Paris is cold and rainy. Parisians are very out of sorts with the weather, calling it “October weather.” Unfortunately, Susie and I packed for late spring and early summer, so we have been scrambling to pull out the winter clothes we have stored here. When I took my early morning walk this morning, a model in a strapless wedding dress was leaning against the railing on the little bridge leading to Nôtre Dame on the Île de la Cité, being photographed. She must have been frozen!
The television doesn’t work, because I need a ten digit client number and a four digit code, and the number and code I have don’t work. Is it just me?
Yesterday, a man shot himself to death on the altar of Nôtre Dame as a political protest. The newspapers today identify him as Dominique Venner, a 78 year old veteran of the paratroopers in the Algerian War and an intellectual of the extreme right, well-known in those circles. Needless to say, shooting yourself on the altar of Nôtre Dame is considered a no-no even among the notoriously secular French. This is the 850’th anniversary of the construction of the cathedral [which took well over a century to build, so I am not are how they count the years], a big tourist draw.
Every country, it seems, has its characteristic right-wing extremists. They are alike in their belief that the world they knew is disappearing and being taken over by barbarians, although they differ in the precise way in which they think the world going to hell in a handbasket . In France, the focal point of this sentiment is the loss of the Algerian War and the influx of North Africans, which is to say Muslims. However, the trigger for Venner’s act of extreme protest was the new law, just now going into effect, that legalizes same-sex marriage. Although this is now the law of the land, there is a large backlash, and this Sunday a big “manifestation,” or demonstration is planned in Paris in protest.
I shall report on it next week.
A simple meal this evening of dorade royale [fish], leeks, and mushrooms.