Back from Europe now, full of wine and cheese and memories. My in-basket was full too, and I have been busy separating sheep from goats, email-wise. So far, lots of goats. Who was it whose conversation was as two grains of wheat buried in a bushel of chaff? I know how his wife must have felt. (Is spam seasonal? For a while there I was getting lots of chances to improve my sexual performance -- Ladies Want You To Be A Tiger In The Bedroom! though presumably not like the one pictured. Now I seem to have won the lottery every time I turn around. Sex and money, yin and yang.)
One last comment about Europe, and then I will get back to my present life. Here's my favorite line in the guidebook: Nimes, a flourishing town under Roman occupation, underwent a long period of decline before rebounding under its current mayor to become a thriving centre for tourism and the arts. Long period is right. The Romans were there in AD 200.
I just love the idea of an eighteen hundred year decline. The good citizens of Nimes were in no hurry to turn their economic ship around. The place drifted through the dark ages, middle ages, renaissance, reformation, industrial revolution ... and the town council kept saying, You know, we really should do something about this decline of ours. The Age of Enlightenment is passing us by. What we need is some new ideas! And then they'd break for lunch and a nap, and let the town go a little bit more to seed. It's like a kid who gets an A+ in music in grade one, has huge plans, and finally gets her act together and puts out a cd on her 80th birthday.
Anyway, Nimes is a charming place now, with a well-maintained coliseum in the middle of town, where you can experience bullfighting one day and Leonard Cohen the next. Ole and Allelulia, blood and transfiguration -- another example of yin and yang.