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Bullwinkle by Paint Fox (Read 3978 times)
Jan 4th, 2004 at 11:01pm

LaurieP   Offline
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The sidewalks of Paris are dotted with large gold plastic bags, a telltale stump protruding from the end.  "It's all over except for the shouting," my father sighs with relief.  Another holiday.  And for the near dozen people who sent me a holiday greeting (electronic or otherwise), I dedicate this edition of artnotes.

Cards must be a thing of the past.  Blair and I made the "Pere Noel and his Donkey" etching into our Christmas card this year.  We sent it to people we don't send this weekly missive to.  A whopping 1,80 Euros postage to the US this year -- on top of the 40 percent decline in the dollar since last Christmas.  We waited until we got to the US to send some.

In France, it is OK to send cards clear until the end of January.  I figure we'll get one or two more.  My most beautiful card was from our accountants.  They are, in fact, transplanted English, a country with a good sense of Christmas.  My most beautiful gift was a piece of ancient Persian steel, from an Iranian-American friend in California.

Riding on the bus through Paris this week is delightful, each neighborhood still arrayed in overhead lights.  We use those large white or colored bulbs, 60 watts at least.  Tang Freres has their own lighting display in front of their store in Chinatown.  We went there yesterday to buy the last of the giant Chinese one-day-at-a-time calendar, which doubles as art paper for me.

All over town, people wish you a "Bonne Annee", "Bonne Sante", as you pay for your merchandise.  The man at our new coffee shop, Le Doucet, has taken to shaking our hand each morning. 

We held a New Year's Eve gala at our house.  New Years is a more serious holiday in France than in the US.  Most adults exchange gifts at that time.  Michel and Nicole brought champagne stoppers for everyone.  It is more likely to "stopper" the champagne these days, as strict drunk driving laws are enforced.  It is lucky we don't have a car. 

We wrote our resolutions on the kitchen wall.  Blair and I are directing our thoughts to succeed in what ever we undertake.  I vow to have patience and speak French.

The dozen of us ate endive stuffed with smoked trout, and Italian ham rolled around cheese -- before we dove into the traditional capon (with cranberry sauce) and foie gras (Macy, our Cordon Bleu chef, was responsible).  We had rum punch (made by Quentin) in addition to the bubbly.   I have five bottles of champagne left over, despite the last guest leaving at 2:30. 

We tossed our worries, written on those calendar pages, into the fireplace about 11 PM.   Anne-Marie quit smoking.  There was no singing of Auld Lang Syne (that is sung at the end of a big French party, not necessarily New Years), but toasts all around.  We threw a new log on the fire.

It snowed on New Year's Day, and I built a tiny snowman.  We threw snowballs at posters on the kiosk.  I hit the target first time.

Happy New Year from Blair and Laurie (painting and text) Pessemier
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