Exciting Times and Gift Ideas

Tree at the Public Library

It’s on the radio, it’s in the papers, it’s probably on the television: the results of the COP21 is THE topic of conversation here.  Along with the French regional election of course, where the socialist party elegantly moved out of the way in regions where it risked dividing the vote, potentially making room for far-right candidates.*

What we are hearing is this:  COP 21 got 195 nations to agree.  What they agreed on is, basically, to agree. This in itself is history in the making. Regarding the elections, which the center-right won by a hair, it means “cooperation”.

What I heard on radio FranceInter this morning, from the mouth of Manuel Valls, France’s prime minister, is “Now we have to act,”  in reference to both events.

To me, this is exciting news.  Countries of every ilk agreeing on a common ideal; political parties working together to make a difference.

While I’m on the subject of making a difference,I want to give you some Christmas gift ideas.


The first is baldly promotional: I hope you’ll give my newest book, In a French Kitchen, to all on your list.

If you’ve already done that, then, I refer to  Nicholas Kristoff  in the New York Times.  He has put together an all-encompassing array of gifts that make a difference (ie. ” Hero Rats” who sniff out land mines, a flock of ducks to help a family).  I add my favorite charity  to his list, MercyCorp.

*Let me not forget to mention the unusually freeing event in Saudi Arabia: women were allowed to vote for the first time on Saturday, December 12, 2015, and several woman (up to 17) were elected to municipal councils. Now, to allow women to walk outside by themselves, and the freedom to drive, unburdened by excess cloth of course.

Happy Giving!

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Nutmeg, More Precious Than Gold

In the 14th century, a pound of nutmeg was purportedly worth three sheep and a cow; in the 17th century, the little, fragrant nut was valued higher than gold.

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