Archive for August, 2021

Demystifying the French: A Panel Discussion on Zoom

The event is over now, but you can still watch it. Here’s the link!

August 14, 2021 at 2:16 pm Leave a comment

Summertime 2021

Essoyes a travers les champs, at dawn. Photo by Janet Hulstrand.

In spite of early predictions for another hot, dry (meaning good-for-wasps) summer, at least in this corner of southern Champagne it has been cool and frequently rainy. I’m not sure what this means for the farmers around here: I know the season started out badly for those who grow grapes and other kinds of fruit, due to a few unseasonably warm days in May, followed by a late freeze.

To the untrained eye, the vineyards look healthy, at least the ones I have seen. In any case, my message to the world is the same as it always is: buy champagne! Support farmers!

And my message to wasps is: no offense, but we have not missed you this summer!

I thought that in this post, rather than try to sum up the ever-changing rules, progress in the fight against Covid, sliding back in the fight against Covid, disagreement about how to handle the pandemic, etc., I would give you some respite from all that, through a little late-summer photographic resume of this beautiful part of the world in which I find myself.

The photo at the top of this post was taken at dawn. And the one below, at dusk.

L’heure bleu, Essoyes. Photo by Janet Hulstrand.

There is no such thing as a day here that is not beautiful. I hope wherever you are, you will find beauty in your world too, even if it is in the lovely colors of sunset saturating a brick wall in golden light, or reflected in panes of glass. Or wildflowers making their determined way through cracks in a sidewalk, or a pile of gravel. There’s beauty everywhere…

Stay safe, stay well everyone. Get the vaccine. Wear those masks. So much to enjoy in this world.

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 Long Way from Iowa: A Literary Memoir.

August 7, 2021 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

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