mai 31, 2003

Promenade

babette

Babette enjoying the gardens at Villandry.

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mai 30, 2003

Tummy

tummy

After all the hard work in Paris...

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Potager

laitue

"Laitue" à Villandry.

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mai 28, 2003

Happy Mint

mint

Despite (or perhaps because of) all the rain we've been getting, our mint is thriving.

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Books to Go

books

We are running out of space in our library so we decided to get rid of the books we no longer need (or we no longer read or consult). Doing so is not so easy, so it is somewhat of a mess right now.

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mai 25, 2003

Nostalgia?

I was expecting to be met with heat and humidity coming back home from Paris. But no: instead, rain and fog, almost like being back in Glasgow.
Well, then a couple of pictures from Paris.
babce

Babette on the empty seats of the "tribune" after the military parade with one tired old fellow...

mirage

A mirage in front of the École Militaire.

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mai 23, 2003

Erudits

universalis

Babette and Maître Goulemer discussing their project for the Encyclopédie Universalis.

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Oh La La

babchar

Watch Out: Babette in a French tank on the Champ de Mars.

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mai 19, 2003

Armistice Day, 8 May 2003


A beautiful, cool and sunny day for the WWII Armistice holiday. Miladus watching the crowds lined up along the Champs Elysées to see the parade.

Chirac leaving the ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe and waving from his official car as it goes down the Champs Elysées escorted by his motorcycle guard.

Both sides of the street were carefully guarded by stoic guards from the CRS...

and the national Gendarmerie. This little guy never smiled once.

The Polytechniciens (notice the women in the front row in boots)...

following their commandant.

La garde républicain, à pied.

More female officers in boots and culottes: the French have the best uniforms I've ever seen. The Saint-Cyriens.

A most distinguished elderly general striding ahead of his corps (Ecole militaire de Saint-Maixent?)

The French navy.

Their marines?

Milad loved these guys, because they balanced their machine guns on their pot bellies. Jean thinks these are the Légion Étrangère.

Luc François, artiste peintre, a veteran of the second world war: possibly 2e Division blindé du Général Leclerc, or 1re Armée française du Maréchal Delattre de Tassigny.

The French flag hanging from the inside arch of the Arc de Triomphe. The parade is over and the cars haven't quite returned to the Étoile. The poor man in the bottom left is distressed to have stepped in the dung from the Gendarmes' horse guard.

Back chez nous, the Champ de Mars hosted the many different armed services of France in their first "encounter with the nation", an attempt to gain about 30,000 recruits in the next five years, as the military has now become a volunteer force. I particularly liked this poster, because the paratrooper, like all of the officers and soldiers we met walking from exhibit to exhibit, seemed shy and yet so pleased to demonstrate his field of competence.

The gendarmes' tank, that they helped kids to get into and investigate. It felt strange to see it on the walkways of the formal Champ de Mars garden.

Across the river, facing the Champ de Mars and the Eiffel Tower, a submarine mockup was submerged in the very shallow fountains of the Palais de Chaillot, showing that the French military have a very definite sense of humor.

While at the École Militaire end of the Champ de Mars, the Air Force (why is it that the Air Force and the Navy always occupy opposite poles?) had set up a jet-fighter training game with six cockpits playing against each other.

There were very long waiting lines (many people wanted to play over and over, and sometimes fathers sat with their kids in their laps), with quite attractive and forceful women Air Force officers acting as game hosts. To borrow a naval image, they certainly did run a tight ship.

One of my favorite exhibits was this one: the "parcours pompier" (fireman training course). The firemen of Paris equipped volunteers with their smoke and fireproof outfits and their golden helmets, and sent them through a smoke-filled military tent. This tiny little would-be fireman couldn't have been more than four years old, and his jacket hung all the way to the ground.

Here he is led by the fireman in blue into the smoke billowing out of the tent, with his astonished older sister looking on. He was shy, but he couldn't wait to get in there.
Under the proud eyes of his father, a little boy learns to shoot anti-aircraft missiles!

The band of the Chasseurs alpins, with their mountain boots, berets, and enormous horns.

Dogs in Paris: a large Army paratrooper and his midget dog;

a spectator in a clothing store watching the crowds pass by;

and my favorite: the K9 Corps of the Army, with its "Dog's Prayer" on the Corps banner held up by mannequins dressed in the dog-training armor:
Prière du chien
A toi, mon Maître:
Toi qui viens me chercher
Pour vivre à tes côtés
Ne m'abandonne jamais.
Donnes-moi la douceur de tes caresses.
Moi je t'offrirai chaleur et tendresse.
Témoignes-moi ta confiance;
Moi je t'offre ma vigilance.
Saches que à mon égard ta fierté
Sera l'ombre de ma fidélité.
Donne-moi ta simple compagnie.
Moi je t'offrirai toute ma vie
Ô toi mon maître, mon seul ami.
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mai 07, 2003

Paloma & Ludovic's Wedding

Paloma and Ludovic's wedding was quite an event. The weather was perfect. Here are a couple of pictures.

mariee

La mariée.

miren

Miren chatting with a couple of friends during the dinner.

babgoulx

Maître Goulemer and Babette at the entrance of the Maison des Polytechniciens.

oeil

Maître Goulemer... "mon œil".

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Malmaison

On Sunday we took advantage of the beautiful weather and visited Malmaison.

chair

A chair with egyptian motif.

eguptcafe

A service with unusual colors...

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