1 May 2010

Readers All

I love reading.

Also, stating the obvious has never been curable in my case, so just hit the title blog here and enjoy all the students who seem to love writing as well.

30 April 2010

And what did YOU do during the...

boomtime, Grandma???

Davimack mentioned poverty. I know it may be delusional thinking, but this recession does not seem to be as bad as the last one which made me stop work. There are some luxuries a lady just cannot afford and I was too cowardly to continue to be a "busy fool" or a sitting duck. The economy in the late 'Eighties and early 'Nineties was compared by some experts as comparable to the horrors that led up to the Battle of Waterloo. "Vanity Fair", where everyone was in hock and beholden to those wealthier than themselves pretty much summed it up. The boom gave everybody a sense of security, which was built, it now seems, on much hot air.

But many people have gardens now, where we can grow flowers and vegetables and cut back on buying in the shops. I always liked the scene in "Gone With the Wind" where a snazzy gown was made from curtains. We don't have curtains, so that's a bit of a non-starter. However, my boomtime activities may be of use after all. I went to Greek class for six years, which seemed a frightful extravagance at the time. Now I can read about the FTSE and the DOW in Greek.

It makes a nice change from the scary news in English...

29 April 2010

Their Big Fat Greek Bailout...

Repetition is the soul of comedy.   The lugubrous faces that peer from TV screens all over Europe, wondering about the pestilence spreading from the centre of civilization, have become a source of ongoing hilarity.   Day after day the news darkens.   The contagion is heading towards Spain as I write.   Will it cross the Bay of Biscay and bring our island low?   I'm past caring...


I read yesterday that Alison Pearson, whose work as a TV critic I enjoy, is depressed.   The invective that this news invited from some bloggers (who are not worthy of attention because of mean spiritedness) reminds many people that depression may not be a bad reaction to life's slings and arrows.   It makes one stop and take account of what is going on, perhaps?   Also, it is an easy label slapped on every mental state that does not conform to "performance", "targets", and social functionality in a world that, even given my natural optimism and ebullience, seems to be dafter than the average brush.   About twenty years ago I muttered "nothing to be done" and got on with my life without all the social nonsense that had cluttered daily activity for years.   Out went the school curriculum, trips on public transport, newspapers and all the everyday nonsense that I could lay hands on.   Here's hoping that anybody else who is worn down by social obligations has the good sense to do the same.

Ma Foi!

I decided to leave the mis-spelling of "foie gras" uncorrected.   A search for "foix gras" renders some fine links and many cookery writers do not seem overly fussy about which spelling to use.   Also, I found myself wondering if somebody might be out there who would actually take time to alert me to the mistake.   There is not...

26 April 2010

La Mer

Atlantic Coast, West Cork

25 April 2010

La Femme, La Femme, Toujours Recommencée...

I have just discovered Elizabeth Badinter.   Anger is mentioned, in large spadefuls.   Another reason, perhaps, along with insolent security officials, priorité to the right and foix gras farming practices, to give the dear Hexagone a wide berth?

I have not had much luck with La Douce France recently.   A holiday during La Canicule, where evening news mostly involved up to date horror stories on the abandonment of the aged was replaced, and ... this the coup de grâce from my point of view..., with a flying visit through CDG where I was threatened with calling the police because of my puzzlement (loudly voiced) at being pawed all over like a common criminal.  The suggestion that they could call anybody they wanted but that they were not laying a finger on me ended well enough.   They pawed... I left...

Now I holiday in England...

But back to Badinter.   The ability of the French educational system to produce wonderful abstractions and linguistic flights of fancy is what most fascinates.   
A conversation with an academic about a famous philosopher amused me as it contrasted the pragmatism of the English language with the elegant precision of the French.   To my statement "he was often angry" came the riposte, "he was an irascible (one)".   

Why philosophy and anger should be so thorougly welded in the French tradition would take yet another thesis and would bring yet another barrage of debate with the more sensible adopting a position of "ni pour, ni contre".   Elizabeth Badinter has analysed the split in feminism yet again. 

  Splitting the atom causes less fallout.

Go look, if you dare...