Episcopals Rule

Well, maybe not them.  But the Paris Choral Society this afternoon held the 24th annual sing-along of the Messiah at the American Cathedral in Paris.  Not to be confused with the American Church in Paris where I went to the Christmas Carol concert and sing-along yesterday.  The ACP… oops.. church dates back to 1814 and so is the oldest US church outside the US and certainly in Paris with a beautiful building from 1931.  The ACP… oops.. Cathedral was started in 1859 and built their cathedral in 1889.  Both are beautiful but I think the ACP wins.

The Choral Society edited the Messiah so that it ended on the Hallelujah Chorus.  That was fine with me.  Members of the Society – singers – were scattered throughout the audience and with the others (other than non-singing me ) created a beautiful sound.  Made up for the fiasco at St Germain des Pres.

I returned to an apartment messy with stuff strewn around in preparation of returning.  I am shipping things back as I have done each year.  The duty limit for returning is $800.  That works well if you are here for a couple weeks’ vacation, but not nine months.  So I can ship home a box with 200 or less value- as many times as I want but the boxes cannot arrive on the same day.  So I spread them out a week or so.  Amazingly enough, the boxes take less than 10 days to arrive.  I send them to my PO Box and just found out today that they will keep them for as long as my box is paid up.  So I don’t have to continue to bug a friend to ask them to pick them up for me.  Good to know and makes the po box more valuable.  I found a cheap rate for sending books back – but the post official said they had to be French books.  Rolls eyes.  OK Fine.  When I tried to send a second box, apparently I didn’t use the official book box although they looked the same.  I had one box left over from last year.  And they wanted to charge me 53 euros.  Um. Nope.  Oh and the box with the French books… he told me to bring it with the carton open so they could check.  At my post office the lady didn’t care and told me to seal it up.  It was 14 Euros, nowhere near 53.

I am in the in between place – loving Paris and France still and having things to do and places to see and yet eager to be back in California.  I have little items I purchased for the kitchen and I want to be there to see them in their new places.  I want to have central heating and not feel like I have to cuddle next to the wall heater.  And while I think of that, I want a toilet seat that is heated.  Seriously.  At the hotel Meurice – the seat of luxury – they had Japanese toilets.  The seat was warm.  And it was a combination toilet and bidet with remote control… I don’t need to go that far…

And yesterday I sighed for my hair dryer.  And immediately thought that was weird and stupid.  I mean really? Wanting my hair dryer? It’s nothing fancy.  But it’s mine and maybe I am at that point where I miss my own stuff after living with someone else’s stuff for 9 months.  And I miss my special optician who takes great care of me.  A lens was falling out of my glasses and I took it to the French shop on the corner.  I don’t know what she did but now the lens falls out every two weeks.  I found my tiny screwdriver and even when I tighten it, it loosens.  I worry the French gal stripped the threads…

I caught a cold again.  I hate colds in France.  They seem to take forever.  This time I have tried to be more careful and stay in bed and do less.  Not an easy thing.  There are things to do!!!   But the miracle has been Muscinex.  Somehow I ended up with a bottle of it.  I don’t know if it was last year or this year that someone brought it over for me.  But it was unopened in the cupboard.  It has proven to be the most effective med I have ever used. 4 days and I am feeling better and just a tiny bit nasally.  Can I find it in France?  No.  And I don’t even bother taking things to the pharmacy any more for comparison as they look at me very oddly.

It’s been COLD.  About a week ago it snowed.  No snow here since then but cold every day.  Several times I have come down the stairs at the entrance to the Metro to see dirt!  My first impression is where are the cleaning people?  Then I realize it isn’t dirt, it is salt to cut down on the icing.  Just dirty after many people walking on it.

I owe a friend a blog on Maroc.  And I will get to it soon.