Monday, March 24, 2008

Rings a bell?


In France, on the day of Easter around noon, kids are told to search for eggs (generally made of chocolate) in the garden of their house (or on the balcony if they live in an apartment!). These eggs are supposed to have been brought back by bells that just returned from a short trip to Rome (home of the Vatican) to be blessed by the Pope... Yeah, right! Anyway, I don't know if kids buy it, but they certainly love this little treasure hunt! These bells belong to Saint Ferdinand's church, located off the avenue des Ternes, in the 17th arrondissement. First time I noticed these bells actually... Today (Monday) is still a holiday here by the way ;)

105 comments:

  1. This has a very Spanish Mission style of Southern California (where I grew up) feel to it. Very lovely.

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  2. FYI, someone (Mistayu?) just sent me a link to a NY times article about the French. It's excellent, have a look!

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  3. Rings a bell? Oh Yes, I heard the bells ring! Happy Easter holiday!

    Either you just posted this a minute ago, or everybody's already gone to sleep in a sugar coma. Never come in third before. -:) ~Chuck

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  4. Very mysterious shot, Eric. I used to lay the treasure hunt in the garden for my boys when they were small too. If it was raining, inside the house instead. Great fun! Come over to Cheltenham for some Easter cake, Eric. Message for Guille there too...

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  5. Amazing photo! It looks like it could be a paper cut-out held up to the sky. Those gray clouds look a little threatening; hope you don't have storms today Eric. I still don't understand how French kids could believe bells brought chocolate back from Rome. But I guess it's no more odd than bunnies delivering chocolate!

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  6. Good post to illustrate Easter Days (belle trouvaille!). My children don't believe anymore in Bells but still, the race after all the hidden eggs, hens, bunnys, etc, worked well again yesterday (sunday) morning! That's funny to see them looking for these little treasures in chocolate everywhere!

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  7. The lines in this picture are splendid Eric and the bare trees in the back gives it a beautiful and misterious aspect.

    Just read the article about the French. Some things are cliché I guess, and as for the "two-cheek kiss", pfft... it is so commom here that I find it hard not to greet someone with a two-cheek kiss.

    By the way girls, I have two-cheek kissed Eric AND Michael!!!

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  8. What a stunning photograph, with the silhouette, Eric. I love the simplicity of it.

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  9. This church seems to be very beautiful inside, thanks for the link. (and one more item is added to my list...)

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  10. Oh Monica, you had to go and spoil it, now i'm miserable. Four kisses from our men? So unfair. We usually just kiss once in the uk, left cheek to left cheek, with one or two hands on the shoulders (God only knows why that bit but it's de rigeur). Some now kiss twice but it's not expected so you end up banging noses. A friend of mine thinks he speaks Spanish (he doesn't; he knows Hola, gracias and just goes there a lot)and he always kisses me with "Uno, dos, tres." I think it's an excuse (rolling my eyes) to stay there longer, breathing in my Chanel. lol! (that's for Michael and Eric; see what you're missing. Now, did Monica wear Chanel, huh? Did she, huh? ;) )

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  11. Lynn I was probably wearing Love in Paris (Nina Ricci). Didn't mean to spoil it, I ws just reliving that moment!
    Now you see, do like us brazilians do, why kiss just once when you can kiss twice?! In fact, I think I'll adopt the spanish greeting way...

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  12. Eric
    What a fabulous picture you gave us tonight. I love the simplicity and mystery of it.

    Monica
    When I lived in Brazil, we Brazilian kissed 3 times! Are they kissing less now?

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  13. lol only kidding dear Monica. I've not tried Love in Paris but it seems very apt.

    Quite a lot of us funny little Britons kiss twice now, but those who are not used, look at you as if you've landed from Mars. Still lots of people don't kiss at all. My last boyfriend, emphasis on last (why didn't i see the signs then, oh why?) used to say "oh i don't go in for that kissing stuff. No." (i mean the greeting kisses. He was more than ok with the other sort of course. Too much information? ok sorry. Thank goodness i kissed him goodbye huh. Quelle erreur/horreur)

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  14. Rose are you from Sao Paulo? I know in Sao Paulo they give 3 kisses, part of my family is from Sao Paulo.

    But here in Rio is two-cheek kiss plus a warm hug if we really like the person.

    Oh Lynn you're reaaly something. Just so you know, when I meet you in person I WILL kiss you twice!

