Archive for April, 2021

What I saw in Troyes today…

Wouldn’t you like to sit here for an hour or two, reading? I would.

Troyes is one of my favorite cities in France. This is partly because it is “home.” (Well. It is the departemental capital of l’Aube, and the home of “my” prefecture. So, that makes it kinda like home.)

It is a very interesting city, with lots of museums, abundant cultural and artistic activity, and all of the things one looks for in a vibrant urban setting. It is also ancient, and full of fascinating history.

But today I was only there for an hour and a half, and all I did was take a few pictures on this lovely spring day to share with you all. To show you the everyday beauty of this city.

There were some children too, with their teacher, from a maternelle. I was taken with their joyous shouts and the amusing array of human diversity they displayed as they passed by me–one holding the teacher’s hand, most of the others running ahead, one or two lagging behind, as if it say “What?! We’re leaving already? Why?!”

So taken that I didn’t think to take a picture until they were gone. So you’ll just have to imagine that…

I hope you have enjoyed this little mini-tour of Troyes. You should come here someday and see it for yourself. You really should!

Janet Hulstrand is a writer, editor, writing coach, and teacher of writing and of literature who divides her time between the U.S. and France. She is the author of Demystifying the French: How to Love Them, and Make Them Love You, and is currently working on her next book, a literary memoir entitled “A Long Way from Iowa.”

April 26, 2021 at 8:00 pm 2 comments

Demystifying the French (avec moi)

So, the event has happened, but if you missed it and would like to take a look, you can do so, right here. Mille mercis to the wonderful Alliance Francaise, for this opportunity to talk about France and the French!

Janet Hulstrand is a writer, editor, writing coach, and teacher of writing and of literature who divides her time between the U.S. and France. She is the author of Demystifying the French: How to Love Them, and Make Them Love You, and is currently working on her next book, a literary memoir entitled “A Long Way from Iowa.”

April 15, 2021 at 7:19 pm 2 comments

Locked Down Again, But the Vaccines Are Here…

My “vaccine center”

This is going to be a very short post. Just want those readers out there who are also close personal friends to know that although France has been struggling to gain control of this pandemic, and the entire country has gone once again into lockdown, the vaccine is beginning to finally make its way to people. Not as quickly as everyone would like, but they’re trying. And it’s happening…

After a whirlwind of the AstraZeneca vaccine being on the market, then off the market, then on the market again, along with a rather dizzying, frequently changing flurry of information about potential side effects, and who should take it, and who should not, etc. I finally had my chance last week to take it!

I’ve listened to lots of doctors talk about the controversy and confusion surrounding the release of this vaccine, and have noted that their advice seems to be nearly universal. They are saying, more or less, that for most people just getting any vaccine is a good thing to do, as soon as possible.

I was able to do so in the most pleasant way possible. A 10-minute stroll to my village’s pharmacy on a sunny day, where the pharmacist administered the vaccine, filled out the post-vaccine paperwork, checked my blood pressure and then said I was “good to go.” No long lines, no frustrating search for a place to go get the vaccine. Just a call from my pharmacy saying “We have the vaccine, can you come in tomorrow at 11:45?”

I was very lucky!!!

And no side effects either, at least not yet. (Touch wood, why not? 🙂 ) Since this was three days ago now, I don’t really expect any. And in 10 weeks I will be able to get the second dose, and feel even better.

And so that is all I have time to report for today. But I’ll be back soon. In the meantime, stay safe, stay well everyone. Prenez soin de vous!

Janet Hulstrand is a writer, editor, writing coach, and teacher of writing and of literature who divides her time between the U.S. and France. She is the author of Demystifying the French: How to Love Them, and Make Them Love You, and is currently working on her next book, a literary memoir entitled “A Long Way from Iowa.”

April 12, 2021 at 6:33 pm 1 comment


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