Thursday, July 31, 2014

Golden Girls Take II

Maybe I mumble, but several people thought when I said houseMATE when I was talking about J, I was saying houseMAID. I've shared J's house since 2004, dix ans déjà as the French would say.

Thus when I told of our adventures, people thought I had a really unusual relationship with my maid. Afterall, sharing champagne/shrimp, photographing electrical boxes, going to movies, concerts, deciding to spend a day hopping off and on trains and going to Malta, Germany, England and Scotland were not normal activities shared with a maid even those from  Downtown Abbey.

We had used the term roommates, but that implied, as someone pointed out, a level of intimacy that didn't exist especially in a multi-bedroomed house.

The concept of adults sharing a house without being a couple is far less common in Europe than in the states and especially in those who, if they aren't seniors are well on the way. The American show The Golden Girls didn't make it over here as far as I know. At least I haven't seen it and I've been here since 1990.

Still there's no good single term: friends, family of choice, survivor of crisis, doer of adventures, supporter in crisis, advisor, editor (J for me) information sharer, listener, surrogate mother for the other's kids, friend to the other's kids (depending on situation), worrier for the other's kids, movie or dinner companion, partner in sinning (eating at McDos) The list is almost endless.

One term that doesn't work: maid

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A vacation FROM summer

I make no bones about not liking hot weather. And the reason I spend summers in hot southern France is all the great summer folks of many nationalities.

Now back in Geneva for a few days, I'm wearing a sweatshirt and socks. Last night we turned on the electric undersheet.

It was 14° this morning.

I'm a happy, cool puppy even though I know the summer days will return or I will return to them.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

train setters

There are those that are jet setters people who hop on planes to travel the world.

Rick and I are train setters. We hop on trains to travel the continent. 

Tuesday we trained to Geneva.

I did my usual we've got to get to the station ridiculously early, but not before having petit déjenuer at La Noisette. Rick is so patient with my being extra early even controlling the number of eye rolls. We had time to sit inside while waiting rather than go out on the quai.

The wind blew the bamboo that grows between the quai and the cemetery to 60° angles. The temperature had dropped from the day before. It seems this summer the weather fluctuates from hot to cold hot to cold almost daily.
In Lyon, I told Rick to wait. I'd be right back. 

He assumed I was going to the toilet. 

I rushed into a store, grabbed the sweater shown in the photo and put it on while the girl was ringing up the sale. Took about five minutes. I didn't care what it looked like. Warm was the goal .See photo of a warm me waiting for the train to Bellegarde.

The last leg of the trip left us as bus setters. The tracks between Bellegarde and Geneva are under repair so they bussed us for the last leg of the journey.

It was wonderful to be picked up by one housemate followed by a meal but where else than at Marrionier.

Other train trips planned in the near future are to Paris, Stuttgart, Amsterdam and maybe Berlin. We'll probably train after a flight to Ireland near the end of the year.

But that is how it goes when you're a train setter.

(Rick has another version )

Monday, July 28, 2014

I'm not in Australia

I'm not in a lot of places, but I'm sad that I am not at the World Council of Credit Union's Conference being held now at the Gold Coast, Australia.

One of the joys of my working career was covering their conferences in person. It meant 16 hour days running from presentation to presentation, writing them up and getting them filed. It meant interviewing world leaders like Nobel Prize winner John Hume or Irish President, Human Rights activist and Elder Mary Robinson, Vincente Fox and more.

I'm not name dropping.

None of them will remember me, but as far as Mary Robinson was concerned, I considered it an honour to have breathed the same air as she did. Listened to her explain how she was able to continue after horrendous events like seeing Rwanda after the massacre. She reached out, put her hand on mine and said,  "My dear, I always see the glass a quarter full." Would that we could clone her and make her president of every country in the world.

It meant meeting with wonderful, dedicated, intelligent people from North and South America, Asia, Europe and Africa. Some have struggles just to survive through wars, epidemics and famine and they still trying to help their fellow citizen.

