Today was the third holiday in May. There will be one more at the end of the month. I forgot about it until I opened my shutters and thought people were certainly coming in late at the office across the street. Then I noticed no one was in the office. Ah. But fortunately, I had provisions so not to worry.
Late breakfast and exercises. Janine will be happy to hear I am doing them. What I really need is a pilates machine to stretch the heck out of me – or my massage therapist Kim to fly over. I suppose I could find a massage therapist here. What I am very happy about is – knock on wood – my back has been fine or self-healed in a day. I’d say happy for little things –but that’s actually a very big thing.
I puttered this morning. That’s a nice way of saying that I have no idea what I did. Maybe listened to a little French pronounciation on my CD. And then set out for a conversation with Elizabet. E. One of the teachers who teaches French to non native speakers. She was reading Jonathan Franzen in English when I joined her. It was a very convenient location but in the middle of the tourist area as it was in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe. The waitress insisted on speaking English to me. E and I had a good conversation. We talk about so many different things. Culture, meaning words, life in general, French history. And then it rained. And it really rained! Paris has nice rains and then downpours. We were able to leave during a lull. But I learned something. Which I should have known already. E went to the toilettes and while she was gone, I asked for the bill. Thinking that we’d have it on the table and then we could pay later. When E came back she saw the bill there and it was a signal to her that we were done. So. I shall never ask for the bill until the conversation is absolutely and finally over.
I came home to listen to more French pronounciation and finally cracked open the French book I was reading in the States. It is by Marc Levy – he was an architect before he becaome a novelist. And he lived in SF. This book is set in SF and was recommended to me by my French tutor in Davis. It’s good. He’s a best selling author in France. I got through about 8 pages. Slow going at first, dictionary and pen in hand. But then it sped up. But after 8 pages, I was exhausted. I just went to bed for a nap.
Using the brain really takes energy. I am realizing that I need to stage these conversations and the reading or studying in French with some other activity. Probably walking – but today with the rain that wasn’t possible. Actually, I am very active. My fitbit tells me I am getting in about 5 miles a day average. It’s a contradiction – I actually need to schedule some downtime to give my physical body a rest too. <shrug>
A reader asked about the bise. Was it right or left cheek first? That’s an interesting question and I had to think about it. I turn my head to the left so it’s the right cheek and then turn my head to the right for the left cheek. Whew.
This evening was specatular.
I was invited to the theatre. Miss Carpenter starring Marrianne James. OMG it was funny even though I missed a lot of it. It reminded me of Beach Blanket Babylon in a way – without the hats. All about Miss Carpenter Oscar winner 1967. Lots of singing – many pop songs. Grease, Elvis, Satruday Night Fever… Tres drole, tres amusant.
My friend Chantelle invited me. A friend of hers got free tickets. How sweet. I am going to go back before its run is over and see if I understand more of it. Hope so.
The theatre was tiny. It was built in 1820 and holds 800. Beautifully decorated. Painted ceiling. And comfy seats but the seats were closer than airline aisles! Seriously. Chantelle is taller than me and her knees were touching the seat in front of her. Don’t know how tall guys can attend. Theatre du Gymnase.
Tomorrow I have been invited to Chantelle’s home for more conversation. Whew. I took a sleeping pill (over the counter US) to get a better night’s sleep and have a fresh brain. And then I am going to have lunch with a friend in Sacramento. Well, he’s going to have lunch (seriously, at his desk!). I shall be sitting in my apartment at 9pm just chatting over Skype. Fun!