It’s August!

You know what that means?  Tourists – yes.  But No Parisians.

I learned this year that there are two types of Parisians – Juilletists and Aoutiens.  Juliers and Augustians… Those who leave in July, and those who leave in August.  Most are Aoutiens, I believe.

My French friends are both.  Gone to Montenegro, to the south of France, to Spain, to the Canaries… Everywhere! While I sit here.  But the weather has been great and I shouldn’t complain as I am off to the UK on Sunday.

Back in Paris:

The signs are all up in the smaller shops and restaurants: closed until September.  My bakery is closed all weekends in July and Augusts and for a full week in August.  I am getting my hair cut tomorrow – he leaves Saturday and returns in September.

A friend says she sees more tourists this year.  The official sites say tourism is rising again in France and Paris.  I haven’t noticed really.  The line at Notre Dame doesn’t seem any longer than two months ago.  Nor does the Eiffel Tower area seem more crowded.  My favorite bus goes right by it.  Seems normal.  But I will check when friends visit in late August and we will be going to the official tourist spots.


Never too much Happiness

After that last blog, I started musing.  Not just do you know where your happy place is, more importantly, do you know what makes you happy?

Because once you do, then you must make sure you make it happen with great regularity.

I discovered a way to figure out what made me happy – ya, there’s the big stuff you are supposed to say: friends, family, etc.  But what moves you to smile?  Try this: Start to smile – very slowly.  And notice the muscles around your mouth.  You can actually feel the corners of your lips tip up.  I have made an effort to notice that and now I do quite frequently.  What starts to make you smile is the thing that makes you happy.  It can be as simple as a text, a kid getting on a ride at the carnival, to the taste of hot French bread.  Or a glance at a boat floating down the Seine – or any river.  Try it.  And whatever caused it, do more of it.

And if you have been in a funk, watch comedies.  Norman Cousins swore by comedies when he was in the hospital for cancer.  And had a remission.

One of my personal favorites is the pie scene from The Great Race. I hope this link works:


Happy Place

Where is your own personal Happy Place?  Do you have one?  Do you get there often?   Paris was my very happy place – ma ville tres hereuse.

But this year has been more difficult than others.  So it’s been complicated.

My most ultimate – or would that be penultimate?  Nope, that’s second to last…. Ok back to Ultimate. (be careful when searching for a definition on Google if Google knows you are in France because it gives you the definition not in English but in French.  Which raises another question – I don’t let Google know my location.  I must have some privacy {say that with an English accent please.}  Maybe Google choose French because it figured out that my internet provider today is French?)

Revenons a nous moutons.

I love that French phrase – meaning let’s get back to the subject but literally, let’s come back to our sheep.  Yup.

Anyway, one of my favorite places is by or on water.  If anyone remembers my blogging after the terrorist attacks in November 2015, you will recall that finally I had to get up to Deauville to sit by the water for an afternoon in order to regain my energy.

Water has always been important to me.  I grew up aside a lake in Minnesota.  We boated, and skated, and once or twice swam.  (There were leeches!  I still shudder when I watch that scene in African Queen!).   I wasn’t a beach nut in Los Angeles, but still I could get to the beach or just drive along Highway One.  And Pittsburgh had its three rivers. (not much else.)  When landlocked in the Central Valley, I still worked alongside Mill Creek, and the Sierras and rushing streams and rivers were only an hour away.  Or Three Rivers even closer.  And Sacramento has two rivers – one I cross multiple times a day when there.  And even Paris has the Seine.  So yeah, I see water streaming through my life with its energy flowing over to me too.

Back to the sheep…

About two weeks ago, I was thinking, I need to get to water.  I need to spend some time hearing waves.  Maybe that would cleanse the system.  But my schedule was complicated.  Appointments, trips, London, visiting friends…  I do have a ferry trip but not until the end of August.  Sigh.  There just was no place to fit a quick trip to Deauville or Dieppe into my schedule.

So I went on with my life.  Traveled to Annecy for three days.  Had a great time.  And came back to Paris on Saturday.  Sunday I was in a chipper mood.  Monday too.  I stopped to wonder about it.  How did that happen?  What changed to lighten up life?  I wasn’t able to get up to the English Channel.  What?

Sometimes the Universe just laughs, with us – not at us.  But laughs.  Annecy is a beautiful place.  Right next to LAKE Annecy (in French, Lac).  And I spend a full day cruising around it or having a long lunch staring at the harbor.

Duh.  Thanks, Universe.  The water worked.

And Yet Again!

July 12 – Got ‘em!  July 17 I wrote they were back twice.  Got ‘em each time.  And now this morning!  Hope springs eternal in the breast of a pigeon.  Oooooh.  Now that almost sounds like dinner – I am in Paris after all!  But, no.  I only use my water pistol.  Got ‘em again.  Now just stay away.

Oh. That reminds me of one of my favorite kids rhymes…  As I was going up the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there.  He wasn’t there again today, I wish, I wish he’d stay away.