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  15. Yay! Good, i hope i remember and don't bang your nose. It's not an elegant sight. The British, huh. Sigh. Mwahh mwahh. We put the hands on the shoulders too, should we do that Monica, or what? Oh, i'm in a tizz now. Eek. Actually i'm very affectionate and usually hug people. I'm known for it. My middle son tells his friends "ok you're going to get a hug now, look out." then laughs his head off as they are squished warmly by me. They love it, though, i know they do. Am I British, really? Maybe there's been some mistake.

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  16. Your link is very amusing, Eric. You really have 'read and corrected' there? We don't, we have 'corrected and sued'.

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  17. Lynn I think you are part italian, or part anything latin related because it's clear as water that you're a very affectionate person!
    The hand on the shoulders won't be necessary, we will cheek kiss and give each other a warm embrace. Here, usually guys don't cheek kiss other guys (unless they're family). They usually do this hand on shoulder/half hug thing.

    Men... always afraid to show their feelings.

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  18. I also thought about this "read and correct" issue and I was wondering that probably in France only presidents or ministers can do it. Because I don't think it's common to do it with interviews in any other place. Here it's like Lynn said, correct and sue.

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  19. Whoa, Eric, a very different kind of photo today, it's quite good...but gives me the chills, something feels ominous about it?

    I liked the part in the article about the butcher, wearing the sausage necklace, donning an elf cap and blinking lights, and handing out glasses of Beaujolais to passers-by!

    LOL about all this kissing and ex boyfriends. ;) We're all about hugging. Kissing is fine too.

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  20. I like this composition, but I would never have thought about eggs had you not brought this history to light. Before reading your commentary, Eric, I was thinking more along the lines of Edgar A. Poe's "Bells, bells, bells." My two daughters hunted for their eggs inside today since it's still in the 40s (F) here in the Midwest USA. One got jellybeans inside her plastic eggs and the other "Cheerios" (she's a little more than a year old). I don't know if my 3 year old would go for bells bringing the eggs though. :-)Happy Easter All!

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  21. Men never kiss each other in the UK, Monica. Ooooooh no. Not even family. Considered weird. Men don't do the touching men thing. They hug each other sometimes if family. Meeting casually or formally, they shake hands. A warm handshake is when the right hand shakes the friend's right hand, but then also covers it with his left. Doesn't happen too often though. There's a trendy kind of male greeting where they sort of bump shoulders (right to right)briefly whilst shaking hands. Goodness the British really are odd aren't we. Royal men do kiss though, i've noticed. What do they think they're DOING? I must have a quiet word...

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  22. So i hug Jennifer if i go to the States and kiss Eric if i go to Paris. What happens when i see Michael, an American in Paris? Now i'm confused. I'd better get really close i think, i mean i wouldn't want to offend, would i. Yep get really close and while i'm hugging, i'll kiss his cheek too. That sound ok Monica? Where's Guille by the way. I miss her. She's bound to have a whole new version. Uni student in Paris kind of kiss.

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  23. It was words like silhouette that first lured me into the arms of the French language, but until today I'd never inquired into its etymology:

    'The word is an eponym named after Etienne de Silhouette, a finance minister of Louis XV who in 1759 imposed such harsh economic demands upon the French people that his name became synonymous with anything done or made cheaply.'

    Now, given all the commenting this week (mainly by me, I'm afraid) on the subject of Madame de Pompadour, I found this a rather amazing coincidence.

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  24. My fascinating word, Lucio, was fauteuil (sp?). I got a prize for pronunciation at school. A gold star. Yay.

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  25. LOL Lynn.
    By personal experience I can assure you that it's ok to kiss Michael when you meet him. He's an american in Paris but remember, he's a citizen of the world! And I know he's so used to the brazilian kissing style given all the times he's been here that I expected nothing else from him when I met him.

    Yes where is Guille? Probably partying since it's still a holiday in Paris.

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  26. Ok that's alright then Monica, i can hug Michael close for five minutes. Oh, isn't that what you said? ;)

    Guille has taken her uni-self out on the town and forgotten us all. Well, Guille, i'm off to bed now but tomorrow, i shall need the low-down. I want DETAILS!!! Don't you too, Monica? Good, girly description please. Clothes, event, conclusion, the lot. Nighty night x

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  27. Lynn: Ah, gold stars...Now there's something I haven't thought about for ages. Actually, I remember my mother catching me methodically cutting them out of my exercise books - God knows why! - and telling me that, without them, I would never be advanced to the next grade. The thought of remaining a second grader for the rest of my life traumatized me for, well, at least the remainder of the afternoon.

