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Posts posted by NormanH

  1. Their trick is to present a bill for the year and ask you to reply if you wish to cancel, which of course one may be tempted to do especially if like me you always try to avoid Prime, but think  that you may have unwittingly ticked a box when you bought something.  If you do reply I imagine it may give them access  to you Amazon account as you would  be asked to log in.

    I smelled a rat and checked the sender's address which was in South Africa, so I looked the scam up on that site.

    What is alarming is that they had  the correct email for my  Amazon account.

  2. A sombre Autumn poem by Baudelaire, which suits the mood of the moment.


    The video is of me reading my own translation :




    Chant d'automne


    Bientôt nous plongerons dans les froides ténèbres;
    Adieu, vive clarté de nos étés trop courts!
    J'entends déjà tomber avec des chocs funèbres
    Le bois retentissant sur le pavé des cours.

    Tout l'hiver va rentrer dans mon être: colère,
    Haine, frissons, horreur, labeur dur et forcé,
    Et, comme le soleil dans son enfer polaire,
    Mon coeur ne sera plus qu'un bloc rouge et glacé.

    J'écoute en frémissant chaque bûche qui tombe;
    L'échafaud qu'on bâtit n'a pas d'écho plus sourd.
    Mon esprit est pareil à la tour qui succombe
    Sous les coups du bélier infatigable et lourd.

    II me semble, bercé par ce choc monotone,
    Qu'on cloue en grande hâte un cercueil quelque part.
    Pour qui? — C'était hier l'été; voici l'automne!
    Ce bruit mystérieux sonne comme un départ.


    J'aime de vos longs yeux la lumière verdâtre,
    Douce beauté, mais tout aujourd'hui m'est amer,
    Et rien, ni votre amour, ni le boudoir, ni l'âtre,
    Ne me vaut le soleil rayonnant sur la mer.

    Et pourtant aimez-moi, tendre coeur! soyez mère,
    Même pour un ingrat, même pour un méchant;
    Amante ou soeur, soyez la douceur éphémère
    D'un glorieux automne ou d'un soleil couchant.

    Courte tâche! La tombe attend; elle est avide!
    Ah! laissez-moi, mon front posé sur vos genoux,
    Goûter, en regrettant l'été blanc et torride,
    De l'arrière-saison le rayon jaune et doux!

    — Charles Baudelaire


  3. The thing I find difficult to understand is hatred itself. I have lived a blessed and sheltered life as have many of us born in the UK just after WW2, with the Welfare State and free good education, but I can honestly say that i feel no hatred for anyone, and cannot imagine killing them except perhaps in blind panic of self defence.

  4. We have a very similar situation developing without the posh new development. Our Maire has a programme of 'whitening the sepulchre' by refurbishing the façades without addressing the social issues. I call it 'cosmetic surgery' or in a more colourful image " une vielle p*te qui se maquille pour attired de nouveaux  clients sans changer sa cullote"

    I won't even  begin on the plague of AirBnB and how it contributes to the scarcity of affordable housing  for low-paid essential workers.

    As for the word gentrification I think the author is referring to Canadian French when  he uses the word " embourgeoisement. In France it is https://www.linternaute.fr/dictionnaire/fr/definition/gentrification/

  5. He is certainly an impressively smooth operator, but the Ministry of Education is traditionally the graveyard of ambition for an aspiring politician.

    Thank you for the link which I hadn't seen. I always enjoy programmes presented by Caroline Roux (I usually try to catch "C'est dans l'air" either live or in replay) but I hadn't noticed that one.

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