Sunday Read: American Rose (Magazine of the American Rose Society)

Self decided to join the American Rose Society this year, and was so happy to receive their magazine.

The July/August issue has a very interesting article about Memorable Rose Gardens by Mike and Angelina Chute.

“All great gardens are dynamic, constantly changing over time . . . “

She’s never heard of any of the gardens. There’s one called Roseraie de L’Hay, “in the municipality of Val-de-Marne, five miles south of Paris, and only 30 minutes by train.” From the train station, it’s “a short bus ride to the little rose garden.”

There’s one in Rome, Il Roseto, “located on the slopes of the Aventine Hill, a short walk from the Colosseum. Il Roseto is built on a site once home to a Jewish cemetery. In memory of the cemetery and those that had been buried there, the garden’s paths are laid out in the shape of a menorah.”

There’s Queen Mary’s Rose Garden in Regent’s Park in northwest London (also home of the London Zoo) and there are “approximately 12,000 roses on display.”

And there is Austin Roses in Shropshire, “an agricultural area in England’s West Midlands.”

Next time she’s in Europe, she’ll make it a point to see some of these fabulous rose gardens.

In the meantime, there’s a pretty fabulous rose garden in Filoli, less than 10 minutes’ drive away. And here are a few pictures self took of her own roses:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

How To Be

Fabrizio’s looks save him over and over again. After the defeat of the French, he stumbles across the canteen woman who, despite having lost her cart and her horse, is still intent on protecting him.

Chapter Four, The Charterhous of Parma:

Canteen Woman (That’s all she ever goes by) to Fabrizio: “Get yourself away from this defeated army; find some way out . . . The first chance you get, buy yourself some civilian clothes. Once you’re eight or ten leagues away and you don’t see any more soldiers, take the mail-coach and rest up for a couple of weeks in some nice town where you can eat beefsteaks . . . As soon as you’ve got a gentleman’s clothes on your back, tear up your travel-permit . . . never say you were in battle, and don’t breathe a word about Bonaparte . . . When you want to go back to Paris, get yourself to Versailles first, then enter Paris from that side, walk right in as if you were out for a stroll. Sew your napoleons into your trousers. And above all, when you have to pay for something, don’t let anyone see more than what you need to pay. The saddest thing of all is that people are going to cheat you and gouge you out of all you have, and what will you do once you have no money, when you don’t even know how to take care of yourself?”

A. N. Wilson: Foreword to COLONEL CHABERT

There are three categories of men in the Paris of the 1830s who habitually robed themselves in black: the Priest, the Doctor, and the Lawyer.

A Boucherie Chevaline: The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Pt 2

  • The golden horse’s head outside the Boucherie Chevaline where the carcasses hung yellow gold and red in the open window, and the green-painted cooperative where they bought their wine; good wine and cheap.

Dinner with Rex (BR, p. 156)

If I had to spend an evening with him, it should, at any rate, be in my own way. I remember the dinner well — soup of oseille, a sole quite simply cooked in a white wine sauce, a caneton a la presse, a lemon soufflé. At the last minute, fearing that the whole thing was too simple for Rex, I added caviar aux blinis. And for wine I let him give me a bottle of 1906 Montrachet, then at its prime, and, with the duck, a Clos de Beze of 1904.

Living was easy in France then; with the exchange as it was, my allowance went a long way and I did not live frugally.

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Poetry Thursday: Csilla Toldy

Self met Csilla at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, which has introduced her to so many wonderful voices.

From the collection Red Roots — Orange Sky (Belfast: Lapwing Publications, 2013)

A FRAGMENT

In Parc de Luxembourg,
hiding under fallen leaves —
A fountain — messenger
from a sea of amber — Verdigris.

Its well-stone, formerly
Neptune’s set of teeth, now
water-pouring standstill
tossing threat for dragons.

In its far angle a more
Humanoid structure,
a spun-into-form world-element.
It longs, broods and hovers —

above all that is left.


Csilla Toldy was born in Hungary. She escaped from the socialist bloc through the green borders at the age of eighteen in 1981. She now lives in northern Ireland.

Niall in THE PARASITES, p. 164

The song hit the ceiling, and echoed from the walls; it was fun to do, it was play. But he did not want to write it down. He did not want to have the sweat and toil of writing it down. Why not pay someone else to do that part? And, anyway, once he had thought of a song, and played it, and sung it to himself and Freada about fifty times, it was out of his system, he was bored with it, sickened of it, he did not even want to hear it any more. As far as he was concerned, the song was finished. It was like taking a pill, and the pill having worked, he wanted to pull the plug on it. Finish. Now what next? Anything? No. Just lean over the balcony under the sun. And think about the foie de veau there was going to be for lunch.

Niall, 18, a precociously gifted songwriter, has just run off to Paris with Freada a much older woman, a friend of his parents. He is secretly in love with his stepsister, but that’s apparently more of a taboo than running off to Paris with a friend of his parents, so that other love goes unrequited.

Self loves how taboo-breaking this book is. Not to mention, the writing is drop-dead gorgeous.

When Niall and Freada take the evening air along the Parisian boulevards, no one gives this May-December pairing a second glance, it seems the most natural thing in the world:

The sky turned an amber colour, like Freada’s scent, and an amber glow came upon the city, spreading from the west, touching the roofs and the bridges and the spires.

Gorgeous scene-setting. Self hasn’t read a novel like this in a long, long time. Maybe not since Once Upon a River.

Stay tuned, dear blog reader. Stay tuned.

 

Throwback Friday: Raindrops, Paris (Photo-a-Week Challenge)

For only her second post participating in Nadia Merrill’s Photo-a-Week Challenge, she has to go back, waaaaay back, to 30 December 2017. She’d just spent one of the loneliest Christmases ever, in Paris. Lo and behold, when it was time for her to leave, she realized she’d come to feel comfortable in Paris (after spending two weeks holed up in a hotel just a few blocks from the Arc de Triomphe, where a very discreet hotel staff never asked her a single personal question, and only interfered with her routine once, when they insisted she go to the Louvre on Christmas Day — No lines, Madame!)

This week’s Photo-a-Week Challenge is RAINDROPS.

She thinks that’s what’s going on in these pictures. Or mebbe she was just too tired and it was too early in the morning and her hand was shaking. She was in a cab headed to the airport, where she was going to fly, first, to London, and then to the Philippines.

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Paris, December 2017

My Love to Paris

CNN Breaking News: People are mourning “the loss of a good part of Notre Dame Cathedral.”

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