It’s been a while and it only means I’ve been keeping myself busy in this new life bridging even more Paris and Geneva. It’s not always easy yet I enjoy so much both cities that despite minor shortcomings in terms of stress and peace of mind, I wouldn’t exchange my present life with my fabulous previous one which implied far more travels, far more far away…although of course I long for my wonderful friends and experiences which were (and still are) the spice of my life.

So, what happened since last December? A lot, really, including Christmas in Paris and a fantastic Offenbach’s Vie Parisienne, my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary, New Year celebration including Loire Castle, Alienor’s Abbey and of course staying by the sea.

When we came back, we decided to start the year in style in a fabulous restaurant the cost of which was roughly a week-end in New York but worth every bite of it, since we later found a poster about a small flat that is now our new Paris nest, with its lot of joys and necessary frustrations with the small Paris frustrations totally balanced by its so many beauties and pleasures.

Thank you Sandra, my generous friend, for enabling us, after a rather maddening move, to settle again in the shades of your beautiful garden full of memories of Vincent.

Easter and Passover were spent in…Israel. Not an easy trip in Covid circumstances yet, despite my finally contracting the virus on April 1st (does it surprise anyone), we were able to go, thanks to Marc’s determination to make EasyJet’s reluctance revise its policy (they were in slight contradiction with Israel’s own policy on the matter).

I will explain this point later but think it necessary to explain a little bit my very eventless Covid episod. Basically, I got it when the Swiss law no longer required me to be locked in and even forced me (since I was unfortunately only very slightly symptomatic) to keep working and teaching as long as I wore a mask! Just to summarize, I would say that I noticed my illness because I had a little sore throat and headache one evening and the next morning both of which gave way to a slightly altered voice for about a week, as if it were veiled. Not much of an drama, thank goodness!

Now about Israel…Well going there and coming back mean quite a bit of an administrative hassle, long queues and not necessarily smiles and relaxed attitudes, a way of driving which was insane and has become even more so, yet fabulous food, views and sites.

Since we had gone there to spend the Passover night together, we didn’t get much chance to properly visit Israel with Marc but still managed to make him discover, for his first visit several wonders such as Jaffa, Acre, Tiberias, Caesarea and Masada. The tension being extreme in Jerusalem, we didn’t visit it and it leaves us with quite a few sites to revisit.

We stayed in a lovely flat in Herzliyya upon my brother’s right advice and indeed enjoyed its location a bit away from non-stop hectic Tel-Aviv (totally gorgeous and reinvented, I have to say).

However, it took me a while to understand that Marc would only love Israel once he had been in its much more welcoming and pleasant Arab Israeli districts in all the cities we visited.

Fish nets in Jaffa fish market

This is not to say that Israel is generally unpleasant, but, as everywhere else, it is no longer used to tourists and lacks the ability to pretend… Life with a smile, no matter how hard it is to put it on at times, makes you look at life in a more bearable manner in this turmoil of a country.

Talking about turmoil, Covid is slowly receding everywhere and that’s rather good news although the fact it isn’t universally dealt with makes it a bit complicated if you travel. For instance, in Switzerland we are totally rid of masks, everywhere, whereas we still have to wear them in public transports in France, everywhere in Italy and you’re locked down in China…Should we be worried about the latter’s attitude, revealing maybe a variant we don’t know or a potential other problem?

There are however quite a few reasons justifying indeed worrying, but who could today, 68 days to date after the brutal and grotesque invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops and after the incredibly high level of extreme right votes in France and the lack of enthusiasm at the reelection of a president once so promising?

I have decided to just watch and think…and look after my embroidery after a stop of thirty years, maybe because my present life gives me this opportunity again or simply because occupying my mind with beauty and harmony makes me realize that so much happens in our lives upon which we don’t have any control that it is just as well if we just go with the flow. Life will take care of sorting itself out if we behave as Mensch instead of ruining each other and agonizing them with insult. I know my wording of the Russian military operation was far from gracious but I swear that the least I could say.

Eid Mubarak to my friends concerned.

Making bread in Acre

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