I have no desire whatsoever to visit the United States of America

I am horrified – aghastwe all are, at the terrible things going on in that once-great country. I used to go to the USA all the time, I have friends and relatives there; now, it’s the last place I want to visit. Your country scares the hell out of me.

“Make America great again!” said Trump. Are you kidding me?

All those senseless, egregious killings of black people … what the hell is going on?? How can those racist killer-cops do what they do with impunity? Why are they not serving jail sentences for murder? Where’s the justice?

Here are the latest casualties. Note that these three individuals were unarmed: Ahmaud was jogging. Breonna was sleeping in her bed. George was sitting in a car.

George Floyd, a 46-year-old man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for approximately nine minutes while he was handcuffed and lying chest down on the road.

Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician. Shot eight times inside her own home by Louisville police officers after they entered her apartment with a drug warrant looking for someone else.

Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old man, killed by two trigger-happy residents while jogging in south Georgia. Gregory McMichael, one of the accused, was an ex-cop.

Since when is jogging, sleeping in one’s own bed or sitting in a car considered a crime?What were their crimes? That they were black? Is being black a crime in the USA?

And while we’re on the subject of crimes, let’s not forget the depraved President and his repulsive cohort-conspirator, Mitch McConnell. The following words come to mind when I think of them: evil, profiteering, morally-bankrupt, white-collar thugs. How anyone could vote for Donald J. Trump is utterly incomprehensible to me. In fact, it’s not even Trump I blame, it’s the people who voted for him and put him in the White House.

Taylor Swift tweeted this re Trump  – After stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency, you have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence? We will vote you out in November.

We used to love and even look up to the USA. No longer. The good times are a distant memory now.

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post-Covid shopping in the Marais district

It was wonderful to walk the streets and pop into shops again (like we used to.)  We’re not 100% out of the tunnel, but the light suggests that our terrible three-month ordeal is nearing its end. Hallelujah. God, it was awful.

Yesterday, my friend and I met up at W.H. Smith bookstore on the rue de Rivoli. It was a beautiful warm and breezy early-summer day, perfect for strolling. The streets and shops were near-empty, not because of Covid, but because this is a long 4-day weekend and many Parisians have left town. Thursday was Ascension Day, a statutory holiday in this country.

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It’s obligatory to wear a mask on public transport. From W.H. Smith, we walked leisurely to the Marais, popping into shops along the way. The rue des Francs Bourgeois is one of the main shopping streets in the Marais district.

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There’s a huge EATALY, opened exactly one year ago, located at number 37 rue Sainte Croix la Bretonnerie. Pre-Covid, you could barely get into the place. Yesterday we strolled in and it was near-empty. I purchased a bag of sun-dried cherry tomatoes, Lavazza espresso capsules (biodegradable) and a jar of tomato sauce with wild fennel.

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We strolled some more and ended up at Mariage Frères, the temple of tea located at number 30 rue du Bourg-Tibourg.

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This is a must-visit place, if only for the mingled scents of exotic teas. I purchased 100 grams of perfumed jasmine tea. My friend bought Earl Grey French Blue and some other blends. In each shop, masks are obligatory as well as the squirting of antiseptic gel onto hands at the entrance. I swear, by the end of the morning I had the cleanest, most sanitized hands in all of Paris.

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This Mexican place below used to be a French bistro, called Le Coude Fou, a favorite of mine for decades. Here’s what I wrote about it a few years ago –

Another cozy, authentic place that calls itself a true Parisian bistro. Located at number 12 Rue du Bourg Tibourg, 4th arrondissement. Because it’s small, reservations are essential. Lots of wood: wooden bar, small wooden tables, tiled floor. Excellent wine list.

It’s sad when your favorite places disappear. A lick of paint, a change of name, and it’s gone. Le Coude Fou means, literally, The Crazy Elbow. I can only imagine that this refers to standing at the bar, elbow bent, with a glass of wine in your hand.

a perfect, post-Covid Sunday

The weather was perfect this weekend: sunny and 18°C (64°F). I returned to the wooded area near my apartment … it was packed! After two months of house arrest, the whole of Paris, it seemed, had headed to green spaces with their friends, family, dogs, etc. It was nice to see. Here in Europe, we’re slowly moving back to normality. However, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has told us that we cannot travel outside of France this summer.

