I wasn’t in the best mood when I started out on my walk yesterday.
But when the shadows start to look a lot like June (not more than ten steps away from the Winter silhouette above) I have to lighten up.
See what there is to see.
You never know what’s hiding in the tall grass.
I had never noticed this house before.
But it’s an outstanding example of my philosophy that any house with a Picture Window becomes a Museum of the Self, an exhibition space for what the homeowner feels is most important to display to the outside world:
I was still in too grouchy a mood, though, to walk up and inspect the artifacts on show. And I can tell you now that today isn’t shaping up to be one of my best-behavior days, either. All I’m saying is that people, especially annoying and boring people, better stay out of my way today.
To all bores and dunces: You’ve been warned.
But when I came across this house, I fell instantly in love with whoever lives here. Can you guess why?
I’m in love because this is the first Norman flag I’ve ever seen flying anywhere on Long Island.
You can tell this is a Norman (from the French province of Normandy) flag because it’s got two leopards passant, known as les p’tits cats. If there had been three leopards — les treis cats – it would have been an English royal banner (the English monarchs, as many of youse know, are descendents of the House of Normandy).
I went up and knocked on the door of this house, intending to introduce myself as a kindred spirit, but no one was home. Sigh. The story of my life.
Surprisingly, dear readers and Damn France Book followers (as far as you have been hanging in here on this blog with me during the composition of my damn France book) we seem to have like-minded amigos in the land of the tsars. The Russian rights to Le Road Trip have been sold to a publishing company in Moscow. This news matches my very Russian mood, in that I’m sure there is something to regret, sooner or later, in every bit of good luck.
The National Geographic Traveler magazine has a mention of Le Road Trip in its current issue:
Vivian Swift’s Le Road Trip is both the true story of an idyllic French honeymoon that winds from Paris through Normandy, Brittany, Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, and Chartres, and an illustrated road-trip handbook on topics ranging from “How to Vagabond” to “What to Wear in Paris.”
The good people at France Magazine have a lot more to say:
Veteran globetrotter Swift set out to chronicle her French honeymoon but ended up penning a quirky love letter to travel filled with cultural, historical and literary references. Delightful watercolors illustrate this wide-ranging field guide, which offers hilarious travel survival tips for every clime as well as ruminations on subjects as varied as Parisian windows, Breton sailor-stripe shirts, and lettuce (not to mention a highly idiosyncratic A-to-Z on vagabonding in the Bordeaux region).
There is more wonderful press coverage in the pipeline and as soon as it becomes finalized I will tell you all about it, not to brag but to confirm your own good taste for being well ahead of the curve.
And according to Moscow time (eight hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Savings Time), it’s already Friday night. I have some crying in my vodka to catch up with!