I love credit unions. They prove financial institutions can be fair to all their depositors. Why anyone would use a bank if they could use a credit union is beyond me. Are you reading this Llara...? I don't care if you don't make me a grandmother. I don't care how or where you work if you're happy. That you do business with a bank makes me sad. And yes, I hear you say you don't do guilt trips.)

Back to the WOCCU conference. Although I'm not there, thanks to the wonderful staff there, I'll still be able to cover it from afar, using photos, press releases and information sent me, combined with my years of knowledge with the movement.

But I still wish it had been more feasible to be there. If only Scotty could have beamed me in.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Thanks Tex

Nope the Tex is not my husband, despite his years spent in Dallas.

It's Tex McReynolds, the balding, red-headed golf pro, who gave me golf lessons for too many years every Saturday morning. 

Not my choice. 

I'd have been as happy watching cartoons, reading a book, or just sleeping-in. 

Why couldn't I have been forced to take piano lessons instead?

Golf was never my thing. My father used to yell at me to get out of the woods when we played as a family. 

My ball wasn't there. 

I was picking blueberries. The tadpoles in the water where my ball went were more interesting than the next shot.

I did dip into playing a bit in the 1980s with fellow DCU staffers and enjoyed it, but after moving
to Europe it was too expensive. Too many other things were to be enjoyed.

Being married to an avid, former pro golfer hasn't upped my enthusiasm for the sport, although I'm more than happy for him to play whenever he wants.

But Tex brought me two very good things.

1. I understand what Rick is talking about when he talks about golf.
2. My putting was respectable when we played mini golf with friends. This was the first time I'd played in decades.

The weather was great. The grandson of my friends was a sweetheart. There were some challenges that left us laughing.

I guess golf is like riding a bike...somethings are never forgotten.

In any case Tex...thanks...

On ironing a shirt

ON IRONING A SHIRT sounds like some kind of poem title, but this isn't a poem.

As I was ironing Rick's shirt this morning. Yes I do iron, not because I like to, but because I like the way ironed things feel. I noticed the perfect hem at the bottom. I realised that this shirt had travelled all the way from Asian country.

Someone, probably a woman, had put this shirt under a sewing machine and run it through. I've seen the films of the long columns of women bent over machines.

How many other women sit near her?

How old was she? 

How many years had she gone to school if at all?

Does she have children?

How many if so?

Where does she live?

Does she have running water?

How much does she make to produce this shirt for my husband?

Has she ever been beaten?

My life touched hers for a moment. I wish her well.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Farmer Rick, Farmer DL

We harvested our first tomato of the 15 that we have on the vine. Okay, I admit it, it fell off. We are trying to decide how to prepare it.

Also our grapes are beginning to ripen outside our rear entrance. I wonder if we'll stomp them into a shot glass of wine, but I'm not sure where I can get oaken barrel small enough to let the wine age.


DL: The WC, through the trees, I've peed there.

RICK: Is there a plaque?

Thoughts on becoming 72

Early years
I was born during WWII, but my only remembrance was how happy people were that the war was over. I didn't know what a war was, but it was nice people were happy. Now there are 41 wars in the world, each making less sense than the one before.

We had the first TV in Reading, MA. The screen was a fraction of my normal laptop screen. We also had tons of company every evening and I feel asleep to the smell of popcorn and the sound of whatever program was on.  I was more interested in Big Brother Bob Emery, a local children's presenter (photo).

Growing up in Reading in a time where people could earn a good living, get a good education, gave me a solid background for the rest of my life.

My parents divorced, thank goodness.

People say I don't look my age...who would dare?

My vanity does not like the less than taunt skin, the extra weight, although having been stick thin for many of my years, the kilos gained aren't as bad as they could be if I'd started from a chubbier base. Because I still get pimples far too often, I maintain it's my way of staying young looking.

