Monday, June 11, 2007

A Melange of Thoughts

Sometimes it becomes necessary to lump. This post is just that. Bits and bobs, but not enough of anything for a post. Get the idea?

  • First up is Smokey. Several of you responded to my suggestion for a new name in a new homeland---names with dignity, humor, history. Well, my friends, I hate to disappoint ya'll, but Smokey is going to stay "old Smokey" for its remaining days. Here's the rationale: through no brilliant maneuvers on our part, Smokey somehow gets to retain its Utah license plates while living in France full-time. I am not going to question our insurance agent M. Nelkin why. I'm all for the don't ask-don't tell policy---it's alot cheaper. So, as long as Smokey is a US citizen, it probably needs to keep its good old boy US name. But, I may use one of those proposed names for the next time I go in for a Visa, so your efforts won't be wasted.

  • The other night we heard something we have yet to hear in Leran---a North American accent! And I'm almost embarrassed to say, it was like music to my ears (there, I said it anyway). But it was only partly North American, it was Canadian. Harry and Di have arrived from Calgary. Today I got to thinking that I don't even know who the Canadian Prime Minister is.....DO YOU? The entire world knows "W", but Canada is barely a blip on the radar. The answer is..................Stephen Harper....ring a bell???

  • I had decided to make a photo CD of the Leran Fete pictures and take them to the Mairie's office. Maybe I had an ulterior motive to somehow get my name in front of the Maire, so that when the time comes to approach him regarding our rooftop terrace he will remember. Chantal, the Maire's assistant, seemed surprised and very pleased, and trotted off into his office with the photo CD. On my way out, our neighbor Jean-Pierre cornered me and asked if he could take a photo of Doug and I for an article he was writing on "Americans Come Home" about the influx of English-speakers in Leran. Or, at least that's what I surmised from our conversation. He wants to know more about Utah, the Mormons, the Great Salt Lake and the Bonneville Speedway. Not sure where his article is being published.

  • Growing up in the midwest I witnessed some superior lightning and thunderstorm displays. But Sunday night's was the top. We lost power several times and the cracks were fiercesome. Coming from the single-digit humidity of Moab, we feel like we are in the swampland of Florida at times. And just when things were beginning to dry out. Stone walls retain damp, and the gully-washer was apparently just running in our back door. And now we were told that Leran is built over several springs, one of which is thermal in origin. During a brief interlude between deluges, we trekked to the bar to see who was around, and left the windows open to air the place out. A few minutes after we returned, a kitty-cat bounded down the stairs and jumped out the window from which it must have gained entry. I'm still seeing cat tracks around today, so I'm not sure how many other animals we are unknowingly harboring at this point.

  • When I picked up the Recycling Manual at the Mairie's Office, I never imagined it would be so confusing. They gave me my sac jaune and sac noir, but exactly what goes where and when is still not processing. What I can say is that recycling is done religiously here and people do not question it. They just do it. And the cost of trying to create a household from nothing has really nudged me in the direction of trying to reuse any and all of the recycling products that I can. I am cutting off the tops of plastic milk jugs to use the lower portions for plastic containers; I save all tin cans for holding things. Some things here are extremely expensive that we go into "sticker shock" when we see the price: a small package of phillips head screws might cost the equivalent of $8-10 here, so we parcel them out judiciously. The moral of that story is for anyone contemplating visiting us....please smuggle in phillips head screws in various sizes in your luggage. Stones are cheap, no need to smuggle them in.


leslie said...

Here are a couple other car names for the file. Julia and Paul Child had a big black Citroen that they called La Tulipe Noire. I like that alot, La Tulipe for short. I also was thinking about the Mercedez called Uncle Smoothy which got me thinking about Jacques Tati. He made one of the most wonderful movies ever--M. Hulot's Holiday. Another of his movies was Mon Oncle Jacques, (I think that's the name), he starred in it. Somewhere I read that someone's dog was named Tati after this most humourous man. Mom loved those movies, she would belly laugh at them which I don't recall her doing that often. There used to be a tour bus in Paris that was a double decker, with protrusions like silver bullets on the top, the upper deck was all glass and the touristes wore these enormous bright yellow headphones to listen to the tour in their language, from the street you could see all the touristes looking one direction in unison, then the other. It was wonderful, Darrell and I did the tour. A guide book stated that the bus looked like something out of a Jacques Tati movie.

Anonymous said...

I really hope to see a copy of the article written by your neighbor Jean-Pierre. I think any article which has a picture of you two and talks about the Bonneville Speedway sounds fascinating. Please forward it if you ever see it!

Anonymous said...

An old friend from Colorado, now living in Maine, but originally from Canada emailed me: "I do know who the Canadian PM is butttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt it is only because I saw his picture at the G8 summit....he tells the Americans that he owns the Arctic ... yeah right. Also "W" apparently had a wonderful reception in Albania ( I know that country).... so as a play on words here, Brian Williams ( nightly NBC reporter/ after Brokaw) said he must be an Albanian Idol! I loved it" Thanks, Lorne

leslie said...

I hope you will tell Jean-Pierre about Moab and that beautiful part of the state, maybe you should talk about Mr. O's place, maybe you could get some French business. Tell them about the camels, too. I just watched Don't Come Knocking the other night. Did I mention that to you? It was filmed in Butte and Moab, I loved it. You guys probably went to the premiere in Moab or Butte.

leslie said...

The other movie I watched was The Fastest Indian on Earth. About the old Australian guy that had an Indian motorcycle that he refined and set speed records at Bonneville. That was a great movie, too. Anthony Hopkins played the lead.

nancy said...

Leslie: We are definitely in DVD withdrawal here in France. We even tried watching on on the computer via download but it took forever and it was horrible. French DVD's not compatible in our computer. I say we're better spending the $$$ on French lessons than on TV/DVD player, oui? But there is a French version of Netflix---Glowria I think. But, can't believe we haven't seen 'Don't Come Knocking'. Putting it on our list. Loved The Fastest Indian too. Thanks.