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The Bold Soul(tm) Blog by Lisa Taylor Huff, Copyright (C) 2005-2009

The Bold Soul: A Writer's Life in Paris - 5 new articles

An Homage to Mad Men

Tonight will be the final episode of Mad Men. But this is what "advertising" once looked like in France. There aren't many of these stone wall billboards left in Paris these days, and I love those rare moments when I spot one.

 
    



The anti-Mother's Day rant

First, I want to wish my readers who are mothers a very happy Mother's Day. I think you are heroic, because parenting is so damn hard even in the best of circumstances. And I hope you have someone who is making you feel special today about being a mother. But there's another side of me that kind of hates this holiday. Yes, you heard me: hate it. To me, Mother's Day is one of those Hallmark/FTD holidays, just like Valentine's Day, that are designed to point out that there are haves and have nots in the world when it comes to love and relationships. On Valentine's Day, if you're single, you're not going to get any flowers or teddy bears or heart-shaped boxes of chocolate. If you're in a relationship with a jerk, you also won't be getting any of that swag. So when everyone around you is ooo-ing and ahh-ing about their dozen long-stemmed American Beauty Roses, you get to feel like shit. Well, it's the same for some of us on Mother's Day. Not all of us got to become mothers. For some of us, that was a choice. For others, its just how it worked out for...

    



I never do things the easy way. Never

The past month hasn't been easy. In fact, it's been mostly lousy. My family vacation in the south, that I had imagined being so wonderful and restful and full of days resting on uncrowded sandy beaches with azure blue waters before me and all the sunshine I could want, turned into me having some sort of new pain in my right side and my appetite tapering off (so much for all the Pastis I had planned to drink) as I spent more and more time in bed because it was the only place I felt even a little comfortable. Phone consultations with my GP in Paris were only partially helpful, as without seeing me in person, there was not much he could do in the way of diagnosing or treating what might be wrong. Here I was, taking a welcome break from the chemo where I should have had more energy, and yet I felt worse where I had expected to feel better. I wanted to be out with Georges and our boy, and all I could manage was to send them out to enjoy each day and smile when they came back to tell me about it -- it...

    



Knitters in Paris, attention!

There are so many adorable little pedestrian streets tucked away in corners of Paris. Sometimes you might just stumble on one randomly... ... and at other times, you might be led there because a dear friend is opening a wonderful news shop and atelier for knitters! Yes! My friend Aimée, owner of L'Oisive Thé et Tricot in the Butte aux Cailles (13ème) is opening a second shop in the same neighborhood! (So proud of Aimee and her husband Julien!) Located at 27 Rue Paulin Méry, just near Place d'Italie, La Bien Aimée sells wool, knitting tools and mercerie/sewing notions. They'll also be offering workshops, so sign up for the mailing list to find out when the first workshops will be available. Once you arrive at Rue Paulin Méry, you won't have any trouble finding La Bien Aimée - just look for the bright, sunshine-yellow exterior! (This was my photo taken weeks ago while they were still doing the construction, but don't you just love the color?) You'll still be able to buy some knitting products (and knit, of course!), over at L'Oisive Thé, but with the new shop, Aimee has expanded her capacity to carry even more beautiful wool and...

 
    


Oldies but goodies

One afternoon while in Saint Raphael, I had the time and energy to pass through the town square, and there was a nice little brocante - an antique sale. A lot of the vendors were already packing up to go home (it was sunny but very windy and maybe business wasn't good enough to merit sticking out the afternoon). But I got a few photos, nonetheless. Here's something you don't see every day - a lovely Victrola (or whatever the French label might be) complete with it's practical and decorative cabinet. Back in the day, you would have been proud to own such a "frivolous" item for listening to music on "records". (If you under-35's don't remember what "records" where, I think they are just calling them "vinyl" now, and they're back in demand.) I love the blue color of the amplifier. This seller had an eclectic collection of tin pails and buckets, decorative friezes and bells, and even (on left) a life preserver for a boat. And the winner du jour of the "Oddities" category for this brocante: the antelope (or is it a gazelle?) skull and horns, next to the captain's hat! Then I went to my favorite...

    


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