I've already outlived one grandfather and my parents. In a way I feel I'm living the years they couldn't. My maternal grandmother, Dar, died in her mid 80s and my paternal grandparents lasted until their 90s (photo). That is my next goal to reach -- Dar's age.

I've various aches and pains and stiffness.

My body weaknesses: an esophagus that throws temper tantrums, that I've survived breast cancer and asthma are not necessarily age related. Still I chafe against any physical restrictions.

My life has been blessed

Overall my life has been blessed. I've done everything I've wanted not necessarily when I wanted or how, but my dreams have been accomplished. Not in order
1. To be a writer
2. To live in Europe
3. To have a daughter

The two happiest days of my life, among thousands, were when Llara was born and when I became Swiss.

Two of the saddest were the days of my divorce and when I had to give up my nationality. I've lost people I've loved, some who have moved on, others who have died. You don't get to 72 without some pain.

I've had wonderful friends, people I treasure. I've had support from friends or family through all my crises. And I've been able to support people I've loved through theirs. Better to not have had crisis but I know I can handle them whether mine or the support of others'.

I've had wonderful jobs and terrible ones. The best was DCU, but in retrospect too much of my time was spent in uncaring companies. However, those jobs gave me the funds to live the rest of my life not in luxury but in comfort.

Between France and Switzerland, I inhabit two incredibly beautiful places. My Swiss home includes one of those treasured friends: the French, a husband I never expected to have or wanted. Nice he proved me wrong on having a man in my life.

I've always had words dancing in my head. That I've been able to have my novels published still needs a skin-pinching-reality check.

Things, good, bad or neutral come into our lives. I hope I can work with them all.

I've made mistakes

The biggest being the divorce of a dead man I wasn't married to. Everyone should have one alpha stupid action in their lives to keep them humble.

I overstepped mother bounds with a grown child. I apologized. As she said, "I'm glad you grew out of that phase." 

The others mistakes were smaller.

Hopefully I've learned from my mistakes of all dimensions. If nothing they help me appreciate my non mistakes.

Things that really, really matter

People, friends, kindness, love.  The rest is detail.

Candle photo: Rick split a birthday brownie. I'm lucky he didn't try to put 72 candles on it but 7 on one and 2 on the other.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The snail that got away


At the marché a couple of weeks ago, I bought what I thought was empty snail shells and distributed them in the pretty stone dishes on the patio for decoration and in the plants outside the backdoor. (Local cats think of plants as toilets so it is necessary to protect the dirt with rocks or other things).

Rick found what he thought was a cute one until he realised that there were crawling all over. I rushed to the patio to discover that those empty shells--weren't empty. They were home to little creatures.

We gathered them up and took them to the dry riverbed and sent them on their slow way. The next day when we checked, they had moved on, unless someone had discovered them and made a meal of them.


Rick was preparing the patio for a bbq that we were having. He spied one snail on the wall. He plucked it from the wall, despite the snail's valiant attempt to hang on.

I carried him/her (how do you know which gender a snail is?) to a more suitable habitat.

Rick doesn't appreciate snails even if the Aztec moon god Tecciztecatl bore a snail shell on his back as a symbol of rebirth. Maybe that last snail (or at least Rick hopes there are no more hiding in the rubber tree) was more than a symbol of rebirth.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Rick had that look on his face, the one that said, if I stay quiet what she says will make sense.

I had just said, Harry Fear, "Fear what a name for a reporter."

Fear was delivering a report from Gaza.

"He's really brave."

Rick's confused look did not go away.

"What does brave have to do with FIFA?"


We went back and forth as Rick tried to fathom what I said.  Finally it became clear. My Boston accent had struck again. FEAH was what he heard.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sneakers I could buy

I haven't bought sneakers (trainers in Brit. Eng, baskets in French) in years because I haven't been able to find any without an ugly logo.

