The Frogmarch

"I've got to pull up my stakes and roll, man." --Jean-Jacques Libris de Kerouac

Sunday, May 30, 2010

More Powder Porn

From a day trip to Courchevel in March, some pictures I never got around to posting.

By the way, if you really want to feel like James Bond in For Your Eyes Only, there's really no easier way than to have lunch at a mountaintop terrace restaurant on Col de la Loze (2305 meters), in the brilliant sunshine, wearing your parka and ski boots, lingering over your duck breast and assiette de charcuterie while helicopters and parasailers pass below you [top photo]. Expensive, yes, but so is everything at a ski resort, and Lotus Esprit Turbos are even pricier.

By the way, click to enlarge the second photo. See those wavy lines coming down the essentially-vertical face? Yep, ski tracks. Not made by me.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I Have It On Good Authority That There Is a Place In This Country Where the Ladies Wear No Pants

If all goes well in the National Assembly, the women of France will soon be able to wear pants in public without prior written authorization from the police prefecture. The law of 1892 allowing the wearing of pants by women "at the handlebars of a bicycle or holding the reins of a horse" simply did not go far enough, and after over a century of struggle, the day for which all of my sisters have yearned--and yea, bravely flaunted the law by publicly wearing jeans without a horse in sight-- will come to pass.

Simone de Beauvoir, your final victory has been won.

[photo not mine; from the annual New York Subway No Pants Day]

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Farewell to the Fortress of Solitude

For the past two years, the Fortress of Solitude, a converted gardener's cottage in the back garden of an 18th-century manor house, has been my home. It was meant to be only temporary, for a few months at most, but circumstances change, and I ended up staying far longer, despite the cramped quarters, dampness, mold, crawling things, and lack of a proper kitchen, phone, doorbell, laundry facility or bathtub. The price was right, the setting charming, and the company good.

[photo: vacant restaurant being renovated, much less photogenic with scaffolding in front of it]

But it's time to move on. I've moved (temporarily, again) into the apartment we lived in last summer when V and the boys were here-- a spacious but affordable 3BR/2BA in a working-class neighborhood just over the city limits in Villeurbanne [2nd photo: the line shows exactly where the property values drop off a cliff as you go from Lyon 6eme to Villeurbanne]. The family will be joining me again this summer, date TBD, at which point we'll start looking for more permanent accomodations.

In the process of moving-- no fun at all, with the St. Just funiculaire being taken down for its once-a-decade overhaul-- I've been without internet service for a week or two, and struggling to stay functional despite a nasty cold that turned into a sinus infection. But things are returning back to normal now.

Of course, when you live in a foreign country, "normal" will always be relative.

[last photo: shuttered factory, Villeurbanne]