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Hello United States – Hello FORT LAUDERDALE!!!!!!

English: Topographic map of Cape Verde. França...

English: Topographic map of Cape Verde. Français : Carte topographique du Cap-Vert. Suomi: Kap Verden topografinen kartta. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Boa Vista, Cape Verde Islands

English: Boa Vista, Cape Verde Islands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SOON!

There is NO Wifi – none – zilch – nada – and if there is for a few precious moments in the day – you PAY!

IMAGINE!    HAVING TO DO RESEARCH WITH REAL BOOKS then, in the LIBRARY.  This is what it’s come to, it has, since we cannot research with the internet, google, wiki – etc.   SACRE BLEU!!

We’re at 28° 48 84  N  & 040° 05  24 W – latitude and longitude –  (at the time of this writing)

So, this is the story of  Latitude and Longitude on the open seas

Today we were on deck, soaking in the sun and ocean breezes at 31° 50.6’ N  023°59.0’W

At 30° 51.9’N  032°50.5’W N – David and I were dancing in the ballroom………

at 29° 33.5’N  045°28.5N – I was dancing with the officers &  was that ever fun!  I won the envelope!!!  *       So – anyway,  you get the picture.   Maps & oceans and geography and Latitude/longitude has been a source of interest for me for as long as I can remember.   Now it’s everywhere you go, it’s on your phone, it’s on your  GARMIN (or TOMTOM) –  it’s on the computer……and you can NOT be without it on your cruise.

CAPE VERDE ISLANDS –  Where most hurricanes begin to stir up and hit western United States


These Islands are off the coast of Africa and came into view just the other day and was delighted.     Happily I thought it meant  wifi might be near, for they had several airports on these islands, but alas, no such luck. 

When we’re near any islands, no matter how small, it’s a source of delight.  Running to the ship’s well stocked library the atlases are numerous and the biggest one slides off the shelf and onto the mahogany desk where searching for the magnification of the island(s) that are just south of us is a priority.   Here is the photo of those little Islands we  can see on the ships navigational map on TV screens throughout the ship and on our cabin TV.  The best ones are the drawn paper maps with the arrows of our position each day at noon.

charting the course - TV in room, in various venues on the ship.  Very cool.

charting the course – TV in room, in various venues on the ship. Very cool.

I’m sitting here on the bed re-reading and studying the maps and the photos of the ships’ globe that I took earlier.  This  ship is presently  rocking and rolling and I’m trying very hard to divert my attention to the study of the ship’s where-a-bouts.  It helps.

Right now, as I lie here we are at 29 33.86’ N  and 044 degree 10.40 West.

Yep in the middle of no-where.

Rock on little boat……………glide west

( * To win an envelope by your handsome officer, if that should happen means to win a nice surprise.  In my case, I was ready to go sit down after thanking him for the dance, and he pulled me back because – voila!  I had won “THE Envelope!! WHICH HE DEBONAIRLY TOOK OUT OF HIS INSIDE JACKET “  Surprise!     A lovely  bottle of champagne AND a cookbook of the PRINSENDAM CUSIINE  signed by the executive chef!   I couldn’t believe it !!  )

THIS IS DEDICATED TO MY COUSIN STUART WHO IS AN EXPERT MASTER SAILOR AND  to cousin Bob who refuses to go on an ocean cruise with us due to that little motion sickness deal.  BUT, have I got great french drugs for you to try!!!  

Notes:

Tags:   Cape Verde Islands – Oceanologists – – Hurricanes – – David Massey – – Atlantic storms  – – End of Summer Storms – – Trade winds – – Horse Latitudes – – Doldrums – –

Li-Po – poet,  701-762   “No one could whip the changing seasons along so fast; the 10,000 things rise and fall of themselves”   Li-Po, poet (701-762)  – – Equinox – – summer soltice – – – Atmosphere acting like a lense (mirages) – – Sirrius – brightest star over Tahiti –

Belt of Venus – – – God Rays – – Noctilicent clouds – – Serpent clouds – – High Sirius and cumulus clouds – – Katabatic winds – – Mammotic clouds — St Elmo’s fire

Quote by Shakespeare – – Now in the beak……………….