    Needless to say, mummy dearest was wrong - but I do miss the gold stars. Ah, the gold stars...

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  28. Lucio what a great link of Pompadour you found. And that portrait of her is so beautiful.

    I wonder if there's any store or deli in Paris named after her, seeing that there's a deli chain called Comtesse du Barry in more than one address in Paris.

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  29. I know, Lucio, something wonderful about them wasn't there. Wonder why you were cutting them out? Maybe you wanted them at home to keep. Ahh. I'd quite like a gold star for being GF actually. Wouldn't that be good? Gold stars from Sir (Eric). he he. Must...sleep...now...been far too talkative tonight. Eek. Night.

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  30. Lynn whatever you'll do to Michael when you meet him shall remain unknown for the rest of us...

    Guille's party details, yes! I do want to know all about it, specially the "conclusion" part lolll
    She's got the cutest french ami you know and she tells me it's his b'day today, so that gives us a clue of where she is partying right now!

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  31. Monica: I studied the Rococo last year and, as a result, became familiar with Boucher's intriguing portraits of Madame de Pompadour: which, it has been alleged, she "stage managed" in order, initially, to consolidate her status at court and, later, to maintain it after she had been superseded by the king's new mistress. (By the way, being the king's mistress at this time was not considered a disgrace but, rather, an honour of sorts - and a semi-official position worthy of respect.) Some art historians have gone so far as to say that she should be considered a co-author of her portraits!

    I'm sure if she were alive today, Madame de Pompadour would be the "queen" of numerous franchises: perfume, clothing, shoes, jewellery...even delis!

    Well, that's about it for me today/night. I've got to hit the books again in my ongoing quest for gold stars. Ah, the gold stars...

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  32. Lucio thank you! I'm reading her bio in this site, really fascinanting what an important figure she was inside the court, even being more active in politics that the queen.
    You know what, I bet there must be a movie about her already. Maybe an old one, a french film probably.

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  33. I love the "silhouette" history: always love etymology. This photo of yours, Eric, reminded me of the silhouette theater at the old Chat Noir.
    And yes, Jennifer, there is something chilling about this photo. Very evocative.

    42 days...Who will be in Paris then? Would love to meet you, avec bisou or the greeting of your choice. With Michel's help, I'll even have a decent bottle of wine this time!

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  34. Beautiful silhouette! (Thanks, Lucio for your post - very interesting - well deserving of a few gold stars!

    Boo hoo that I missed out on the kiss talk :( I liked seeing how Jacques Chirac kissed the hands!

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  35. Jeff: Yes, me too. In fact, it's about time I invested in an etymological dictionary.

    Pont Girl: Gee, thanks! It's always pleasing to find a novel way to contribute to PDP - and even more pleasing to strike a chord with my fellow readers.

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  36. Oh my, the comments here have me blushing. All this after such a holy day. I mean there are holes in all my chocolate around the house.

    Yes Monica, you are right, I have adopted the customs of each country to take the most advantage. Maybe that's why I didn't like living in London too much...too cold. Men are hung up about things the rest of the world (ok, maybe not my home country) have no issues with.

    I like the 4-kiss greeting of the south of France couples with the 1-arm hand shake and close hug of Brazil. Life doesn't get any better than that...

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  37. Oh by the way Monica, it wasn't "Love" you were wearing in Paris....it was surely "Temptation"!

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  38. All this talk about chocolate eggs makes us (Bibi and her owner) hungry for a sugar fix! We're in Belgrade, Serbia, where Serbian Orthodox Easter won't be arriving until April 27th! Check out our blog about Belgrade; click on my picture. Lovely photo, Eric, and it does remind me of mission bells.

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  39. My, you remember Monica's perfume, Michael? We are all surely sunk...

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  40. We had the traditional Easter Egg hunt for our family in Brookville where I live. Our eggs are plastic and filled with money in the form of coins. The kids love it.

    I hope you have a nice week to match your very nice photo.

    Abraham Lincoln in Brookville, Ohio.

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  41. Cash, Oldmanlincoln? That could even be better than chocolate!

