Tag Archives: France

Sans frontières

“The more primitive a man is, the better he believes himself to be…Doubt and tolerance are the characteristics of civilised man.”
— Marill to Kern, in Prague

East Berlin

In January, 1984, one of the few places you could cross into East Berlin was at the Friedrichstrasse station, a transfer point for the U– and S-bahn, subway and tram. There you went through East German passport control, had your passport stamped, were several times informed that you could only stay for twenty-four hours, and last, but most important to the government of the ironically named German Democratic Republic, the required currency conversion from a Western currency (dollars, francs, lira, etc.) to the Mark der DDR; since I travelled with West German Marks, I converted those. The coins of East Germany felt so cheap that I could easily snap a coin in half. Continue Reading

A Tale of Two Fingers….and One Tendon

November, 2009 – Belmont, California My Japanese garden machete is from Soko Hardware in San Francisco. Soko is one of those urban hardware stores where in addition to finding screws, toilet plungers, and extension cords, there’s a large selection of white paper lamp shades, pottery in dark blues, greens, and golds; metal teapots, and craft… Continue Reading

The Photo Issue

Pictures from 2017: mostly from our summer trip to southeast Asia, but some are from France. Those from Montpellier I took on 21 December: getting up early on this day is the easiest day during the year to get the morning light. There’s a second page of photos after the first 50. Clicking in a… Continue Reading


On Thursday, November 30, American Public Media (APM) emailed all subscribers that today was the final newsletter edition of “The Writer’s Almanac” – the program would no longer be distributed by APM, which was terminating all contracts with Garrison Keillor and his private media companies after allegations of inappropriate behavior. Continue Reading

Moments in France

Another collection of jottings, cut scenes found on the editing room floor, reminders written on receipts, things remembered, and various marginalia. Some of the writings were also found on an old envelope (our team has a hard time throwing out things, especially if they are on paper). On the back of the envelope was a… Continue Reading

Things Left Undone – Five Years in France

Things Left Undone – Five Years in France

There are different views about getting things done, and not getting things done. Raised in the Episcopal Church, and for a few years an acolyte, which meant some Sundays I went to two  church services, I came to know very well the Book of Common Prayer (a 1920’s version).  A passage, from the General Confession for… Continue Reading