 

 

Goodbye Madeira, Goodbye EUROPE!!

 

 

Goodbye Madeira, Goodbye Europe !!

 

 

 

English: Location of Madeira Islands - Madeira...

English: Location of Madeira Islands – Madeira Autonomous Region – (red), in Portugal (green) and in the European Union (blue). Português: Localização da Madeira – Região Autónoma da Madeira – (vermelho), em Portugal (verde) e na União Europeia (azul) Español: Localización de Madeira – Región Autónoma de Madeira – (rojo), en Portugal (verde) y en la Unión Europea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Goodbye Europe, Goodbye Madeira, our last bit of splendid land before heading out to the big blue ocean – 7 days worth of seafaring.  Wow.

 

It boggles the mind.  Ocean as far as you can see, ship foam on edges as it glides supremely into the vast waters, no sighting of land,  of any kind,  for all that time….and now – leaving Europe – way behind.  It saddens us.  We have had the most incredible journey in Europe for 2 memorable –  (beyond memorable)   years.   We cherish each and every difficult and wonderful minute we had there.

 

 

 

On this ship, we are reminded what brought us and taught us a lot of what we didn’t know really existed anymore.    What is that you ask?  Pretty simple.  TIME. Yes, even though we were here because of David’s incredible TEACHING, we had  TIME.  Time  for slowing down, time for making friends, time for relaxing, time to sit at a café and gaze into the distance, to welcome friends, buy them an espresso, or they us,  and talk or just watch the world go by….it was a bit of heaven.

 
We’ve made some new friends on the ship that remind us of our days in France. They are Goans, from Goa.  having made their homes in  London and Toronto. ( *Goa is a former Portuguese province; the Portuguese overseas territory of Portuguese India existed for about 450 years until it was annexed by India in 1961.)

We had the best time last night at our anniversary dinner, my new friend created a lovely bouquet of  chrysanthemums in the shape of a wedding cake with pink ribbon!  Plus we received  a gift from their outing in Lisbon.  Then they even went to a pharmacy in Portugal to find me some special cream for my knees since I had fallen rather comically – as I literally flew into the main dining area night before, after entering from a windy deck , at the same time the ship was rolling pretty heavily.  It was a slow motion trip and arms flailing – body going horizontal,  like oh oh , she’ll correct it, no she won’t , yes she will, no, she’s DOWN!!!  And at that moment 6 stewards rushed from both dining rooms to pick me up.  I’ve never been so embarrassed in all my life.    Needless to say the muscle cream came in very handy.

 

 

 

So, here we are – with some photos of the last bit of land……..the incredibly beautiful island of Madeira.   What lush vegetation, miles of terraced produce fields, high volcanic cliffs, and some of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet.  They speak Portuguese here and it’s quite fun to hear them speak their sing songy language and welcome strangers here as if they were long lost friends.

 

 

 

obrigado our beautiful Europe…………..

 

 

 

Olá    to open seas…………

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4159

 

Madiera =  LAST LAND - - as the tug takes our big boat out to sea…..

Madiera = LAST LAND – – as the tug takes our big boat out to sea…..

 

How to dress for dinner on a CRUISE with flea-market finds, and nice friends who give you stuff

In 1965, I flew into Portugal on a PanAm 747 jumbo jet and landed in Lisbon to meet my mom.   I don’t remember a lot, but I do remember the beach hostel we stayed in and taking out  my contraband 2 piece bathing suit.   She took a picture of me on the beach but later when I searched for the photograph, she had cut out my middle and left my legs and my head.  Oy vey MAMA CITA!!!! what were you thinking?   Oh yes, I know.  It was bad enough that her daughter was on a beach half way across the world in that forbidden two-piece & cute figure –   and god-forbid attracting some Portuguese playboy,  but no pictures of her should ever be shown!!  I’ve dressed conservatively ever since.   ( I think )

 

Here is the Cruise wardrobe for Transatlantic Crossing – November 2013  – all on a shoestring.  – You don’t have to be rich to show up for dinner nicely dressed…………   ( The euro  — about 1.00 = 1.32.  )

This is the CASUAL collection for the transatlantic Cruise on the PRINSEDAM.   This was really great fun to put together.  I did NOT spend a fortune at all!!

