Sunday, April 29, 2012

Martigny haiku

                              Sisters twirl and swirl
                           In the last late summer sun
                              Before the fall winds
I woke this morning in a strange bed gazing out the window at a Nantucket scene. I wanted to rush down the sandy path lined with sea grass and flowers and jump into the Atlantic.

Then I remembered: I was at a friend and former colleagues house in the heart of Switzerland.

And the window was really a painting. On another wall was a French painting of reminding me of Argelès Port. Between the three it was like the old television This is Your Life... with three places close to my heart in one place.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day to day observations in my country

Amadeus, Mika and Albert would have loved this new puppy park across from the apartment complex where we once lived before they went to the great dog biscuit factory in the sky, Japanese chin department. There were two other puppy parks but then, but not as large. I might have worried about Mika slipping out through the wire, though.

Finding this photo makes me want to rush out and get a new chin. Think walks at 22:30 in the rain. Think dog on train with suitcase and computer. Think unhappy Munchkin.
Think, think, think.
Don't do it!
Don't do it!

I never saw a purple cow
I never hope to see one
I'd rather see a purple cow
than be one

An old boyfriend gave me a photo of a purple cow and a variation of the poem. Who would have thought I'd end up living in cowland. This animated Milka cow is in the chocolate department (yes there are major chocolate departments in department stores in Switzerland along with toys, clothes, household appliances--all necessities) seems to now be a mother.

Marro, the restaurant at the next village where we eat several times a week is under new ownership. The chef stayed the same but the grumpy owner has been replaced by an absentee owner and a charming, young Italian manager. Besides repainting and other cosmetic changes, they have introduced this table full of colouring books and coloured pencils for their junior clients. I wonder if they would let us adults colour while we waited for our meal. Yesterday the menu du jour was a wonderful lamb. Today it is a pasta with tuna and capres.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

love these ads

And I also love the tree for this amazing documentary. www. from the Nyon Visions du reél documentary film festival.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Goodbye 666?????

Okay okay okay

I'm trying to let m hair go natural and I'm almost breaking down over roots.

A cm of root used to both me making me feel messy, a slut, ugly. I do have this thing about not looking my very best at all time within the framework of my natural body. I put make up on first thing. My underwear matches and if possible is colour-coordinated to my outside clothes.  After all I never know when Clooney will be walking the streets of Geneva again. Or his car might break down outside.

You can imagine what an inch is doing to my poor little psyche. Me, who worried about world affairs is now focused on my hair.

Will check in with Jean-Pierre tomorrow to see if he can come up with a solution other than a shaved head. If all else fails I will die many years in the future as an Oreal 666 redhead. Yup that's the real number of the hair dye I've used for years.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Imaging and being happily wrong

An imagination with a writer can be dangerous. I hadn't thought much of my mammogram scheduled for today until last night when I pictured my breasts laden with tumours and falling off as soon as the machine pressed down. That it was a week and a day since the nasty little growth was removed form my right breast, didn't help my imaginings. After all, I've friends who believe in the evil eye if someone thinks that they are too happy about something, the evil eye will zap them -- and overall I found my cancer such an easy thing to go through compared to others, I was sure I'd be punished for being too smug.

The waiting room had this beautiful tree. The mammo and ecto both showed beautiful healthy breasts. Life is beautiful.

I found myself singing "if you're happy and you know it clap your hands" under my breath as I walked from La Maternité HUG where the tests were taken. And to second my happy mood I found a post it on the transportation ticket seller, saying, "Fall in Love with Life" in French.

I have, I have!!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Changing Lives--AGAIN

People ask which I like better--my time in Argeles or in Geneva. I can't answer. Here's why.

Argeles: Good women and men friends lots of stuff to do. Very supportive atmosphere.
Geneva: Good women and men friends lots of stuff to do. Very supportive atmosphere.

View in morning:
Argeles: The red roof tiles against blue sky
Geneva: The Jura and lake in all its moods

Walk to water:
Argeles: 20 mins. to sea
Geneva: 5 mins. to lake

Argeles: clic-clac as single or double very comfortable
Geneva: single with electric under sheet very comfortable

Argeles: Tiny with wonderful tiles showing an antique kitchen, sleeping cat making dish washing a pleasure
Geneva: Modern kitchen, dishwasher, microwave, eat in.

Dining table:
Argeles: Looks like it belongs in a Swiss chalet
Geneva: Modern black glass with bright placemats

Argeles: more stations than possible to watch and small TV screen
Geneva: more stations than possible to watch with large TV screen

Nighttime activities
Argeles: dinner with friends, movie around the corner, DVDs borrowed from R who has a collection to rival a video rental store, concerts, settling in a place I love
Geneva: Owned DVDs with J and snacks from popcorn to champagne depending on mood, dinner with friends, movies, plays, concerts, settling in a place I love

Argeles: French library and Barbara's bookstore for English
Geneva: French books stores and American library with English books

Language: In order spoken
Argeles: French, English, Franglais
Geneva: English, Franglais French

Argeles: A few writers
Geneva: more writers

Argeles: Around the corner or more VO in Perpignan
Geneva: Drive to movie, more expensive more VO

Afternoon tea break:
Argeles: La Noisette and chats with owners Sophie and Laurent and anyone who stops by, whatever pastries are there (hard to choose between them)
Geneva: At home hopefully with a cook piece of something chocolate


Argeles: I live alone and love it
Geneva: I live with a wonderful housemate and love it.

