Les Intouchables, Paris and Random Thoughts

April in Paris
I watched Intouchables, a French movie on Netflix, last night. The film is based on a true story of the unlikely relationship between a wealthy French man, played by François Cluzet, and his Senegalese caregiver, played by Omar Sy. The film had an upbeat feel to it, lots of scenes of happier days in Paris and a musical score that included both classical and contemporary music. The film was recommended to me by a friend and was the second biggest box office hit in the history of French film. People do like a movie with a positive message.
Does everyone have a picture from behind the d'Orsay clock?
My brother who visited me, with his wife in 2012, has been editing his photos of Paris. My brother has been taking pictures seriously for many years (not point and shoot like me) and so I was glad to receive some of his favourites. This will be my first year in the last five that I have not visited Paris so I am always happy to share other people's photos, adventures, wardrobe planning….
My brother probably took hundreds of pictures.
It's funny! For most of my life I have not taken photos or even owned a camera. When I was young and first married, we had a Kodak camera and took pictures of our daughter and of vacations. It cost money for film and developing so "photography" always seemed a luxury activity. When I was a single parent, my boyfriend (now Monsieur) loaned me a camera for my first visit to France. It was a Pentax camera and I had to change film and make adjustments to settings. I was always afraid of making a mistake and missing an important photo opportunity. Since then, I have had a series of small digital cameras but I think that I really need a course. It would be so helpful to my blogging since a photo can be an inspiration for writing.
poetry on a wall

What patience!
On the subject of writing, I am going to visit with my editor to go over my first outline. I am nervous but the only way to take a project to publication (other than a blog) is to listen to suggestions and criticism and to keep writing. I have created a main character to whom I can relate and whose motivations I understand, a setting that is familiar to me and a list of 10 possible situations….Now I have to see whether any of this would be "marketable" as a children's book. I am hoping to be at a "serious writing stage" before I leave for Oaxaca. 

An interesting topic is being discussed at church in the next few weeks: solidarity vs. charity. Is it enough to give to those less fortunate or is it important that the distinctions of "have" and "have not"
disappear? For me, I'm definitely on the fence. I would feel uncomfortable sharing one of our "community dinners" when I can afford food. I am willing to teach for free in Mexico because I have a pension but I don't want to get involved in Mexican politics. I am looking forward to these discussions in the next few weeks.

There are always new questions to ask, new ideas to think about….


  1. Beautiful photos of Paris. I looked up the poem on the wall - by Rimbaud - and I wonder if the wall overlooks the river.
    Your church's discussion about charity vs solidarity is sure to be thought-provoking. We lived, for a number of years, in a foreign country among people much poorer in material possessions than ourselves. We found that when we entered into their lives, in all of the little and big joys and sorrows, we became closer. I remember sitting in a clinic waiting room with one of my children and across the room I saw another mother from an indigenous jungle tribe waiting with her child. She cradled her baby's head with her hand just as I did with mine. Ah, I thought, we are not so very different.

  2. The wall is on rue Ferou in the 6th arrondissement and was completed in June 2012. As we meet and come to know others, we find that there are similarities between all people. Mothers and children…The indigenous family, the family at the food bank are all like us. Perhaps, if we thought of others as we think of ourselves, we could all live peaceful lives.

  3. Gorgeous photos -- I'll be going to Paris for a week with my sister in May, but Paul and I are like you in also breaking a Paris-travel-pattern this year. First time in 11 years we won't spend time there together. And the shortest visit to France, for me, in that many years. Unlike you, I don't have other big travel plans to compensate, so I'm wondering how the change is going to hit me -- getting ready for retirement, I guess, which will bring many such changes. (and we're planning an extended stay for 2016, so I should be able to hold on . . . )
    I'm so admiring of the way you've moved forward on so many of your goals since retiring and I wish you every success with your writing project.

  4. I feel a tug and so does my friend Janet who has visited me the last 3 years. Oaxaca will be a different experience. You will miss the shared time with Paul but I have enjoyed spending a bit of travel time with each of my brothers and with my sister. Have you and your sister travelled together before? I am a person who needs to have projects that I can work on independently. It seems that in retirement, I need a balance between personal time and interaction. My writing project is moving very slowly but I am definitely learning about writing and publishing. I also value the time to meet with someone to "talk books".

  5. The movie Les Intouchables was recommended to me by the French-born husband of one of my former teaching colleagues. It was great!!


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