Thursday, July 4, 2013

reading on the 4th

With the hardback in one hand, my dogeared and much treasured street map of Paris in the other, I am strolling my way through this splendid book.  It traces the journeys of young (and some not-so-young) Americans as they discover the wonder and richness of Paris, traveling between about 1820 - 50.  Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, James Fenimore Cooper, Samuel Morse, Emma Willard (founder of the Emma Willard Seminary for Girls in Troy, NY), and legions of other writers, artists, thinkers, and general all-around flaneurs who discovered themselves while exploring this most wonderful of cities.  I'm doing my homework before our fall trip to spend 6 weeks roaming around France (mainly Paris, Normandy and Brittany).  David McCullough's genius of story-telling is certainly well known and richly rewarded.  This work ranks right at the top.

Moving across the pond, I watched this charming movie yesterday afternoon.  The acting is superb ~ Maggie Smith (who here, as in Downton Abbey, has all the best lines), Billy Connolly, Tom Courtney (remember him in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner?), and Pauline Collins.  The music is gorgeous, the setting stunning, and the story warm and funny.  Two tissues.  I recommend it.

It's hot up here again today but it's supposed to cool a bit tomorrow.  I had to go up to Sacramento yesterday to pick up the iMac from the repair shop.  The video card was beginning to fail and the screen illumination was getting dim.  Several hundred dollars later it's working perfectly.  I should hope so!

Friend GG was to leave today for Cairo to take care of family business.  Wisely, she cancelled.  I should hope so again.

The Fourth of July bbq is marinating; ribs, slaw, corn on the cob, Trader Joe's coffee ice cream for dessert (those last two items are NOT marinating.  I am clarifying this for NN's benefit!)  Enjoy the day one and all.

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