(Typical market shopping………… most are hanging though and very organized)       Image

The first casual is a blouse from Galleries Lafayette at 75 % off (Marseille, Galleries Lafayette).     The melon pants are from a boutique in Cassis that I never darkened the door of until they had a “summer everything is going sale” – or  75% off the pants.  Yes, a real deal.

This taupe blouse was from a flea market in Marseille – it was about 10 euros, the scarf a birthday present from my beautiful daughter-in-law, and the pants, same as aboveIMG_2039
This little deep melon and white blouse I paid more for than I really should have at a boutique in Cassis that had fairly reasonable clothing, but I loved it for the summer.  It goes well with same pantsIMG_2043

This is the taupe blouse again with a different scarf, and pants – also at a boutique at 75% off.   They are kaki cotton with blend, easy wash and no iron, and extremely comfortableIMG_2047

This is another blouse from a boutique I would not ordinarily frequent.  However, it was silk, and on sale.  It looks great with the peach color pants and my BD scarfIMG_2048

This is one of my favorite favorite blouses.  It is reminisent of something of high quality that my mom bought me in sixth grade, (at not our usual shop)…. so I had to have this.  It was 50% off in Cassis.  Normally, my clothing was either salvation army clothing or from Lerner’s.  If you ever shopped in the 60’s at a LERNER’s, you would know, that you would often meet yourself on the street, several TIMES A DAY, because that is how cheap and popular the clothing was.    This looks great with the creme & pink star scarf and those beige pants I wear all the time

THE FORMAL DINNER COLLECTION

There are 15 nights of dinners that we dress up for on the Prinsendam.  4 of those nights are very formal, so I’ll be wearing always black.  You can never go wrong with BLACK.

Here are the outfits I put together for the 15 nights of fine dining on the Prinsendam:

I love this breezy flowing blouse.  It was a present for my birthday.   It’s hard to tell the skirt, but it’s really a skort, taupe color , kind of like a “I dream of Jeannie” pants/skirt.  It’s flowing and very very comfortable.  I bought it at the outdoor market in Marseille for less than 14 euros.  There are better pics below of it.Image

This is my FAVORITE dress of all time.  David bought it for me in Bonnieux, a tiny provencial village that we saw (for the first time, 25 years ago. )   This was also an (early ) birthday present from David.  It’s linen/cotton very thin and is a 1920’s style dress.   This is the dress I needed a REGULAR “Donna Reed” type silky white slip, however, they DO NOT EXISIT in AMERICA!!!  Everything now is SPANX in the goole ‘ole US of A.   Consequently, there are full slips that won’t SQUISH you to death in France, however, you’d need to get a bank loan to afford one.  So, I looked and looked   and voila!  The local market in Cassis had one.!!! Only 15 euros….silky, white, very “Donna Reed-ish” .. Ofcourse I had to try it in an outdoor “cabana” – but , that’s okay.  It had a “door”.     This woman was wonderful, she works hard to set up her “lingerie booth” twice a week and was the happiest most helpful woman ever.  I got a beautiful whole slip to wear with this 1920’s style dress _AND _  a lovely visit and help from the lingerie lady!   What a deal

Image 1  the “lingerie lady” I love…….IMG_1902That’s the little “cabana” you try her great lingerie in, on the street, tiny as it is.  No one cares.  No one looks. It absolutely fun.  She even got a super pair of pajamas for the next week for David.   Made in France.  Not China.!

