43 degree and climbing

It has been said that this was and still is the hottest day in New South Wales for a very long time. Bush fires are erupting, firemen are on a high alert, electricity supply can be cut off or in some areas it may have been. So, no one is outside. Even Nimbin Artists Gallery where I do some voluntary work has shut down for the afternoon. Not a soul in the village apparently.

What a better time to sit down and finally scribble a few words.I had not done so for quite a while, but the hot weather is almost forcing me…well, sort of, to sit down in the quiet of the home. I do say quiet. The bird songs are almost inaudible. A few crows around as usual probably spying on the egg situation in the chicken run. All is quite still as the sun pounds hard on the earth. Its rays ferociously harsh on the plants. Where to hide? In the coolest place in front of the fan where everyone has assembled. Dogs, cats and humans are all enjoying the coolness of the room.

But this did not stop me from baking bread today!

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So, here I am rambling about the weather. How mundane?  For a long time I have been delaying to put pen to paper choosing instead to read. But given the present situation what a better time to finally sit down and start and meander through the year that was.

Last year we had the visit of my cousin on my mother’s side. he only relative that came and stayed with us for a few days. My son Sulma and his lady Tum, were among us and it was the first time that Claude and him met. They did have a few days together in Nimes when they were 4 and 5. Both played and fought according to my aunt Georgette. The reunion was just brilliant.  Many friends came to join us for a BBQ and a chat. It was a very pleasant afternoon. Claude and I remained in the study for a while to catch up on family matters. Just before they left to fly back to Paris, we were all invited to visit them in Aix en Provence this year. We are all going. My aunt will be absolutely delighted .

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Tickets have been bought, houses rented, and itinerary worked out. We can’t wait!

Then, later in the year, we traveled to Thailand and stayed with Sulma and Tum. My oldest girl friend Elizabeth, came from Frejus and spent 2 weeks with us all. It was just so pleasurable to be all together.

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We flew to Phnom Penh where we met some very old friends, enjoyed the city again and I went for a checkup at my old dentist. Still there after 20 years  and enjoying the life in Cambodia.http://www.eurodentalcambodia.com/ Elizabeth took a short trip to Siem Reap and loved it, while Peter and I feasted on some delicious Italian food and French gourmet chain .http://maison-kayser-cambodia.asia/our-story-and-mission/. We scoured Russian Market again, Psah Thmey and our favourite jeweler, M. Kim Seng and his family where we splashed yet again.  We were received like old friends and exchanged news of our respective families.

Relaxed in the pool at the hotel and took short trip to around the town showing El the sites and meandering through the busy streets. And not to forget the fabulous cocktails Mai Thai at the hotel we stayed at called “Le 252”

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The most important part of the trip was the meeting with of our Khmer family if I may call it that. Hoeun, Panha and M. Kit. All used to share our home where we lived in Phnom Penh. Diners, lunches and trips around Phnom Penh on their motor bikes. The good old days! We all spent delicious moments together.

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Well, till next time!

My best friend and a puzzle.

El and Peter in Paris last year.2014
El and Peter in Paris last year.2014

The other day I received a present from a very old friend of mine. We went to school together in Paris and really go back a few decades. In fact she is more of a sister to me than a friend.

We have known each others parents, brothers and sisters. We have been to each others’ house over the years and have shared very intimate thoughts. We keep in touch quite regularly and chat about all sorts of things.

So, as I said above I received a lovely present from her the other day. Of course I was quite touched by the gesture and the intention. She knows my tastes in perfumes and my weakness for some candies that we used to have when we were kids. A special shop in Paris where I used to live (that still exists) stocks the same ones we bought some 40 years ago. A real treat. The owner is no longer alive but his daughter has taken over and sell the same things. The only difference is the prices have shot up something shocking. What we used to buy for a few centimes is now quite a few Euros and really a luxury when you buy a couple of packet that amounts to 20 or 30 Euros. And I did not buy many of them.

So here I am with the parcel that she sent. Inside of course, superb perfume from Fragonard. A very famous perfumery in South of France in Grasse. Candies, and a couple of trinkets. A pumpkin shaped porcelain container and a chicken.  I was in a quandary.  This is not the sort of things that I want to have around the place. Not because I did not like them but because I do not want any more bits and pieces to display around the house. I was elated and at the same time annoyed.

I think it reaches a point in one’s life where we do not want any more gadgets, any more ornaments, any more decorative objects, any more items that you have to move around and about to clean behind them, under them and around them. I do not want to be surrounded with items that are gathering dust. Sure I do appreciate the thought and the expense that she went through, but from my point of view they really have no value except taking room and not really functional.

All this to get to the point of why do we accumulate? Sentimental reasons, souvenirs, memories, momentum. I don’t really know. I guess like my mother in law used to say:” to each his own”. I respect that especially coming from my best friend. I fully realise in the end that it is a gesture from the heart and dear El I am truly grateful that you thought of me and have me in your heart all the time. I did tell her tho, that it was not my favourite trinkets. She fully accepted that. We are too close for me not to tell her what I thought and there is so much between us. I know that you understand me completely. I also know it is very delicate to say that sort of things, I have said it. It took  me a while and I have played with the idea also of not telling you anything. . But it was beyond me and I took courage to be frank. So, I told what was on my mind over Skype. Thank you for being so gracious about it.

Till next time.