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  42. Here I'm Girls!

    the picture is great, refined architecture and beautiful grey sky... I loved to find the chocolate eggs in my garden; with my brothers it was a real race, wearing our pyjamas, we all had a little willow basket. So cute.
    So when yesterday my mum just put the chocolate on the table, I was so disappointed. Childhood is definitely over. LOL.


    I find your conversation about the kisses fun!
    In France, it's a 3 kisses if you're from the South, 4 kisses if you're from the north (really too much!) and 2 if you're from the center.
    Men kisses other men if they are good friends, without any problem, and kiss the other family males too. It's not weird to me. The traditionnal American hug is :)
    British are too cold Lynn? (btw a boyfriend who doesn't kiss?? How is it possible?!).

    Monica, I was not where you thought I was! Did you send him chocolates? It seems to be your habits with cute guys! LOL.

    No details about my evening girls. Private. ;)

    Jeff, about the countdown, are you crossing out the days? ;)

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  43. LOL no details Guille, you know just how to tease us! Must have been good and i am glad.

    The boyfriend did kiss in the way your mind is racing, Guille, yes of course, but hello and goodbye kisses? No. I found it insulting when he backed away from people and even me! I should have run there and then and saved myself months of all the other weirdness about him (don't ask).

    I was touched at your description of your mum putting the choc on the table. It's a coincidence but yesterday i put my son's eggs on his chair. Usually i would hide them around the house, telling him he is hot or cold in finding them and i didn't yesterday. I feel glum about it now. I shall buy some little eggs and make him find them just in case, deep inside, he might have been disappointed!

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  44. Lynn,
    it's time to stop to hide the chocolates I think.. ;) My parents did that too (cold or hot).I prefer Easter than Christmas just for that. Do you really think that he was disappointed or is it your mind who feels guilty? Hum?

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  45. It is certainly the latter, Guille, you are right. Not wanting to have him miss out on the childish things just because he is 16. I love making things special for them all wherever i can and i'd love to have those days back when they were tiny and the world was full of magic!

    I wasn't going to correct you because it's just so charming, but as you will use English in your work perhaps, you should know. We don't say Here I'm Girls. The 'I am' is often abbreviated to I'm but not in this case. You could have said "I'm here, Girls!" but not with the verb following, it's just wrong. You could have said "Here I am Girls" but not abbreviated. See how strange we are with rules which don't make sense. Can i ask, though Guille, you continue to say it here, as i love it so much! So sweet. Made me chuckle so much. :)

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  46. Guille lol I don't send chocolates to all the cute guys I know, they have to prove they deserve it first!
    I love the story of you in your pj's along with your brothers looking for chocolate eggs in the garden. A very lovely image.


    Michael, ok I'll bite, what do you mean I was wearing 'Temptation'??!!

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  47. Here I'm Lynn, just for ya. And I will continue to say it here.

    Come on Monica, don't do that: we all know what Michael means by "wearing Temptation", but don't ask him to tell us here! Too hard for the other girls.

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  48. Guille I don't know what he means! I know his not talking about the perfum but exactly what he is talking about, no I don't know!

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  49. Guille: giggle.

    Yes Monica you are making this hard already, i guarantee it. Is Temptation the name of a perfume i've not heard of? No you shouldn't ask Michael to tell us here, Monica, it wouldn't be fair. ... But i can. "Michael, what did you mean by Temptation?" Ha!

    Talking of perfume, my mother used to adore Suede by Picot. Years ago. We cannot buy it anymore. Can you still buy it in France, does anyone know?

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  50. Oui, Guille, c'est vrai, et maintenant: 41 jours.

    Monica, vous n'est comprendez pas le 'temptation'? Hm. Je suis desolée. Don't bother sending any chocolates to them, deserving or not...!

    Bells, eggs, silhouettes, imagery, chocolates, and bisous to all.

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  51. Well since YOU asked Lynn, I'll tell you Monica's secret about Temptation. But not here of course. You'll have to come meet Jeff and I along the Seine in 41 days to get the scoop.

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  52. Oh, I forgot: the article on the French is interesting. I've often read that athletic shoes are considered bad, but I've seen so many Parisians wearing them, it's confusing. And I have been chastised for improper greetings, but I think I've learned my lesson, Laure! (Donc, si je peux apprendre le francais, peut etre je recevrai des chocolates...)

