|After the deluge|
|President Macron with new Interior Minister Christophe Castaner|
French singer-songwriter Charles Aznavour, whose career spanned eight decades, died on October 1st at age 94 at his home in Provence. Upon the announcement of his death, the Eiffel Tower lit up in gold in tribute to "the last of the giants of the French chanson".
And then, suddenly, another vacation was upon us − this time the two-week school holiday of Toussaint, the celebration of All-Saints Day. [In spite of its official secularity, France celebrates every Catholic event with a holiday.] It seems like only yesterday when the 2-month-long summer holidays ended and children went back to school in early September. But the French school year includes a break every six weeks and, as usual, many people use these breaks to leave home − for the countryside, a family visit, or an all-in trip abroad. The first sign of these school breaks for those of us without young children is the announcement of traffic conditions on the morning news, with alerts of congestion or accidents on the clogged exit roads of major cities ("all fluid" this morning).
The daily farmers' market in Aix-en-Provence has managed to open my supermarket-trained eyes to nature's seasonal gifts, which in this blessed part of the world are bountiful at all times.
So, as a convert to the food-driven French lifestyle, I raise my appéritif to the hearty stews, cassoulet, choucroute garnie, venison, game, chestnuts and truffles in the coming months.
Mother Nature has a nice way of making up for shorter days with longer meals.