Argeles: All in walking distance.
Geneva: Greater choice but great bus or housemate transportation needed

Food habits:
Argeles: Fresh from farm, restaurants friends, more eating at home
Geneva: Good stores, but marchés are too costly, more eating in restaurants

Argeles: Bartevelle, Cayrou, Flowers and some others in walking distance
Geneva: Marro, Mikado, Little India, Manora, and many, many others but need bus, car

Argeles: Little needed for everything is in walking distance. Bus service, friend's shared car, train when not in grève.
Geneva: Bus, train, housemate, friends

Argeles: Temperamental machine, that I've a love-hate relationship with but hate to part many memories of load after load
Geneva: Big machine and housemate that shares doing it 

Degree of happiness at being there:
Argeles: 9.5 on scale of10
Geneva: 9.5 on scale of 10

Friday, April 13, 2012

I don't understand our economic system

This morning the BBC was saying how awful it was China only grew 8%, a figure that the rest of the world would kill for. But it wasn't as much as the 9 or 10 in the past. Sorta like how horrible the athlete only won the silver Olympic medal, what a failure.

I've a problem with growth on a planet with too many people and limited resources. As I often say, selfish dinosaurs are refusing to die these days to increase our fossil fuels.

The economic news is reported as the stock market. Yet three times the number of people who own stock are part of a co-operative but co-operative news isn't reported. The stock market may be great but shouldn't part of the financial news be how many people went hungry in the same country?

Why is it a tree is only counted in the GNP when it is destroyed not when it is giving shade, beauty and oxygen.

If we're healthy we don't contribute as much to the GDP as we do when we are in the hospital or die.  So all my healthy friends, why aren't you getting sick to help out the GDP in your countries.

Why should a citizen pay for a bad bank deal they never agreed to. Iceland refused and put the politician responsible on trial. It's like A loans money to B and B doesn't repay so A insists C-Z pay B's loan. And to do that C-Z sacrifice all they've ever worked for.

I will admit to being socialist. I do think a society works better when the stronger help the weaker, but I don't think the weaker should pay for the stupidities and crookedness of others.

There's the old saw that under socialism A has to give B one of his three pigs. They never go beyond that when B mates the pig and has lots of pigs, which he turn shares with others. B and the others are no longer hungry and A still has his pigs who hopefully by then has produced her own litters. Of course, somewhere in that story we need a male pig. It doesn't do A any good to have so many pigs he is up to his elbows in their s--t while B is starving down the street. The neighbourhood is better off when both A and B are doing well.

I wonder why I've never been asked to teach economics...

Sunday, April 08, 2012

The detrius of brunch

So often we see nicely set holiday tables. This is the aftermath of my
Easter Brunch for my Swiss neighbours, my French teacher and an American friend

Sliced ham

Sliced salmon Shrimp

Scrambled eggs with oregano

Diced bacon

Sun dried tomatoes in spiced olive oil

Oriental mushrooms

Homemade cinnamon raisin bagels Cream cheese

Pineapple in its juice with finely chopped basil

Almond biscuits

Tea or coffee

Then we went to a beach which is still savage and walked among the dunes, the roar of the Tramantane drowning out the waves crashing to the beach.

All in all, a great day.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

My big rocks

When I was little much more of these rocks were exposed. When I was three feet and stood between them, they were least three times taller than I was. These rocks were places to go read, have picnics. The acted as the badlands when I was cowgirl, they were Greek and Roman temples. Sometimes they were castles. Whatever melting glacier dropped them, gave me an unlimited amount of joy.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Tadpoles on the wall

I last saw my cousin when I was eight. Thus, when she said she and her husband would be in France I not only jumped at the chance, I jumped on the train to meet up with them on their canal boat in Montauban.
In one way I felt like identical twins must feeling being reunited after years of separation to discover that they are so similar. We have enough similar quirks, single daughters born days apart (and explaining why neither of us were at a cousin's wedding), similar tastes. Fortunately there was enough differences and her husband was able to tell us apart without difficulty. The discovery of another person is always wonderful. That alone would have been enough.
But then to be on this wonderful boat and going through nine locks and noticing tad poles clinging to wall where the water had deserted them, having the helpful locks keeper (or whatever he is called) drive ahead, and chat) helping a bit by roping the boat the way it should be, docking, have a great meal (while still talking, talking, talking) and going to sleep in a comfortable bed just made things better and better and better.
At breakfast I missed the muskrat, but the female duck that had been playing hard to get with two mallard males, seemed to have settled down. The beautiful weather of the day before, had disappeared but that did not slow us down from wandering through Montauban with its little shops and boutiques, oohing and ahhing over the patterned stone sidewalks, and find a restaurant that was dry and warm for lunch.
Having grown up without much contact with my father's side of the family and remedying it somewhat, my cousin also filled me on things, I had no idea about. A good time...? Even as a writer I can't express the total feeling of joy I had.