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So I had to cancel my trip to Portugal early-June and lost money, not much. I was hoping to go to London in August, but now I cannot. At least, as from July, I can go up to Lille, see the kids and spend time at my friend’s small house in the countryside surrounded by fields. I’m craving nature. It’s been a rough two months FOR US ALL, rougher and devastating for those who lost loved ones because of the virus, and for that I am sorry.

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Poor kids. I feel sorry for young people today. WE never went through anything like this (Coronavirus.) I believe I have baby boomer guilt. When I think back to my teen years and how insouciant I was, we all were. When I was the age of these kids above, I was riding horses, driving a car, riding my bike, hangin’ out with my gal pals (and boys), going to high school, weekend parties and listening to Elton John and Supertramp. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram didn’t exist, and I believe we were better off for it. What’s weird about social media is that it isn’t social.

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But this – sitting in the long grass in groups on a beautiful pre-summer Sunday evening – this is social. A craving to talk, face-to-face, to assemble and gather; it was palpable.

mine is bigger than yours

Listening to Donald Trump brag about his new “super-duper missile” (and in the midst of a deadly pandemic!), seventeen times faster than those of China and Russia, this is basically what it boils down to: mine is bigger than yours. You can see where his priorities are. And what world leader says “Super-duper”?

I’m sick of reckless, feckless boy-men running the world (and ruining it.) I’m even sicker of the people who vote for them. Who to blame? Trump, or his supporters who gave him all that power?

And have you noticed something these self-involved fellas have in common? Multiple wives and numerous children from different marriages. What does that tell you about fidelity and long-term commitment? Look at Boris Johnson: two ex-wives, four children, and he’s just had his fifth child with his new girlfriend, Carrie. She’s 32, he’s 55. Age difference, 23 years. (There are rumours of a sixth, unknown child conceived while he was Mayor of London.)

Trump has been married three times and has five children, three from first wife Ivana; one from second wife, Marla Maples; and one from his current wife. Melania is 50, Donald is 73. Age difference, 23 years.

Does this kind of man need to spread his seed to feel …virile? And what’s with all the groping, harassment and sexual assault scandals swirling around so many male politicians? Sick of it. When will these hoggish adolescents grow up? We need role models, not these sorry excuses of men.

We need smart women leaders, and there are lots of them. I was very disappointed when Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the presidential race. If I were American, I would have voted for her. Look at New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern and Germany’s Angela Merkel and their impeccable handling of COVID-19 (and other disasters.)

From The New York Times:

Countries led by women seem to be particularly successful in fighting the coronavirus. Germany, led by Angela Merkel, has had a far lower death rate than other European countries. Finland, where Prime minister Sanna Marin, 34, governs with a coalition of four female-led parties, has had fewer than 10 percent as many deaths as other Scandinavian countries. And Tsai Ing-wen, the president of Taiwan, has presided over one of the most successful efforts in the world at containing the virus, using testing, contact tracing and isolation measures to control infections without a full national lockdown.

But my intention is not to trash all men, just some of them. There are male leaders that I like, Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron, to name two. Oh, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/15/super-duper-missile-us-trump-military

the latest fashion trend from Paris

Here it is, folks. The latest fashion trend direct from Paris! (You saw it here first.)

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Rubber dish gloves can lift a dull outfit from the doldrums. See how the pink adds a pop of color to an otherwise cheerless ensemble.

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As for the must-have reusable face mask, it’s the most versatile accessory in your drawer. If you’re looking for something to mix and match with just about everything in your wardrobe, a face mask is something you should definitely get your hands on – but make sure those hands have been thoroughly washed!  See how it completes the rest of the outfit.

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Depending on the fabric and color, it can turn your attire into evening wear, daytime, formal or casual wear.

(Seriously, folks, I don’t know if people in other countries wear COVID-protective dish gloves out in the streets, but here in France it is très en vogue.)