I'm logo adverse. If I wear something with a logo I'm announcing to the world "Hey, look how dumb I am. I was fooled into giving free advertising to some corporation and probably paid more than if it didn't have a logo. And they think I'm so dumb, that I will believe because I'm sporting this stupid logo, people will think I'm smarter or richer than I am."

If I do have something with a logo, I take it off or cover it up. I have a lovely Nike sweat suit, although you'd never know it. I've sewn three adorable kittens over the logo. 

I'd happily wear Nike products if they would pay me even a fraction of what they pay Roger Federer.

However, sneakers with books, even comic books, those I might consider. I suspect the name of the manufacturer is on the bottom of the heel.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

He has many talents...

My husband does have many talents.
  • He's a great journalist and a good overall writer
  • He's a good gardener
  • He's handy around the house with tools
  • He's considerate and loving
  • He makes great breakfasts and is beginning to add other good dishes to his culinary repertoire
  • He's funny
  • He's helpful to all the ladies and sometimes men in the village and in Geneva
  • He's creative and much, much more.
One would never consider him violent


A fly crosses his vision.

His eyes will narrow.

His hands quiver

And he'll stalk that fly until the insect is no more.

His kill rate on the first attempt is close to 97.9 percent.

Flies beware. Stay away from here.

Oh and the same goes for mosquitoes.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

It's a mother thing

It comes with the contract when they place that little bundle in your arms. 

The diaper the little darlin' is wrapped in?

That's not a diaper. It is contract assigning mothers to XX,XXX number of hours of worry.

At first the worries are simple diaper rash. Than it is school not just grades but social adjustment.

Even when said child is a full adult mothers have not fulfilled the worry hours.

Just put that kid on a plane and we can check off a few more hours. A high school friend, a college friend, and my housemate have all expressed concern about their kids when they are in the air.

I've used the phrase that when Llara flies I'm in the cockpit with the pilot. When my housemate's kids fly I let her chaperone the pilot and I work on the copilot making sure they are worthy of shuttling the bundles that are as precious when fully grown as when the stork delivered the to our door.

WITP cured for the moment

My Work In Progress Trauma is over. Rick not only finished everything but left it neat, neat, neat...

Because of my neurotic need for neat it will stay that way. The flat, which we call the warren, is also totally finished.
Our terrace is in full bloom. Within the next few days, we will have drapes on the windows to cut down on sun in summer and keep the heat in winter.
 Our three steps up to the kitchen.
Rick was so right about painting the book shelves black. Like many French homes, we do not have a dryer, but I hate seeing clothes hanging around the house or out on the terrace. Rick hooked up drying racks behind the bookcases. We call the area our Drying Room.
 I love having so much in-your-face red. The red artwork is our landlady's. In fact much of the art is hers, but we are slowly building our own collection by local painters.

Of course what is a bedroom without lots of books to read? These are our just in case we run out and can't get to our Kindle supply.

The scenic is done by a friend who also did my Annie Clock.
The clock captures the personality of the main character in my mysteries.

The Snore room which can double as a guest room is quieter colours, beiges and blues. It triples as my office.
For my students from the writing weekends that were held here when the flat was an atelier, you'll be able to see the transformation.

Not many more projects on the flat. Now we can enjoy our writing, our friends, exploring, etc.

My WITP lasted less than 48 hours. Whew!!!!

Pluck and Plunk Pleasures

I know it's dumb when I think
  • there are 41 wars being fought around the world
  • thousands have had their water cut off in Detroit
  • farmers are losing their crops to drought in many places
  • Ebola is rampant
  • children are being hated and frightened along the US border
Maybe this is why something this simple makes me happy.

In the 80s when my daughter and I lived on The Riverway in Boston she disliked taking the garbage out less than emptying the dishwasher.

I disliked emptying the dishwasher less than taking out the garbage.

It was a no brainer who would do which chore.

