Friday, May 07, 2010

Bits et pieces

Yesterday, we took what, in retrospect, was a forced march across Paris. (Distances on map not as close as they first appear.)

Fortunately, at the other end, we had a wonderful late lunch/early dinner at L’Esplanade, a very nice restaurant overlooking Les Invalides, where Napoleon is buried. We didn’t visit Nappy this time, but did pop in last year when we were here with our nieces. By the time we got to Les Invalides, we were, metaphorically speaking, like the two cartoon guys crawling through the desert toward the oasis.  Lucky for us, the oasis wasn’t a mirage, and we both had a very nice risotto with l’angoustine. (Of course, it should have been nice at over $40 for what might have been a cup, cup and a half of risotto and a couple of teeny-tiny little mini-lobsters.) Throw in a kir royale a piece, and one molten chocolate lava cake (two spoons), and it all adds up…

We walked a bit afterwards – what were we thinking? – before throwing ourselves in the path of a cab and taxiing home.

I think we put in at least 15 miles yesterday. We’re big walkers, but this was a bit over our typical long walk form.

Today, we take it easier. A bit. Perhaps we’ll hang in listening to CNN news until it warms up to 50 degrees…

Right now, we’re trying to find out if there’s a parade celebrating VE Day tomorrow.

There has been other times we’ve been in Paris on May 8th, so we’ll head over to the Arc d’Triomphe tomorrow someday to see what’s up.

We’re also keeping a close eye on the volcano ash, which is now managing to close airports in Ireland and Scotland.

With luck it will stay where it is for the time being, and we’ll be all set to return home on Sunday.

Meanwhile, here’s what’s being covered by International CNN:

  • Here, here. No pure winner in the UK election. We get Florida, they get a hung Parliament, in which – can this be right? -  the Queen has some bigger role than she normally does with respect to the government.
  • Dow, now. Watching the newscasters and (ahem) experts huff and puff over yesterday’s market rollercoaster reminds us of how the weather forecasters go nuts over any “weather event”. How much is really news and how much is just revving things up so we’ll keep watching?
  • Beware of Greeks. Watching the Greeks rioting has not been edifying. Part of me is channeling some pretty Tory thoughts their way. (As in, ‘For god’s sake, you should be grateful that the EU’s bailing you out of your self-inflicted problems. Just suck it up and get with the pay-cut program…’) The other part of me is wondering whether this is the spectacle we can expect if the US ever, say, raises the Social Security age to 70, and the gray-haired Tea Baggers start thinking, ‘hey, just wait a derned minute…’ Or, whether this is what we’ll see if the “retirement age” isn’t raised to 70 and the “young folks” (Gen X, et al.) start agitating against the Boomers, who will no doubt become the blame-game punching bag (who, me?) for whatever social and economic ills we end up experiencing. I would hope we would behave better, but…

Meanwhile, we’re almost ready to come home. Paris is magnifque and all that. But, at this point, I don’t want to worry about a motor scooter mowing me down on the sidewalk. And I’m sick of all those smokers outside the cafes. I want to watch baseball.

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