Thursday, October 15, 2009


I was born in France, my mother, her mother and father and everyone up and down that family tree were French, therefore something in me must be French, part of my bloodstream must taste of vin rouge and some of my brain cells must be tuned to the sound of the French voice. But non, ce n'est pas comme ça. I do not feel French, vin rouge gives me a headache and the sound of French voices speaking all at once sounds to me like chickens trapped in a cattle truck. The voices of Jacques Brel or Leo Ferré or Edith Piaf, that's another kettle of bouillabaise entirely. I can relate to those, absolument, and the same goes for Matisse and several others in the domains of art, literature or philosophy. I have a penchant for French intellectuals' bushy eyebrows and flowing hair (the men) and the women are beautiful, if too professionally made up. But in front of any French television programme, even those intelligent ones in which luminaries from various fields intelligently discuss serious issues, in five minutes I want to run screaming from the room. Or sitting in a café, listening to men standing at the bar talking in highly excited, combative tones about something or other, I feel like a visitor from another planet.

Complaining I can understand. Maybe that's the French gene in me. I am argumentative and a good complainer. Not for me the Anglo-Saxon embarassment about sending badly cooked food back to the kitchen, letting sleeping dogs lie and not rocking the boat. Those dogs had better wake up when I'm around and the boat rocks and rolls.

A fraught trip back to the hospital yesterday and a painful procedure for my sister to endure (is there anything worse then having tubes and instruments poked up your nostrils?) but things are calmer today. The weather has turned very cold and I didn't bring my winter coat.


Daisy-Winifred said...

Having been there and done that re tubes my sympathy is huge but it was coming out that really got me. I do hope your sister was able to avail herselfof some ice cubes, no notsticking themup her nostrils but to suck and hold in a wee ice pack on the affected protusion. I laughed when a kindly nurse presented me with a glass of ice cubes but it really did help, something about the brain getting the message to quieten down any discomfortbecause ofthe cold.

I trust you both have been able to rest a little easier today and you have stolen a blanket or duvet fromthe hotel and become a punk with a safety pinned 'coat'.

Take care, good thoughts and love winging their way towards you both.

Anonymous said...

continued prayers and best well-wishes, love.

beyond that, seems i can't sign in here as myself, so i'll sign off instead. see ya soonish.

Dick said...

Sorry, Natalie, I've been off the air for a while. Good to catch up with events here on your Blogger pied-a-terre. Herewith my hopes for calm days ahead for you both and - even as autumn gathers in - health and renewal.

X Dick

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

D-W,sorry you had to endure similar nasal tortures, no matter when,they are surely not easily forgotten. Two more of those sessions to come this week then, hopefully, my sister will be allowed to go home. Thanks always for your good wishes.

Kim, whoever you sign as, your presence is noticed and welcome.Hope the good health genie is smiling at you.

Dick,glad you're back.Hope your absence from the air meant you were enjoying fresh air elsewhere?

Hattie said...

I am so waiting for episodes 25 and 26.
Hope all continues to go well for you and your sister.

Natalie said...

Hi Hattie,
episodes will resume as soon as normal life resumes for me - somewhere around Oct.26th
Too unfocused to do any real thinking at the moment.

Daisy-Winifred said...

I trust that your return to your own sense of normal life is transitioning quietly and gently and that you and your sister have found reson to smile in the moment, thoughts and love from wild wet Wales:0)

Barbara Dieu said...

Wishing Anne speedy recovery. And while in Paris, fill your eyes with bushy eyebrows and flowing hair :-)
Big hug to both of you,

Natalie said...

D-W, I'm back home now and all's well and I'll be posting some time later today. Thanks for all the good vibes from WildWetWelshLand.

Bee,Annie is well on the way to recovery and going back to Rome with her daughter later this week. And I'm home, sending you flowing thoughts and bushy hugs too.

20th Century Woman said...

Natalie, I am so glad all ended well. It certainly must have been difficult. I have been distracted from the internet for the past month with the visit of daughter 1 and a painting class. But I have been thinking of you. Glad you are home. Lots of love, Anne

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Anne, I've just posted to Blaugustine so it feels like I'm truly back. Must go find out what's been happening at your and all my blogger friends blogs. See you later.