I had a system for the silverware. Everything alike would go in the same tray. Thus in two motions I could:
  • Pluck up all the forks
  • Plunk put them in the fork place
  • Pluck pick up all the knives
  • Plunk put them in the knife place
  • Pluck pick up all the spoons
  • Plunk them in the spoon place etc.
Silly yes, but since then when I've never been able to find anyone who understands. I wouldn't say Rick understands, but he humors me.

So while I pluck and plunk, I'm also grateful I
  • don't live in a war zone
  • have running water
  • have no shortage of good fresh foord
  • don't live near an Ebola outbreak
  • my child is safe
So plucking and plunking is pretty shallow, but I enjoy it anyway.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The hand under the bed

People have warned Rick that being married to a mystery writer should keep him on his toes. After all, I've disposed of many a person in my books.

Yesterday we were joking about our under bed storage. "For all I know, you could put a body under the bed," I said.

This morning I was making the bed.


There was a hand sticking out.

A closer inspection and it turned out to be the antlers of Rick's moose golf club covers.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Being known

We'd ordered breakfast at La Noisette, my home away from home or about a two minute walk from my back door. When I lived in the studio, I considered it as an extra room I was there so often.

Rick went off to see the brownie lady to make sure that she wouldn't run out before we got there. He would be back before the meal was ready, although it is not unusual for us to chat with her.

The new waitress delivered the breakfast including the cups and the mini tea pots with the water and teabags.

Laurent, the owner, rushed out and looked at Rick's cup. "In n'y a pas de miel." He grabbed the empty cup and came back in seconds with a dollup of honey in the cup, just the way Rick likes it.

Likewise at Bartavelle Stephanie knows I can't eat anything like clams, scallops, etc. Even if it is a fixed single menu she makes sure something special is whipped up for me. I don't have to ask. Likewise she knows Rick doesn't like fish and substitutes an amuse bouche for a non fishy pre-appetizer without even asking.

It's more than service. We see these people daily. They aren't quite friends, but they are more than business people.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

WIPT trauma

Years ago when I went to lunch with my then housemate we saw a house for sale in Boston. It was a row house. We called the number on the For Sale sign, ate lobster subs, met the seller. When we found out that the house cost around $15,000 we put down a deposit of $300. It is the gray house in the photo. The street is wonderful.

We went home and asked our roommate "Guess what we did today."

He didn't.

We had to fight to get a mortgage although our three combined salaries exceeded the purchase price of the house by almost 4x. One bank said we didn't have enough money. Redlining it was called then. Certain city neighborhoods weren't eligible for loans, but finally we found a bank who gave us the money.

We moved in. The term for a fix-it-upper is handyman's dream.

This was a handyman's nightmare.

We discovered load-bearing beams cut through, multi-coats of paint on marble fireplaces, a dubious heating system, floors where if you put your full weight your legs would dangle to the ceiling below as plaster came crashing down.

Rather than hiring people we did the work ourselves nights and weekends. Nothing moved fast and the years went by. For at least three years my two housemates, my daughter and I lived in two rooms with a German Shepherd, a cat and a Japanese chin while we worked on the rest of the house.

At one point I was on a business trip and as I rested on my bed, I pictured how I was going to strip the paint before realizing the hotel wouldn't like that.

I finally gave up and bought a place where all I had to do was hang curtains. I suspect that is what made me a neat freak where I want things in place. I want my living space to always be orderly...not so orderly that it doesn't have a homey feel but neat never the less.

What has all this got to do with now???

Rick found a great TV table on the way to the trash and we also have less than antique book shelves. Both were ugly wood. He decided to repaint them to go with the black and red of the rest of the living area and as you can see below the TV table does look lovely as I expected it would. And there is something beyond wonderful to have him doing the work.

Truth alert...he is a very neat painter. I can get paint drips in places two rooms away and never figure out how.

He will finish the book shelves in a couple of days but the memories of living on a construction site for years keep coming back with the sight of plastic on the floor, cans of paint and brushes. At least there are no saws, drills, plaster, etc.

