When one reaches a certain age, birthdays seem to stop being such a big deal. For one thing, some of us don't enjoy being reminded that the years are ticking past. But it is what it is, and it happens to everyone. I had no specific plans at all for my birthday today, except that I changed my work schedule to take the day off, and Georges was able to take the morning off, too. The weather the past few days has been spectacular, and we got in the first picnic of the season yesterday at the Parc Monceau (us and a few thousand others). Today, we slept in a bit, then had a leisurely breakfast. On the spur of the moment, since Georges had some time left before he had to go to work, we went to a café nearby for a drink (since it wasn't lunchtime yet, that "drink" was fruit juice). That's where I spotted this calendar on the wall near the bar. Late this afternoon, a meeting with an association that focuses on saving historic sites around Notre Dame; I tried NOT to do any locks business today but some things are just too important. Then,...
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First perfect pique-nique Sunday of the year, and just in time to celebrate my birthday tomorrow. A third of Paris must be here (the other two-thirds divided between the Champ de Mars, Invalides and the Buttes Chaumont, all parks where you can actually sit on the lawns).
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It has been no secret that I have struggled with my weight for... well, pretty much forever. Being overweight and the fact that you are someone who uses food as a coping mechanism is one of those problems you can't hide from the world; it literally just OUT there, in the physical form of your muffin-top or your flabby thighs, for everyone to see. There are many reasons I am overweight, ranging from the habitual (bad habits ingrained over a lifetime) to the emotional/psychological (let's not even open that Pandora's box, you don't really want to go there and who has that kind of time, anyway?) to the logistical (I love eating but pretty much hate everything to do with cooking from the food shopping to the planning and preparation to the actual cooking). Now, understand me: I'm not talking about all this so that you can send me all your great tips for changing my behaviors. I know the tips. I've had lots of great advice and coaching on this. And all I can say is, I'm still working on it. No, the reason I'm bringing this up is because I had an interesting "a-ha!" moment the other day...
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This was a very fast shot I took through the taxi window yesterday, on my way back from being on live TV on LCI (a 24-hr news channel in France). The station picked me (and Georges, who came along for moral support) up at work in an executive taxi, took me to their offices in the 16th, put me in a chair to get my makeup professionally done (I could totally get used to that!) and then it was into a studio where I babbled something in French about banning love locks on UNESCO World Heritage sites in Paris. It was all a blur, really, and I still haven't seen a replay of the footage. At least they didn't make a big deal in the interview about me and Lisa A. both being Americans, as has sometimes happened in past interviews. I did manage to work it into the conversation that I have dual nationality, and that usually forstalls any potential objections about why we, as Americans, would dare bother getting involved in any civic matters in Paris. Where we live. And pay taxes. So, seeing these two icons of both my countries on the way back to the office...
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An empty bus is very calm to ride in... but always looks lonely. Especially the double-length ones with these accordion "hinges" in the middle. Still, it's sort of like having a semi-private taxi; the bus passes all the stops where no one wants to get on or off, and my cross-town commute is cut nearly in half!
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