Hmmm. Be away from Word Press for two weeks and forget how it works. Yup. Somehow – and unfortunately I cannot say through no fault of my own – that last blog got posted immediately instead of being in draft form. And I wasn’t finished….
Dang. No pictures… So I will add the interesting pictures here…
The Neuilly Grenier
The Art Nouveau Walk…
and the Tresors – the crystals again!
Pere Lachaise cemetery – Abelard & Heloise. And Jim Morrison…
Then Buttes Chaumont… and of course Notre Dame..
I dropped into the Louvre for an hour before a conversation – and discovered this special exhibit on Thrace… can you imagine these gold beads for embroidery. And the guard who was more tired than guarding!
And while I was at a café, the police were moving their barriers warning about another Manifestation.
The Monoprix delivery I snuck in late Thursday afternoon – he brings my stuff by bike!
But back to the horses. What was amazing is that just up from the Seine off of Boulevard Henri IV, there is a big building – that looks like any other Hausmann building in Paris. Except that behind it is a courtyard with an riding oval and then other buildings for stables and even a black smith. The tour was in French – I understood a lot but my two friends are fluent than me so they filled in what I missed. However, we all lost the numbers. So there are between 80 and 150 horses stabled there. Beautiful horses. All have to be a particular color (brown. roan?) and height (in meters not hands so I don’t know but big). And the colonel of the regiment has the biggest horse – and it is huge! He has to use a block to mount.
(yes – she photo-bombed my selfie!) It’s similar to the K9 divisions for cops. The horses are assigned to the soldier for life. And at the end of service, the soldier has the opportunity to keep the horse. They start training at 2 (the horses, not the soldiers), start to work at 3 or 5 and work will about age 15 -17. It’s a boring existence though – most of the day is spent in the stable. An hour of exercise and I guess other events for parades or maybe patrolling… but mostly stables. (I suppose it’s better than their ancestors who actually galloped into battles.) They (again, the horses not the soldiers – I am sure they get a lot more time off – this is France after all) get a mini vacation (about a week) in the country – we weren’t sure if that translated to once a year or several times a year for the mini – but they also get about a month in the country annually. The officiers have the darker horses. And the grey horses (white horses are called grey- gris en francais) carry the various flags. There’s even a rank to that – the president flag gets the grey horse – the prime minister does not.)
Today Saturday June 20 I discovered the Paris version of KMart. But smaller of course. I wanted to buy a new set of sheets – cheap though because they are only for 6 months (oh I hate to write that!). I was directed to Tati. I picked up the sheets and several other small things for the kitchen. And a plastic sheet for the rug. Don’t call me whatever you call those people who put plastic on their furniture! But my rug here picks up so much lint. It’s black with a red and white design. And the French lint irritates me. I found a plastic tablecloth for 6 bucks. It saves my back from vacuuming so often. Yes, I am lazy. AND I bought a squirt gun. Two pigeons like to hang around. First on my balcony on the street – I hung a plastic bag and that keeps them away. Now they are hanging out in the back courtyard of my building and I can hear their cooing. When I open the window and clap my hands they fly off. But next time I shall hit them with the water gun as they fly by! HA!
One of my CE folks went to Crete for vacation a few weeks ago. She wrote me that they had a big storm and when she went out after, she slipped on a wet sidewalk and fell and broke her leg in two places. Yikes. I was going to visit her today but between other visitors and my cold, she asked me to wait until Monday. Actually, I like that because now I have no pressures for the rest of the day. I was supposed to go to Chateau Rambouillet today but my friend Laurel suggested we wait til a weekday – Monday – but it’s supposed to rain. Shrug. Someday.
Food and conversation… my newest conversation with the hotel person was at Prince de Galles hotel in their courtyard for a gouter… a taste of France. It was a pot of tea and these three tiny pastries. For 32 dollars. Each. Probably comparable to the Beverly Hills Hotel, actually. Very luxe. .
Update on French ability. Yikes! Mon Dieu! I have jumped a level… well, maybe a step – well, really more than one. Studying grammar has paid off. When reading my French novel, I am noticing construction that I didn’t get – and I didn’t get that I didn’t get it. So that’s exciting. But last night Elizabeth and I had dinner. She’s one of the French as a second language profs. She commented that I was doing things automatically, naturally. For those of you who have some French, I used celui-ci and celui-la without even thinking about it. But as soon as the words were out of my mouth, I just had to stop and savor the moment. C’est formidable! I actually take notes now in a combination French English – I jotted down to tell you about the warm bread at the boulangerie (that it should be illegal for them to sell warm bread! Too tempting. How do you get it home in one piece?) and I used warm and pain. Warm is shorter than Chaud and Pain is shorter than bread. Interesting?
Plans… many more conversations this week. And more studying. But Saturday I fly to Berlin for four nights. Thus I really need to put time into the various tourist books I have – I know pretty much nothing about Berlin.
Thanks for reading. And I have heard now from more than a few of you that you were wondering where my posts went. Thanks for your concern! J’aime bien.