28 January 2009

Les glaneurs glanent

I am listening to an interview with a 'glaneur'on the radio.

'Glaner' means to glean, to gather, or harvest. 'Glaneurs' arrive at the end of a harvest and salvage damaged and rejected produce deemed too imperfect for industry; they arrive at local markets as they shut down, and recuperate anything that can still be eaten or used. Artists can also be glaneurs, but this interview was with a man whose very nutrition depends on 'glaning' to survive. What impressed me was his upbeat nature, despite living on the street for a year and a half.

Liked his attitude better than his unsympathetic interviewer. In a country where eloquent, sometimes empty (a cultural judgement, I recognize) debate is such a part of the fabric of interaction, this interviewer comes across as unprepared, disinterested, and rather too well-fed, il fait son job, quoi.

Alarming is the growing competition: the glaneur noticing more and more salvagers, scavengers, competing for the same slim returns. Is this happening in the states too?

I note that he is not on strike today, no time.

Jean-François Millet painted back-breaking scenes of les glaneuses more than 150 years ago, and Agnes Varda centered a documentary on this way of life in 2000, injecting herself, the filmmaker, as glaneuse.

I suspect it would do us all a bit of good, if not to glaner, at least to stretch whatever we have that much further, and move a step away from our habits of inconspicuous consumption. And I suspect the world economy is going to have a hand in helping us in that direction. That's encouraging!

29 June 2008

Moved to New York for the summer, updates when I get out from under!

07 June 2008

Meryl Streep's back

This sweet corner of Paris,
is tucked just behind the back of Notre Dame and is usually quiet, and always charming. Yet, this mega-Hollywood production transformed the square overnight to a day in the 40's. Literally overnight, they sawed off the cement pillars used to block cars from parking on sidewalks as Parisians are wont to do, and battened up storefronts to a quainter place and time. Particularly transformed was the stark minimalist restaurant that morphed into a quaint glove shop. They shot all morning and by evening, the square was back to being sleepy in 2008.

To see how charming it is in real-life-refer back to Anne Hathaway's kiss with Simon Baker in "The Devil Wears Prada". Very little was changed for that scene.

And now, yes you saw it here first, Meryl Streep's back in the role as Julia, as seen
from inside Le Rouvray, THE Paris quilting destination for quilters worldwide.

29 May 2008

Strike Watch Friday

And taxi drivers are joining the fisherman strike melee.

Strike Watch

Quimper, Arcachon, Cherbourg -fishermen still striking over the price of petrol and it is still spreading to other countries in EU such as Portugal, Spain, and Italy.

Also joined by some farmers and from Rennes to Caen, operation escargot...

Three rooftops

Les maisons troglodytiques (aka caves built into the cliffs), the neighbor's and Martin's roofs.