Just back from our trip to France. Theme: French revolutionary Art 1780-1848. (Pretentious – moi?) High points: the Berlioz Museum in Cote St-Andre and the French Revolutionary Museum in Vizille. Both terrific, as were the small Clochemerle-like towns they were in. I’d never seen this side of France before. We also took in the Orangerie and the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, a couple of gastronomic restaurants, and quite a bit of local wine. My love of France was confirmed; Kajsa’s was elevated. And that was despite the horrendous heatwave that hit us, which had me fainting in the Rue de Rivoli, and having to be helped to my feet by some lovely young French people.
I’ve long wished I was French – mainly for the culture. It’s Berlioz’s orchestration of La Marseillaise that does it for me every time (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7zQ57J8PSY). It’s a shame our two countries separated after long periods of togetherness in the Middle Ages; cruelly cemented, of course, by Norman and then English conquests, each of the other. France is England’s other half, the civilised part of what should be a single Franco-British entity. Whatever our people’s overt historical antagonism, we each envy the other for what we miss in our own societies.
My 24-year relationship with Kajsa allowed me to secure (dual) Swedish citizenship earlier this year. I was wondering whether a three-month dalliance with a French girlfriend when I was a student, nearly sixty years ago, would persuade the French authorities to grant me a third nationality?
Regular blogging will resume, when I can think of anything original to say about the appalling Boris, and the elderly blue-rinsed Tory women who seem to be set on foisting him on us. (That’s probably sexist, as well as ageist and hairist; but there you go.) How I wonder would Boris go down in France?