Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Rain, Rain Go Away . . .

French Fact-of-the-Day

Approximately 83% of the French population claims to be Roman Catholic, 10% say that they are believers in Islamic faith, 2% are Protestants, 1% Jewish and 4% say that they are not affiliated with any religious group.

Overcast, drizzly and cold was still the order of the day today. Still, with time running out before I return to Camarillo one week from today, I needed to finish up on buying Christmas presents to take home from exotic France.

Over the past five years while I've been living and working in Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and France, people will ask me from time to time where I call home. I rarely, if ever, say the United States.

Instead, I usually say California.

The reaction is usually the same, my inquisitors eyes glaze over, muscles start twitching and then they start raving about the time they visited or how they long to make a voyage to the Golden State one day.

Over the past five years while I'm in California, people have asked me what I'm up to nowadays. When I have answered that I'm going to be living and working in Italy, Sweden, Switzerland or France.

The reaction is usually the same, my inquisitors eyes glaze over, muscles start twitching and then they start raving about the time they Europe or how they long to make a voyage to the Continent one day.

These reactions are almost always the same, it seems the grass is indeed greener on the opposite side of the pond.

HUGE weekend in Lyon!

Thursday night is the start of the four night Fête des Lumières. Literally millions of visitors will descend on Lyon to see the epic lighting effects on many of the venerable city's landmark buildings.

The Fête is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary for her aid in sparring Lyon from more plague damage in 1643. It started with people simply placing a candle in their windows as a show of thanks in 1852 when the golden statue of the BVM was unveiled at the top of Fourvière Hill. Now it is a lot more than just a few random candles.

St-Jean Cathedral in 2011

I can't wait to take some pictures of this light show over the course of the weekend.

Santa visits La Croix-Rousse

At one of these small Christmas Craft Fairs, nothing says Christmas like a good . . .

Petting . . .

. . . Zoo

Even the statues get dressed up
for the Holidays

Nice cloak.

Interesting Music Group playing
in the streets of La Croix-Rousse

The band man in the middle had
on a great pair of shoes!

I wonder if I could borrow them for the Falcon Prom this Friday night?


Click on the picture to here about 30 seconds worth of their upbeat music.

That reminds me, as near as I can surmise, if it wasn't for American holiday classics, there would be no Christmas music in France.

This is the family home of
Real Madrid's Karim Benzema

He was born and bred in Lyon. He started playing in the top French league with for the Olympique Lyonnais team in 2004, he has played for Real Madrid since 2009.

His family still lives here and that is the state of the art natural grass of our Falcon practice field in the foreground!

Karim Benzema

If he can play the crazy bounces on our field, he can play anywhere!

Reading Is FUNdamental

Twelve more great short stories about the Master Sleuth. What more could you ask for?


David said...

Love the cover of the Holmes book. "Now You Can Read Them!" As opposed to, you know, only being able to get them through interpretive dance.

Olivier R said...

George, are you sure all your "american holidays classics" are really american? It's true we share a lot of christmas songs but i think some crossed the pond one way others the other...

Olivier R said...

BTW enjoy la fête des Lumières, and celebrate it properly, with candles at your window the night of the 8th! That festival has become huge during the last 20 years and the city is doing a lot to make it beautiful but the people of Lyon have become a little lazy, they let the town do all the work!... a lot of them do not put candles at their windows anymore which is a shame. 25 years ago there was not a window in the whole city without a candle. The festival was not as spectacular as it is today but it gave the impression everybody was a part of it. Candles have to be back at the windows!!

George said...


Perhaps you are right but all I here are English language carols performed by American artists.

I've got my candles ready to go!

Olivier R said...

Lol Georges. American carols must be fashionable this year!! how was the festival opening night?

George said...

Don't know. We practiced until 22h00, by the time I got back to The Villa, I could not get a bus until 22h45 at the earliest which would have put me in Lyon at 23h15 at best so I did not get downtown.

I plan to fight the millions tonight in Lyon, wish me luck!