I’ve kept everything in my wardrobe “repertoire ”  beige/peachy/taupe and black except this –

It’s TURQUOISE, and very pretty.   The sweater I already had, the scarf, yep, and the skirt, – another flea market find – oooh la la

Again, the big sale shirt from Galleries Lafayette, and a long nylon skirt I’ve had for 5 years and have been waiting for the opportunity to wear it on a SHIP! Because BLACK anything is GOODImage 3 This cute voile top is a gift from a friend in St Louis and it goes very well with the skirt I bought for my son’s wedding.  There is a silk ecru tank that goes underneath!   Image 4

This is the same silk blouse as above, a black and silver scarf and that  very important black long skirt. This cobalt blue color is very popular right now in France.   Ali (my neice) convinced me that the particular handbag I should buy was this great blue color and it is very very beautiful and cheerful.  I’ll keep it forever. Image 5

A cute lace sweater that was NOT a sale item but a present to me, nonetheless.  I fell in love with this pure beige cotton sweater with lace collar and tiny pockets that looks great with a longer top or with jeans.   This is set with the long taupe  skirt/skort from the outdoor marketImage 6

Another outdoor Cassis market sparkly top with built in black voile shirt……looks cool with the long black skirt (yes, same one).

Image 7

I love this brown and golden design silk shirt  – My friend from Australia/Texas/Marseille gave it to me when she was moving back.

It meant a lot…….and it looks great with the taupe skirt/skort – or the caramel tight jeans that are not in the photo.   This will come together nicely with the gold/silver mesh belt, (not shown here)Image 8
a cute cute top from the – can you guess?  YES!  the open marche- it was cheap – like less than 12 euros……..and it’s gorgeous!

I wear a sweater with it usually because I don’t like my upper arms. Goes with – the same – taupe skort as aboveImage 9 This sweater weaved with gold threads is more matronly that I like, but I can do something to make it fit better.  It’s a sweater!

But it goes well with a little black cotton sleeveless dress, and threaded black sweater is good combo

Image 10 This is a georgeous off white peasant blouse that was another huge reduction at Galleries Lafayette.  These huge MAGAZANS ( French department stores) I cannot normally afford but to window shop, but when they have sales, ooooh la la…….thus – the white peasant blouse, that NOT on SALE is not for peasant wages!  Isn’t it lovely?   It coordinates with the long white sparkly silk skirt I bought for Ryan and Anna’s wedding.  Belt as well.   It all comes together here.Image 11

Well, it’s that “basic black dress” only it’s not basic – because it’s not 100 dollars or 100 euros or 350 euros, or 500 dollars (designer)

no – it’s just a simple black stretchy cotton little black dress with my old black and silver scarf………  15 euros at the Marseille marketImage 12 Image 13You’re gonna laugh at this one.  This is a lovely black knitted top I’ve had for 5 years, and – you guessed it – the long nylon-ish/polyester slimming black skirt – and with the right costume jewelry — it all comes together.

The Baggage Train Caper, Rome, THE SHIP – – – – and the Phillipines

After carting 500 + pounds of luggage as we move from France back to SAINT LOUIS MISSOURI, we are extremely grateful not to be in traction.

That being said, our 3 days in Rome were perfect weather and a bit of a culture shock from France.  More about that later.   I do love Rome, but I don’t love anything Italian as much as I love anything French.  That is not  a surprise.

Getting on the ship PRINSENDAM – a Holland America Ship – was a breeze and it was like pure luxury, just to have all that luggage carted up to us in our cabin.   No upgrades, no balcony, but the cabin is so beautiful and we feel more than grateful for what we have.

The most impressive thing so far is that the HAL corporation is sending a huge contribution to the Philippines on behalf of the 2000 + PHLIPPINOS working aboard their ships.  Donations for the typhoon in that country have come in from many passengers on board our ship.   THese are the hardest working and most gentile and lovely people we have ever met.   That country does need our prayers with everything they are going through.

Signing off for now.  I’ll leave with the few pictures that this port town of Cadiz, and it’s WIFI cafe has allowed me to post.