Barbara will be coming over with the new drapes for the window heading to the terrace in the next couple of days.

He's found a solution to the skylight baking us and by the end of week, this will all be a memory.

Compared to major illness, death, war and destruction work in progress trauma (WIPT) will not be payable by any health insurance company even the excellent Swiss system.

WIPT is temporary.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The picnic

This is a lake where at least once a year we picnic.  Sunday was the day. With everyone bringing something to eat (I bought a chicken and made peanut butter cookies in an oven that I still don't understand).

Barbara brought her macaroni salad, juices, chips, wine, dried tomatoes.

Pam brought a pepper mushroom quiche and a date/pecan bread she'd experimented with. Viva les experiments. She also had radishes, crisps (Brit for chips) and olives.

Rick brought us all and also did most of the lugging.

The temperature was perfect. Our conversation involved Pam telling us about her Colombian adventures, discussions of animal languages and noticing the 30-odd four-footed fuzzy humans that bark. They couldn't have been dogs, because they were forbidden. As always we never run out of topics.

Rick had been debating doing the teleski at a second lake a few minutes walk from the first, but decided to postpone it when we wouldn't have to wait for him. He also wants to make sure that I can film him.

Ant conversations?

As we ate breakfast on the terrace we watched some tiny, tiny ants crawl up the wall. The folds in the plaster look a bit like mountains, reminding us of the curvy, steep road through Andorra the weekend before last.

Every now and then an ant would come down.

Then we noticed that most of the ants going up would stop and touch the ant coming down.

Were they kissing?

Were they asking for information?

Were they issuing warnings?

Is there a book in this: Ant Talk, The Little Ants that Could, Ant Climbs, The Ant Road Less Taken, I've been to the Mountain, 100 Paths to the Purple Flowers...?

Summer is here

Signs of summer includes the 14 July celebrations.

Throughout the village there were bands and singers.

This group sang Catalan sea songs and at one point assumed the guise of pirates complete with hooked hand and brandish swords. No one was hurt.

Then there was the first street party.

Chairs and tables are set out in the middle of the street and neighbours congregate with each adding to the meal.

Another band was set up in front of the music school and we found friends and enjoyed wine, conversation and dancing until 23h when the fireworks were shot off the church roof. 

Life is soooooooooooooo good.

Going on a date

Rick and I work a lot, albeit both in the warren, each at own own computer. It's a rule we eat at least one meal together as civilized people using the time to  catch up on what the other is writing, plans, news, etc.

We also have a very enjoyable, active social life with dinners at friends, coffee talks at La Noisette, etc.

Saturday night, we did something different.

We had a date.

Granted we went to Bartavelle, where we eat regularly at lunch, but an evening meal was special that called for champagne and a kir royale.

Rick approved my brown pants and silky blouse, I thought he looked "photogenic" as one of our Danish friends calls him in his blue blazer.

Never, ever have I tasted something at this restaurant where I haven't been thrilled with the taste.

Although there was no room for dessert, I still had to taste this pistachio biscuit, topped with a layer of chocolate crumbs, raspberries and two flavours of cream. I did leave some. I told Stephanie, one of the owners, that on my gravestone, I would have carved, "She wished she finished the dessert at Bartavelle on July 12, 2014.

Then hand in hand we strolled down to the now dry river hoping to see the super moon. At first we couldn't find it, but then as we followed the river bed it was hanging out the sky to our right. Of course, we didn't expect it to photography well.

It was almost as if we got a ladder we could caress it's face.

I like dating this man.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Making of the movies

Writing a book is the easy part.

A harder part is getting a publisher. My first book was rejected over 40 times and that was after wining an award for unpublished novels. I only half joke that the postal service bribed my publisher because they were tired of lugging the manuscript around. That was back in the pre-email days.

