The other day I had to take garbage up to the road. When I looked inside, I discovered it was cleaner than my house. Cleaner than anywhere I’ve ever been. CLEAN! The roads. Clean. SPOTLESS kind of clean. Billboards? None whatsoever. Zero. The only time you see something is when there are roads signs. It really makes me that the US in a virtual garbage can. Maybe I’ll post the picture. When I took it I thought people would think I’m nuts. I went to France to take photos of garbage cans!
Today when we went to another the most beautiful villages. There are NO end to the beautiful villages. Sadly, the weather has been kind of crappy the last week so you don’t get the full beauty of these places. Today it was St-Jean-de-Cole. It was unreal. Aside from the fact that nothing was open when we got there at 11 AM, the place is absolutely gorgeous. It has a Gothic humpback bridge. It’s considered the village of beautiful rooftops. It dates back to the 12th century and apparently was a busy place back in the Middle Ages. A few years before my time.
Seeing things that last for centuries. That’s another striking contrast to the way we’re used to living. I won’t go onto that whole rant since I did it the last time I did the blog two years ago. In the States, you’re lucky if your place last 25 years let alone 2500. I think of some Persian developer (is that politically incorrect because I don’t give a shit) tearing down George Gershwin’s house in Beverly Hills, and all weapons must be hidden immediately.
The beauty of this region is astonishing. I wonder if you see and experience it every day if it changes do? Do you become numb to it? There are a LOT of abandoned towns. Even the town we go into, the flourishing ones like Brantome, how can people make a living? How many croissants can you sell a day? We’re here, thank god, before tourist season so it’s particularly quiet. But there isn’t a moment of my day where I’m not looking at something beautiful! (other than looking in the mirror which is starting to be a bit scary).
I’ve had a lot of trouble with the French given their role in WWII. I’m softening my view. Not that I don’t think many of them were cowards and fascists, I’m just not experiencing that vibe these days.
On Friday we’re going to Sarlat, considered the MOST beautiful in all of France – that I’ve heard many times over the years, to meet a friend of a friend. A former Californian who lives here. It’s near another village I’m dying to visit. In both cases, they are several hours away. It’s the good part/bad part of being slightly isolated. EVERYTHING, other than the nearby patisserie, takes at least 20 minutes or more to reach. But that’s the kind of holiday it is when you “explore” another country.
One of my BIG worries was mosquitos. I have such a problem. I was so badly bitten in Florida last year, I had to go on steroids. So I was nervous about being here, in the middle of national park, surrounded by water on both sides and a river running through the house – and no screens on the windows. I haven’t had ONE mosquito bite nor have I used the $100 worth of products I bought to keep them away! It’s bizarre. When we were in Normandy three or four years ago, I was bitten from top to bottom. But not here! Maybe all the alcohol is keeping them at bay.
Last night we made the mistake of watching Samantha Bee on YouTube. Jim’s idea. I adore her, but after 15 minutes I found myself getting depressed and was up until 3 am. The news at home is so upsetting, it’s hard to put it in any context. I hear these things come out of the Orange Mental Midget’s mouth and I can’t believe NOBODY is coming to take him away in a straight jacket. Hasn’t anybody noticed he’s FUCKING BONKERS? What does it say about the Republican Party?! What’s going to happen that’s going to make any difference. By the time we return it will be like coming back to virtually a new country.
I couldn’t believe the whole Bill Mahers and Nancy Griffin and Reza Aslan. JESUS. Political correctness has run amok. It’s terrifying. I experience as a professor all the time.
Is Bill Maher really at risk of being fired?! I signed a petition asked his being fired! This is where it starts. This why I have a tee-shirt that reads “I’m Jewish. I’ve seen this before and I know where it ends.” I actually brought it with me but have yet to wear it. Not sure it’s a good or bad idea. Certainly people here are anti-Trump, but it’s getting to the point that even I’m nervous about being too outspoken. The people who died in Portland only did what I did a few months ago on Larchmont in California. The guy I chased down could’ve killed me. Yet, what’s the alternative? Pretending everything’s great.
Okay, this entry has deteriorated. Blame Jim and Samantha Bee. I may have to go eat some chocolate or drink champagne to pull myself out of the morass I’ve gotten into.
I did manage to paint a picture yesterday. You can’t believe all the paper, paints, brushes, etc I’ve schlepped because I expected to be so inspired. I thought I’d be so creative, forgetting that I’m a lazy slug and basically want to run around like a maniac trying to see everything I can see with some r&r mixed in.
In case you haven’t noticed, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Even though the “day’ meaning light in the sky remains here until nearly 10 PM. It’s great.
I’ll end on this note. I’m mad for France. They’re going have to remove me kicking and screaming. And when they try and talk to me, I won’t understand a fucking thing they’re saying, which will be just perfect, for once!
Observe how many things seem open and how much activity there is on the street. This is now Wednesday, late morning and early afternoon.