On 7 January 2015, two men stormed the offices of the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo. They murdered 12 people, including the five most famous and beloved cartoonists (one of whom was the editor) and two police officers, and injured 11 others, 5 seriously. Those are the basic facts of the tragedy, which you undoubtedly already know. But what you may not understand is why – beyond the horror of murder and mayhem – this event has touched every French person so deeply. As one internet meme says: “12 dead. 66 million wounded.” Why is Charlie Hebdo so important and iconic? Continue reading
May 2015 be full of joy and laughter and only the best of times. Happy New Year to one and all!
Here’s some reading material and ideas for you: Continue reading
I hope you and your families are happy, safe, and warm this holiday season. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all! Continue reading
People often ask why my husband and I decided to move permanently to Guadeloupe – and by permanently, I mean we are actually buying a piece of property to build a home and a small business. Up until now, we have always rented. Though we’ve lived two years or more in a few places – Morocco, France, Pennsylvania – we always knew that they were temporary homes. This time, we plan to stay. So, why Guadeloupe?
There are several reasons, and perhaps the most important is also the most banal: we like the weather. I am très frileuse, as the French put it: very intolerant of cold. We would have liked to stay in France, but after 5 years, I realized it was just too cold. Hyères has the Mistral, which can make even warm days chilly, so after a lot of research we moved to the warmest place dans l’Hexagone: Menton, whose microclimate and protective mountains result in moderate winters. Even so, I was still cold and unhappy for several months of the year, so we had to look further afield. Continue reading
Two days later, our neighbor told us that what we needed was a huissier de justice, which is sort of a cross between a lawyer and a judge. A huissier performs a variety of functions, but in the case of an état des lieux, he goes through the apartment and files an impartial report about the damages, which can then be used in court if, for example, the owners lie about broken windows or missing fixtures. That was exactly what we needed, Continue reading
During the 2 years and 8 months that we lived at La Grande Palmeraie, we saw the landlords only a few times, but each one was memorable in its own way.
They’d bragged about the lock on the balcony door that makes it impossible to open from the outside… and I’m sure you can guess what happened. Continue reading
I decided I needed to write about our recent rental experience in detail even though I am sure no one will believe it – why would you, when I lived through it and don’t believe it myself? But it feels like this ordeal has taken up residence in my thoughts, and I hope that writing about it will be cathartic enough to clear out this valuable real estate (ha ha) in my head. So here goes. Continue reading
On our way to Lago di Garda, we had an hour’s wait in Padova (“Padua” in English), so we grabbed a coffee and then wandered around a bit. It was market day and we were surrounded by some of the most beautiful food I’ve ever seen in Italy. We regretted not bringing our picnic kit since we had planned to eat in a lakeside restaurant. Continue reading