The marketing is the hardest part. Even good reviews is no guarantee that bookstores will stock a writer. The myth of limousine-five star hotel book tours is just that a myth unless you are major-major-major author with a household name. Being in Europe makes arranging my own US tour impractical.

Let's make a movie

Besides writing every independent bookstore in the US and pleading with them to put a copy or two on their shelves, having a website, Rick thought by making a video of me reading from the novels against a proper backdrop might be a good marketing tool like a trailer for a movie.

Thus over the past few months we've been recording in the appropriate places. He is in various stages of doing the finished products.

We just posted the reading for Murder on Insel Poel on my website and youtube. Please, if you have time, take a look. It's 3 minutes 37 seconds.

Since Annie finds the murder victims on the beach, we needed a beach. Driving to Insel Poel, some 16 hours away seemed a bit much, when a local beach looked very much like the one on the island. I guess you would call that a spoiler alert.

Thus on a windy day in March we found this stretch between Argelès and Canet. I took off my coat and didn't come down with pneumonia.

We'd forgotten the microphone but decided to go ahead anyway.

The selection of what to read is always a challenge. I started out with the section where Hilke feels she's is born to the wrong family and why and did a second part where Roger tells Annie, once again, "Don't get involved." Of course if Annie didn't, there would be no story.

The wind caused a problem but now the beach is covered with people on blankets, playing volley ball and making sand castles so reshooting would mean a delay until autumn when people returned to their homes in Paris, Copenhagen, Stuttgart, etc.

I love Rick's ability to ferret out technical solutions. He came up with a software that minimizes the wind and maximizes my voice. I admit to having a technical patience of less than a nano second, but he spent hours making sure everything was in sync.

Both of us searched for photos to relieve the monotony of me. Fortunately I had several from my research trips.

We didn't add any of the concentration camp where Hilke was interred during WWII.

We did put up a map of the island.

Some say it looks like a gorilla. Others see it as a lobster claw.

I don't know how he selects the music for the background but I love his choice.

When we did the earlier one for Murder in Geneva we were really on the scene of the action. It's easy because I live around the corner. 

We've shot for Murder in Paris at the abbey Fontfroide and plan to finish shooting in Paris our next trip there hopefully in September.

My editor who listened to the evideo asked, "Can Rick do something about your Boston accent? JUST JOKING" I don't think Rick can find any software to put Rs into words in place of Hs.


"Do you want me to get one of those hats?" Rick asked.

"There will be no obedience either way in our home, me to you and you to me," I said.

He "obeyed" and didn't get a hat.

Friday, July 11, 2014

My living room is on Google

I use a lot of Google Images in my newsletter. I'd just searched for one that showed communication skills to illustrate an article that I'd written. Writing for something to be read on the web involves a different style such as lots of white space, short sentences...

That's just an aside. It is not what this blog is about today.

It's 6:46 in the morning and my mind isn't totally focused. I thought I'd check out Painted House Argelès just to see if Chris's house was there. It was.

But just a few photos down WAS MY LIVING ROOM.

Of course, we've changed it a bit since we moved in. We rent it furnished but have exchanged some of our wonderful landlady's things with our own. The rug is now under my bed where I'm sitting and writing. The same couch is against the wall and the wicker furniture has gone to the local Depot Vente. Rick has put a bookcase to block the window and his desk in front of it. I line up the pillow with the stripes. 

There was also a photo of our street and our front door (left with grill). Chris's house is at the end of the street. 

That is less of a surprise. 

It is a rare day, even in winter, when at least one person isn't taking a photo of the street. I hear the tour guide come through and his spiel always includes the words "This is the most beautiful street in Argelès" in either French or English.

As I scroll through I see another photo that I took in Grand Saconnex, CH and taken from this blog.

I also find my avatar.

I know the NSA is monitoring everything and everyone. I know there are copywrite laws where my photos should be protected as my intellectual property. This does not bother me because I don't see my photos as having commercial value.

However, it is a bit spooky to have my living room on the web.