It is now blatantly obvious that the regularity of my posts have reduced. There are many reasons to that situation, amongst which the delightful arrival of a little one, three years ago, who has since been playing a growing part in my daily workload. But that is not all.

Walking in the valley.

In fact, I started that blog with the conviction that as a foreigner in an alien country I would find tons of topics to talk about. That I would be able to endlessly dissert on the cultural disparities between my referential scheme and the civilisation I was now living in. And it has indeed been for years a great source of inspiration.

But I reckon that nowadays I am less and less surprised by the Brits. It is maybe what people call assimilation: I have blended in, with my British-born son playing the mixologist role by naturally seeding insights on an on-going basis. It feels that I am no longer looking at this society from the outside, or from up there as I say in the above description... I am now in the valley, amongst the passer-by's down here. For god sake, I had to roast some beef on Sunday last week, that sums it all!

But don't get me wrong though, I am still not citizen of her royal majesty and have no intention to become one at this point of time. There are still many of these French/British paradoxes that remain true to who I am. I am still puzzled by some idioms and in turn my French sometimes catch my friends off-guard.

And yet something has changed.

Euro pudding.

In fact, I watched this week one of my favourite movies, Cedric Klapisch's L'auberge Espagnole (i.e. Pot Luck or Euro Pudding). For anyone who has lived an Erasmus-like experience, the one-year adventures of a French economy graduate student in a Barcelonan multicultural flat-share will resonate.

But Cedric Klappish and I share more than a first name. Many of his lines in his filmography find a positive echo in my own life. I quoted him in my wedding ceremony for instance. And there was a sentence in L'Auberge Espagnole which really encapsulate how I probably feel today. Loosely translated that would sound like:
When you arrive in a city, you see streets in perspective. Lines of meaningless buildings. Everything is unknown, virgin territory. Here we are. And later we will have walked these streets. We will have reached the vanishing point. We will have gotten to know the buildings. We will have lived stories with people. When we will have lived in that city, walked this street ten, twenty, a thousand times... At that point of time the city will be yours, because we will have lived it.
L’auberge espagnole, Xavier.


The Saturday Shot #27: let it fall.

Autumnal chair
It is this time of the year yet again! If autumn is usually synonymous of doom, gloom, spleen... For me it is an Ideal. Autumn first of all is a brilliant subject for photography. I loved walking the Japanese back-country a few years ago to capture its reddening. I like clicking around the parks in Paris or elsewhere to snap as the ground blends with the remainder of the canopy. More recently I have started enjoying sharing with my little one the exhilarating feeling to kick dead leaves around (a shared pleasure I can testify).

But one more reason for enjoying fall as our friends from the other side of the Atlantic refer to it... is that it precedes Winter! This year, more than ever, I have been looking forward to the first snow flake. Dreams of deep snow-covered slopes have been haunting me. Ski magazines have materialised on my bed-side table. Internet session history have logged more and more time on sites like this one or this one... I have always been impatient. This year will not be an exception.

And to conclude with another appropriate quote from my home country:

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower".  Albert Camus (1913-1960)