Whistle in the Wind

The mistral in France might be mistaken by the foreigner to be some archaic reference for a minstrel or bard, but in fact refers to a strong cool wind. In winter it is can be cold and harsh, while in summer it’s refreshing, blowing away the humid heat for a time, leaving clear blue and sunny skies.

Views from the top of Cannes following a mistral are beautifully clear and sharp. There is a vantage point from the Voie Julia that looks out over Cannes south to the sea, west towards the Estérèl range, and north towards Grasse and the start of the Alpes. Wonderful place to sit and watch sunsets.

Beauty Lost

I was watching Stealing Beauty last night. Lovely film set in rural Italy. At one moment though I paused the DVD to fetch a drink from the kitchen and stopped to gaze out the window into the court yard. Only the very tops of the trees were lit by the setting sun, as it feel into eclipse behind my apartment building. Yet in this twilight I noticed a falling white feather and wondered at the random grace of its decent, only to disappear amongst the gravel stones.

It then struck me as sad how much of our natural green spaces fall to the advance of man and machine. Much like virginity, once taken, never to be reclaimed. All that remains are the small islands of green and calm. Decorative after thoughts of a city or town, where once there was field or forest.

Overlooking Cannes People come in droves to the French Riviera for the summer sunshine, azur blue sea, and overall beauty of the region. Then I wonder how beautiful this region was before the invention of sun tan lotion, camper vans, and tourism. Instead of a natural Zen paradise, man creates a Zen garden in it’s place and calls it beautiful.

Thinking Cool

By “Thinking Cool” I’m not talking about the iPhone. Nice piece of kit, but I won’t abandon the SFR service I’ve been happy with for 12 years just to get one; switching to Orange France just ain’t worth it.

In my apartment, all I have in my bedroom to keep cool during summer nights is a squeaky ceiling fan (Casablanca fans take note). So last night I sat in bed with my laptop and watched Mystery, Alaska. Nice chilly underdog hockey movie. Just the sort of thing to remind a Canadian of home, beautiful vistas (and no, not the Windows shite), lots of snow, and hockey.

Of course I couldn’t keep the laptop in my lap; throws too much heat, when the idea is to think cool thoughts. Though it would make for a good bed warmer in winter, Baka does a good job of that year round. Soon as I open the bed and start to get ready, Baka jumps up and finds a place in the centre nuzzled against the pillows. Of course he gives me a disgruntled look as soon as I slide him over a tad so that we can both comfortably sit and watch.

Holding Court

I’m in a low mood as stated before, but I still appreciate beauty passing before my eyes. I live in Cannes, France, sometimes a really boring conference town, with a famous festival, then I take a moment and look out my kitchen window into the courtyard, see the trees, bushes, the green, and clouds as they pass before me, wonder if my problems are real or just fiction. I think we lose sight of life when we fail to take moments of pause and reflection, when we ignore our homes and lives and consider what might have been. I live alone yet have a wonderful little dog, and like to look out into the courtyard at the trees.

Alien & Predator in Raid commercial

I’ve been somewhat on a downer lately. Set all my IM clients to DND, tweet little, turn my cell phone ringer to silent mode, email yet to be answered, hibernating from summer heat, and generally feeling like I’ve lost the plot. Just to put things in context.

I woke early yesterday around 6h00, took Baka for his walk before the sun crested the hill, while the air was still cool and fresh, with nobody around to disturb the silence, sort of like Charlton Heston in Omega Man. After Baka had finished marking our territory, made a cup of tea, grabbed the last of the dark chocolate chip & pecan cookies, and sat down to watch Alien v Predator Requiem on DVD I just received, having not yet seen it. This cheered me up.

I like sci-fi, fantasy, adventure, thriller, drama, almost any story really, good or bad. I can suspend disbelief pretty well and get immersed in a story. In my current frame of mind, it wasn’t hard either. So to be watching a sci-fi horror flick based on the Alien and Predator creatures at 6h30 in the morning and claim that it cheered me up just goes to show how much of a downer I’m going through just now. I suppose the cookies helped too.

In any recent flick with the Alien, they have a tendency to breed faster than black flies hanging around Uranus and have a nasty bite too. To say that these critters leave a little welt is an understatement. So after the film, when I spotted Baka lying on his back in that all so cute “rub my belly please” posture, you might have thought I had a vision of exploding chest cavities.

Not so. But I did oblige him and rub his belly only to find grit or worse flea dust. Not a little either, but a lot. Dog owner’s worst nightmare is not drooling Aliens and face huggers, but ticks and fleas, especially if there is more than one and they can breed almost as fast. Right, my mood might be no better than Marvin the android, but action had to be taken. Immediate bath time for Baka.

Just as well too. Found four of the blighters despite the bath he had last week and the Frontline I applied. Now instead of Aliens, I might have to deal with more fleas and me only armed with a can of Raid.