Archive: June, 2011

Mona Lisa … Mona Lisa … Just a cold and lonely work of art … ?

There is magic in the name – Mona Lisa. Though, here in France, should you speak of Mona Lisa, or of the Mona Lisa, you will receive blank stares. It was what had happened to me when, on first arriving in France, I asked a gardien (guard) in the Louvre where I can find the […]

DSK … Nafi Diallo … and the story goes on …

  France, being rocked by another political sex scandal, L’Affaire DSK – The Dominique Strauss-Kahn Case – has been relegated to the inside pages of our newspapers and TV news almost has to explain what they are talking about when they start a sentence with the words, ‘L’Affaire DSK …’ Today (Friday, June 24, 2011), […]

Montsouris Park … Of Mice and Mockingbirds …

There is a little paradise in Paris, south of the Seine – on the Left Bank. It is Parc Montsouris, and I should not be telling you about it; I should keep it for myself. I should not spoil its tranquillity; I should guard against tourists discovering it. I should enjoy the wonderful Café Chantilly […]

CPR …DNR … And Mister can you spare a kidney … ?

France is badly in need of organs. That is human organs for transplant. Today (Wednesday, June 22, 2011) is even National Day for Organ Donations. The French are apparently reluctant to donate organs. When alive they do not want to think that there might be a day when they could find themselves in the situation […]

Bugarach, December 21, 2012 … & Doomsday Scare Stories & Sect-Busters

Concerned French authorities have started to keep an eye on the town of Bugarach, which according to esoterics will be the only place on our planet Earth to survive December 21, 2012, Doomsday, according to a Mayan calendar. Before I continue, I’ve written about Bugarach which you can find here – and as a result […]

I sentence you to five years of growing leeks … in my new little prison village …

Some time next year (2012) France’s first prison village will open. It will be the first of its kind in the world. So far no one has said where exactly in France this prison village will be, but President Sarkozy has given the green light for its construction. Apparently. The village is the brainchild of […]

La Butte-aux-Cailles … Gangsters and Grapes with your Grilled Quail …

Paris’ 13th arrondissement has never been one of the chic areas of Paris. From the 1930s to the end of the 1950s it was gangsterland. The arrondissement’s Rue Tolbiac that runs west-east (Paris’ streets are numbered from west to east) through it was where the mobs roamed and ruled. The mobsters weren’t vicious.  They didn’t […]

The Birds of Paris … the feathery kind …

You probably know the story of how Ernest Hemingway caught pigeons in the Jardin du Luxembourg on Paris’ Left Bank so that there was food to put on the dinner plates of his wife and children? But this, what I am going to write here now,  is not about pigeons, although I must say that […]

Do you have a heart … ? First artificial heart ready … !

This year, 2011, someone here in Paris, but not necessarily a French national, will wake up in a hospital bed with a brand new heart. Not someone else’s heart, no, but one all his own. In other words an artificial heart. The heart, made by the Paris-based start-up, Carmat SAS, founded in 2008, has gone […]

What Napoleon never did …but wrote …’To run, runned, running’…

Have you ever wondered what deposed leaders do with their time? That is, apart from counting the zillions they’ve stolen from their people? I can tell you what Napoléon did. He learned English. I suppose it was a case of ‘if you can’t beat them, join them.’ On Sunday, June 5, (this year – 2011) […]

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