Not for the over 50 set – without strong biceps & legs – —- –

TRAVELING BY TRAIN FROM MARSEILLE TO ROME – 12 HOURS – 500+ POUNDS OF LUGGAGE – by your  NOT so  AVERAGE SENIORS

We do NOT recommend traveling this way if you are MOVING your life back to the U.S. ( we decided to travel this way as the airlines would have charged us many hundreds of euros for these extra and overweight bags.)

Nor do we recommend if you haven’t increased your bicep strength at a local gym for the last 2 years…..As one friend put it to us – – – “You are certifiably mad”      (yep)

HOWEVER,   If you are carrying only 2 bags this would be an excellent way to travel, to see the incredible Italian countryside, and rest and relax.  Which is what we were TRYING for, since we had a dinner party the night before and basically didn’t sleep AT ALL that night before we left.   That being said, I’m glad we did this travel and thankful that we did not put ourselves in traction with the bag lifting and pulling and carrying.

IMG_3296 IMG_3309IMG_3297cassis station – 6:45am – 8th Novembre

A brief outline of how this travel unfolded:

7am- 8th Nov 2013 –

PROVENCE TRAIN –   CASSIS – TOULON

ITALIAN TRAIN -VENTIMIGLIA   – MILAN

TRENITALIA – (EUROSTAR – 300 Km an hour!  – to   ROME “THE ITALIAN EXPRESS”  -( TRENITALIA_ or Eurostar TRAIN FROM MILAN – ROME – —- – arrival:  6:45pm

TRAVELING AT 300 KM AN HOUR – the fastest we have been on land since we arrived 2 years ago.

7:00AM – CASSIS – TOULON  = 45 MINUTES = 2 FLIGHTS OF STEPS UP & DOWN  (our friend Christopher helps us a lot and declares us certified bonkers)

7:45AM – TOULON – NICE = 2 HOURS = 2 FLIGHTS OF STEPS  UP AND DOWN  (ALONE)

10:00AM – NICE – VENTIMIGLIA = 2 FLIGHTS  OF STEPS UP AND DOWN – (ALONE)

11:00  VENTIMIGLIA – MILAN – A PORTER – who gave us our first prejudiced comment in 2 years…” Oh, you should be in FIRST class on this train – not second….SECOND is full of ARABS, you don’t want to be with those Arabs.”  That was funny coming from him – a MOROCCAN!!! ha ha.   But, he did take us to First Class – put the extremely heavy bags UP and above our heads – I had no idea how he lifted them – and how was I going to get them DOWN!!!!!   Nice, as we got the ENTIRE cabin to stretch out.  We gave him 25, when he wanted 70!!!   No way.

14:55PM – MILAN – ROME –  ANOTHER PORTER ANGEL – I SAID ‘HOW MUCH?” HE SAID 10 EUROS – YEAH, NO PROB- AND HE RUSHED BAGS TO THE TRENITALIA – ( THE “FAST TGV FOR ITALY” _)  VERY END CAR – PUT BAGS IN –  We would have NEVER made this train if we had carted the bags by ourselves.  He was extremely fast.   DAVID TIPPED 15 EUROS   – WE TAKE VERY CUSHY SEATS AND THEN GO BACK TO GET COMPUTER BAG………..which was all alone back with other bags and not in my sight.   Not good.

18:45 – ROMA BABY!!!!  WE MADE IT!!!

IMG_3324        IMG_3326

 

Au Revoir – my beautiful France………..

Au Revoir – my beautiful France………...

Au Revoir – my beautiful France………..

Au Revoir my beautiful  FranceIMG_2967

 

It’s that time.  The end of La veritable EAU de MENTON, (depuis 1947) has been emptied.   My favorite citrus perfume in the whole world.   But, now, it’s gone.)

