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Thanks for resting your eyeballs here for a moment.(They are resting, right?) If you rest them a little longer, you may learn some interesting,(hopefully)entertaining, and, yes, ocassionally BIZARRE things about FRENCH COUNTRY LIFE (more…)

| June 24th, 2009 | Continued

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French Loire Chateaus Part Two – Chateau Ussé


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Virtually every French Loire Chateau has -as do almost all French Chateaus – a marketable feature. A unique “something” (or something presented as such) designed to snare the attention of Chateau surfers. Something more than the age of it’s stones or how many nobles were born, died or murdered there.

Chenonceau – The rivalry between Catherine di Medici and Diane de Poitiers. Islette – The tempestuous romance of Rodin and Camille Claudel. Amboise – The Leonardo di Vinci connection.(Now the town’s major industry.) OK – you’re getting my drift. Are you not?

But, for me, the French Chateau that takes the cake(and the topping cherry) in the Chateau Marketing sweepstakes is the Chateau du Ussé.(rhymes with “Lucy”) While it’s not ON the Loire, it is in the Loire Valley in the neighbouring district of Touraine. (Pronounced “Tor- En”)Famous for it’s woodsy Gamay Wines.
Although a river does not run through it. A small but pleasant one, does run parallel to it on the opposite side of the road .

But clearly, those facts, fascinating as they may be, do not make Chateau Ussé the King of the Chateau marketing hill.The one that does begins with those classic advertising copywriting words : “Legend has it.”

And in for Chateau Ussé in particular “Legend has it” that Charles Perrault, the Author of the classic tale of the unstoppable power of love – Sleeping Beauty” was inspired to, and did in fact, create said tome at Chateau Ussé. (You probably guessed Walt Disney, right?) )

And yes, high atop the Chateau, there is an entire chambre devoted to the re-creation of the Prince placing his Princely lips, ever so tenderly, on those of the Sleeping Beauty. Sadly, you can’t enter this glassed in scene. But you can ooh and ahh through the glass.

But wait -there’s more! A whole lot more. Continuing to vamp on the “Life in the 19th century” theme, throughout the Chateau mannequins faithfully attired in 19th century costumes are presented in a variety of scenes. From drawing room to laundry room. And beyond.

Truly one of the most imaginative and authentic representations of “Life in another time” I’ve experienced in my not unsubstantial French Chateau travels.

I think visitors(and I include myself here) reasonate particularly with these presentations, because they allow us to view “Life in another time” that is much closer to ours. Not dusty,unconfirmed “legends” from 500 years ago; that soul stirring/imagination firing as they may be, don’t make the same connection.

You can make your Sleeping Beauty connection in this video:

What are ya thinkin’?

Bicycle Gourmet 2017 – New Years Wish

Bicycle Gourmet 2017 – New Years Wish

If it’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words – then this one has an uncountable amount –

bicycle gourmet 2017

Make it your Mantra for this, and all years (If you haven’t already.)


What are ya thinkin’?

Donald Trump Was Right!


trump making america grate

Donald Trump was right. The system is rigged. And that’s making it hard for me. Because as the un-appointed expert on all things wild weird, wacky and way out in the Excited States of Paranoia, I’m expected to decipher, explain, and educate.

Being a “one froggie- one vote” Nation – it was a stretch for my French posse to get their heads around the concept of the Electoral College.(Example : Wisconson has four votes.)

More challenging still was the news that Electoral College votes are not, technically, votes. But promises to vote. And that Electors, come inauguration day, can change their vote.

But the real brain twister was my revelation that if an Elector decides to do just that, he/she/it can be: replaced by another who’ll vote “the right way”, fined/and/or sent to jail/and/or(as has happened) receive death threats. (That’s Demoncracy in action – n’est ce pas?)

My froggie chorus chanted: “Mon Dieu!”

Bizarre as that bitter pill was, the worst was yet to come. When I explained that the intent of Alexander Hamilton and his slave owner Bros. (DBA/ “The Founding Fathers”) in creating the Electoral College was to prevent a candidate “unfit” for the office from becoming President, their reaction was: “C’est complétement fou!” (It’s completely crazy!)

The impression I got is that the French(along with a few million others)think that a President-Elect who is not only sexist, but, by his own words, a sexual predator, in addition to being a racist, lying, dishonest, manipulative,narcissistic meglomaniac with the intelligence of an omeba, perfectly fits the Founding Fathers definition of “unfit.”

They also seem to feel that someone who, before the election proclaimed that the Electoral College was: “A disaster for Democracy” is, at best, a hypocrite. (Albiet one who was correct – though not in the sense he intended)

Of course I don’t blame the President Elect for my deciphering difficulties. And, if he knew, he wouldn’t have time to help. What with tweeting his attackers, deciding on the Secret Service rent(they’ll be living “in the tower”) and exchanging bon mots with Comrade Putin – how does he even find time to get his hair done?

During the election campaign, Actor Robert de Niro had some explosive comments about “The Donald.” One being : “I’d like to punch him in the face.”

Christmas is coming Bob. Does Santa have your wish list?

What are ya Thinkin’?