county we call “the Burg”.  A bounty of flowers and friendship awaited me – D, C and R had made my little blue house very welcoming and a Scramble of Eggs arrived for our writers group meeting around dinner time with food in hand.

Home again on this side.  Gotta’ go, I hear the garden calling me to come out and jiggety-jog among the flowers.




Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy Muguet des Bois Day!

M told me today, when I took her this bouquet of muguet (moo-zhay--lily of the valley) that it all started in the USA with a May 1st (1886) strike for the eight-hour day. A few years later, the Socialist International designated May 1st as a special day for demonstrations.  

In 1941 the French Vichy government made May 1 a day on which workers could stay home and still be paid. The French created Mother's day at the same time, to celebrate, peut-être, those who stay home and are not paid.  

In the US, the first Labor Day was celebrated in 1882 on September 5, and it has remained in September ever since.  The British have their Labor Day not on May 1, but the first Monday in May.

In France, May 1 is also La Fête du Muguet and a bouquet of lily-of-the-valley is given to friends and family in celebration of Spring and for good luck.  Consider this virtual bouquet of muguet my Spring wish for good luck to all of you.

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