The end of the teaching “fete” – party for my husband was last week.  And it was the most meaningful, beautiful and fun party with lovely people all from his school enjoying the moment, contributing and making my husband feel very much loved.   David is teaching no more for the British Council, except for possibly part-time assignments.   It was most welcomed to hear that he has that opportunity, come summer.

Yes, we are saying goodbye to our beloved France and heading back to the United States of America.  Why?

Not sure.  Well, ofcourse we’re sure.  We have children.

And, Well, because it’s time , that is why.

But listen carefully.   It’s really, okay, honestly.   Many of you have written to us saying, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?  You are my hero(s), you have done what I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do…….are you CRAZY for returning to the United States?   This has been your dream for as long as I have known you!  Why, WHY are you coming back?   Things are really difficult back here.   What are you going to do here?  Really, why are you leaving your fine life to come back here???

People say to us – HOW are you going to Adjust?

No problem, we’ll do what we’ve done for 2 years in another country.  ADAPT.   I think ADAPTATION is one of the most important words in any vocabulary.    If you can adapt, to life, to difficult situations, to any number  of relationships  – WITHOUT giving up your spirit, your true force from within, you have gained everything.

Webster’s defines Adapt as:     make (something) suitable for a new use or purpose; modify:

Adaptability :• able to be modified for a new use or purpose

Thesauruses:   adaptation   noun

1 an adaptation of a Scandinavian folk tale: alteration, modification, redesign, remodeling, revamping, reworking, reconstruction, conversion.adjustment, acclimatization, acclimation, accommodations, habituation, acculturation, assimilation, integration.

That being explained….. Some one wanted me to stay right here  in Cassis, right here in France.

Who?

The weeds wanted me to stay.  If I were to think of the “gods of Cassis”  who didn’t   want me to leave, I would have said that today, –  as one , with the longest of tenacles grabbed a hold of my sandaled foot as I ran over to see the view of the vineyard next door  – and  my foot was held prisoner  and ofcourse, I splattered onto the earth, amidst  pebbles and more weeds under the Olive trees and could not get up for an inordinate amount of time.  While David was at first alarmed, then overly senstive to my mishap – and thinking I’ve really done my knee in – I collasped in incredible gasping for air laughter for about 10 minutes.  Because everytime I tried to get up and David tried to lift my 145 plus poundage, it wasn’t happening, and I got the giggles breathlessly again and again.  No matter how I try, am NOT a graceful person.  Klutz, that’s what I am.

So, ofcourse, it’s the “ gods that want me to stay” – I say.   Yes, STAY, right here in France.

Au Revoir – my beautiful France – my beautiful friends – who have made us feel so very loved and never strangers in another land.     We are blessed beyond measure.

Lie d’Vin – The Dregs of Wine

The Best gift for a cook – ever.

Look it up.  The name is Lie d’Vin and it’s the most velvety, burgundy color, wine binding agent ever to use in sauces and in stews, coq au vin, beef bourguignon – you name it.    It cannot be bought anywhere.  It’s from a winery, take weeks to produce and it helps to know a friend…………………..Who works at a winery.  😉

(Eat your heart out – Julia Child ! )

Mine has gone into lamb chops, coq au vin and the last night in Cassis, it goes into BEEF BOURGUIGNON.

Along with my best ami joining us – in our favorite apartment of our 2 years in France.

Lie d’Vin:

In enology and brewery , the dregs Deigne the yeast dead (and possibly some crop residues) that sediment at the bottom of the container at the end of the fermentation .

During the alcoholic fermentation and the malolactic fermentation , particles appear in the wine or beer is the dregs. It consists ofyeast , the bacteria and flocculated and precipitated organic compounds.

After racking the wine is trapped at the bottom of the tank. Rich in organic matter, it is a potential source of pollution.

It is also the term that is the name of the color burgundy (purplish red).

 

IMG_3185 IMG_3183 IMG_3176 IMG_3167

I have such wonderful friends !!!!

The Man from Another Century

Tonight we met a man from another time and another century.   His name is James.

