My tres chère amie, partner in our weekly transatlantic conversation and creator of the sublimely elegant blog, Through the French Eye of Design, Jeanne-Aelia Desparmet-Hart, and I have decided to do something decidedly appropriate.
We are treating ourselves to an utterly French indulgence, les vacances. (Why the word vacation is always plural I have never understood. Perhaps it’s because the French have so many of them throughout the year it’s just easier that way.) No matter. Starting today we’re taking our vacances de été.
For those of you unfamiliar with our partnership, Jeanne-Aelia, is French and lives outside New York City and I am American and live outside Paris. Every Monday we converse on random subjects in “Transatlantic Parallel.” We choose a topic together to examine in our adopted lands which because of our official status as les etrangéres, we may find awkward, funny, infuriating, frustrating or just plain odd. Then we share our experiences with you — the good, the bad and the unfortunate — as we daily cope with the cultural pleasures and challenges of living on opposite sides of the Atlantic.
Jeanne-Aelia has lots of travel plans on her agenda for the weeks ahead (I’m sure she will tell you in more detail chez elle), while I never like to leave home in the summer because it is so beautiful where we live this time of year — and of course Paris is a mere 35 minutes away if My-Reason-For-Living-In-France and I are looking for a little action. My plan is to buy a big sun hat, lots of super high SPF creams and loll about — in and out of swimming pools. I may even indulge in a champagne cocktail or two. The one pictured below is from Bon Appétit** (It is loaded with vitamin C, so as you can see it is a healthful summer beverage.)
News bulletin: We shall return. In September, the official French “Rentrée,” when school reopens, Jeanne-Aelia and I will recommence our Transatlantic Parallel exchanges. (BTW, if you would like us to address something you might find intriguing, by all means we would love to hear from you.)
An aside: I love the rentrée because psychologically at least, and all my French friends agree, whether they have children on their way back to school or not, it means a “fresh beginning.” Everyone is rested and ready to start new projects and of course such endeavors require new clothes. It makes one feel as if we too are shopping for back-to-school outfits the way we did way back then.
** Blood Orange Champagne Cocktail1/4 cup creme de cassis
1 1/2 cups strained fresh blood orange juice (about six oranges)1 750-ml. bottle of chilled brut champagne8 blood orange slices for decoration
Spoon 1 1/2 teaspoons cassis into eight flutes or coupes. Add three tablespoons of juice, fill with champagne. Stir gently (if you don’t, it will fizz right up and out of the glass).
See you at the rentrée, chere Jeanne-Aelia et bonnes vacances. In the meantime, I shall carry on alone doing something-or-other amazingly amusing. . .