Monday, March 31, 2014


Heartbreaking to sit in Paris and read, in the New York Times, about the debasement of my country by its current government. Makes me sick at heart. Check it out, if you can bear it.


Is Canada Tarring Itself?

And then to read that the elections in France on Sunday continued to elevate the extreme right wing to the forefront. Very depressing. 

However. I'm in Paris, so I will struggle not to be depressed. Knowing I have only have four and a half more days here, my struggle will be successful. 

After buying a sofa for the apartment, I'd been asked to buy a phone too, so today I walked to the Place d'Italie shopping centre to do so. Of course, when I got it back, the cord that came with the new phone did not fit into the phone jack for the old one. @#$! I'm trying the old cord in the new phone. Maybe it'll work. If not, a long walk back to the Place d'Italie tomorrow.

This afternoon, another long walk all around Saint Germain.
Click to enlarge.
One of the oldest restaurants in Paris, on the wonderfully named rue Monsieur le Prince.
 Just a door. Some old door on some street somewhere.
Typical streetscape - narrow ivory buildings with lacy balconies. LOVE it.

I found the store Cos, recommended by Lynn - the higher end of H&M - great fashion at very reasonable prices. Could become an addiction - I'm glad it has not come to Canada. I did buy a few tiny things, I confess. FUN! NOT DEPRESSED BY RIGHT WING GOVERNMENTS!

And then, on a cloudy warm afternoon, to the cinema. Lynn and Denis had recommended the Polish film Ida, but I got there early so went first to see the last film of the famous French director Alain Resnais - Aimer, boire et chanter - to love, drink and sing - if ever there's a title that speaks to me, it's that one. Love, drink and sing - yes! It's an adaptation of an Alan Ayckbourn play, and it's … well, I left happily after 15 minutes, to go to the room next door for Ida. Forced, a play very awkwardly adapted for film, not to mention French actors bizarrely in the town of York in northern Britain. Resnais was 91 when he made it. More power to him, I say, even if it's not a good film.

Ida, on the other hand, is a very good film, even if the ending made me sad. A young Polish-Catholic noviate is urged to contact her family before she takes her final vows - she finds her last remaining relative, an aunt, and discovers that she's Jewish and that her parents were slaughtered during WW2. The two women set out on an odyssey to find and rebury the remains; in the process, they discover each other and also a young musician who plays John Coltrane brilliantly in 60's Poland. But the ending drove me mad. Oh for God's sake - literally and figuratively - is it a good thing for a young woman to inter herself in a convent? Maybe it's saying that the indoctrination of the Catholic church is even stronger than blood ties. Maybe she chooses a safe spiritual path over a risky carnal one. Phooey on that. An infuriating and unhappy ending for this viewer. But a powerful and beautifully made film nonetheless.

An omelette for dinner, half a bottle of good red though not as good as the Crozes-Hermitage - but damn good for $8. It's dusk, and the dog that barks incessantly in this apartment building is barking. And now, work. Definitely, absolutely not depressed, even though Stephen Harper is destroying the world. 

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