He survives everyday of his lovely retirement in France taking care of his elderly mother, who doesn’t need taking care of because she still does “wait-staff” work for various theatrical functions in Cassis. She’s almost 90.    Her son meanwhile researches various documents of French history, ranging from the study  of the Capetian dynasty (also known as the House of France, to little known wineries that hold humongous secrets.)

 

L'autoroute française A50 entre Aubagne et Roq...

L’autoroute française A50 entre Aubagne et Roquefort-la-Bédoule (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Flag of the region Île-de-France in F...

English: Flag of the region Île-de-France in France, and of the kingdom of France (s.XIV-XV) Français : Drapeau de la région Île-de-France en France et du royaume de France (s.XIV-XV) 한국어: 이 것은 일드프랑스의 깃발입니다. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the wineries he discussed with us was ROQUEFORT LA BÉDOULE     (  http://www.deroquefort.com/en/winery  )  east of Cassis, and a  medieval village that is NOT on the main stream for tourists.  It’s a secret.      The owner of this prestigious but modest winery is a Marquis, but never mentions this in introductions nor is it embossed on any stationary.  That is from the past, and those that are from a royal Bourbon line mostly keep it low-key or hidden.    The older generation who know who they are,  revere them from afar, but todays young people think of them as “just like them,”  no different, same workers, “boulot, dodo, metro” kind of guy, only with a winery………..  Little do they know…….

James, however,  knew more than the owner about his own legacy with the famous vineyard.   The owner knows, of course,  from where he came, but he does not dwell on his heritage.  He cares impeccably for his vineyard instead.

https://www.facebook.com/deRoquefort

 

James speaks to us of these newest discoveries, our mouths hanging open, because although he cannot always find the English word to describe his newest research project, we get the gist and I start asking questions and making him spell things so that I can later look it up on the internet.  Then the bomb came.  He has no computer, no cell phone, no TV, and continues his work and research not in large “bibliothèque” (Libraries) that often have cameras in the corner, & too many computers, but also have  a security screener, SO, he  instead ops for the small mediathèque  in the smaller villages.  He often looks at and deciphers manuscripts that are ancient texts, that need to be handled with gloves, if they are even able to be handled at all. They used to be.  Not so much now.

I shake my head.  J’adore ma cell phone .  I would not give it up willingly. But I’ve met a man, that has no cell phone, has no desire for one, nor a computer, nor anything that finds answers fast because he says, he “finds it superficial”.  So, he TALKED to us, face to face, describing events.  He tells of  a “ line of the rose”  – Sainte Rosaline  – where he’s knows a possible relative of hers and has a deep desire to talk with her.

English: St Roseline church in Roquefort la Bé...

English: St Roseline church in Roquefort la Bédoule (Bouches du Rhône – France) Français : Église Sainte Roseline à Roquefort la Bédoule (Bouches du Rhône – France) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

She’s a bit difficult and evasive and untouchable, so it’s going to be a difficult road. Even though she’s passionate about her own history, he doubts he can “get his foot in the door.”  Ahhhh, if I just knew French better, I would get in the door for him …..he needs to talk to her.

SO!   This is for my friend Gudrun, who hates technology like James.  I’m lucky to get an e-mail from this gal once a year, on an iPad given to her by her frustrated father-in-law who wanted to remain “connected”.

Frankly being 6000 miles away I  couldn’t dream of not being able to keep in touch with my friends and family without the internet.

But for James, this is not a problem.  He is in Marseille. His mum is in Cassis.   He watches over her, and in between does something in this age that is unheard of……….survives without technology, writes snail mail, researches manuscripts – in a LIBRARY –  –  only has a land-line, never watches television.  Instead, he VISITS people, looks at people  in the eyes, talks to their faces,  – what is this??      I **LOVE** this man.

Few and far between.

This is dedicated to Gudrun and Melanie who are two friends who despite the onslaught of new and innovative progress in the world of a global computer driven networks have remained without.  (I couldn’t do it, but – )    but   – – –  Kudos   to    you that can.

 

 

 

 

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