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  53. Bells are said to go to Rome because, in the Roman Catholic Church, bells are not rung from the Holy Thursday mass until the Easter Vigil.

    This is a splendid photo, Eric. Also, thanks for the link to that article on the French. I agree that it's full of stereotypes, but interesting nevertheless.

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  54. Sorry Michael but I am in too... Jeff already invited me by a personnal mail. :)
    So impatient to know! Lynn, you have no choice, you come!

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  55. Ok Guille, I'll let you know what it's all about then along the Seine with you, Lynn, Jeff, and I presume, Laure and Eric. Monica wasn't very nice to me earlier today, so this is her payback.

    Elisabeth, that is very interesting. Someone was asking me today what Thursday was considered and I said I thought it was Maundy Thursday, is that right? As for sending bells all the way to Rome to be blessed, don't even get me started!!!

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  56. Michael you know the saying: when I am good, I'm good. But when I am bad, I'm even better...

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  57. So if I understand it right, you'll all be talking behind my back along the Seine during the picnic. Even you Jeff!

    I may have to go to Paris to defend my self from fierce tongues!

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  58. About the article:
    "Never say “Bon appétit” at the start of a meal."
    ??? Eric, don't you say that? I do, all the time...

    The article was fun, the story of the jogging clothes is so true!
    Jeef, "...so many parisian wearing them." Really? Lack of taste. ;)

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  59. Yes Monica, you better come defend yourself. Then you can wear that other perfume of yours...Poison!

    Actually, the expression you're looking for goes something like this:

    There was a little girl,
    Who had a little curl,
    Right in the middle of her forehead.
    When she was good,
    She was very good indeed,
    But when she was bad she was horrid.

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  60. Guille, of course we say that here, but I understand that a lot of branché Parisians now consider that mal consideré... Go figure...

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  61. In case you're interested Monica, another version of the poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

    There was a little girl,
    Who had a little curl,
    Right in the middle of her forehead.

    When she was good,
    She was very good indeed,
    But when she was bad she was horrid.

    She stood on her head in her little trundle bed
    With nobody by for to hinder
    She screamed and she squalled and she yelled and she bawled
    As she drummed her little feet against the “winder”(window).

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  62. Michael that poem... not a fan of it...
    you know what? I DID used to have Poison by Christian Dior. And I kid you not, I had an american boyfriend who used to love it on me!

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  63. "mal considéré" to be polite?..Bloody French! :)

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  64. Monica, I think it's enough now.
    LOL

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  65. I shan't Monica! I am sorely tempted by Michael's call to the Seine though. Believe me, if i can be there, i shall.

    Thank you so much for the perfume link Guille. I think it's just the bottles there though. Beautiful as they are, my mother wants the perfume!

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  66. I adore Poison too...mmmm. And Jean Paul Gautier, Chanel No. 5, Coco, Ghost, La Dolce Vita, Vera Wang mmmmmm i could go on.......

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  67. LOL Lynn, you're absolutely right! Maybe this perfume is not produced anymore.
    I'm sure you'll come. A picnic on the Seine embankments can't be refused, right? Add the presence of Eric, Michael, Jeff, probably Rose, and me...pure pleasure.

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  68. i know. I don't need convincing of the attraction Guille! FUN doesn't come in bigger capital letters. I just have to see how work is going. It's not great at the moment, so fingers crossed, huh. Picnic on the Seine........wow.

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  69. "when I am good, I'm good. But when I am bad, I'm even better..."

    I appreciate your literary research, Michael, but I like Monica's version better! (Ooh, I can hear my English literature diploma rolling over in its desk drawer.)

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  70. So Jeff, we need a firm date for the picnic. Can you leave us something on the PDP Forum? Or maybe the CDP Forum in case others want to join in? We'll need to know what to bring to the Seine picnic and of course we can email Monica with photos if she doesn't show.

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  71. Interesting story about the easter egg hunt. Elaine cooke

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  72. Wow, this is turning into a fantabulous post Easter party with talk of perfumes, playful poetry, and chocolate sentimentalities. Guille, your Easter story is so sweet. :) I miss those magical days too, as a mother and as a sister.

    Where's Eric?!?!

    Jeff and Michael you are too wild! ;) I like Jeff's version of the poem, a sure way to tempt us into joining the May festivities. The men of PDP are quite intriguing, interesting intelligent, and most of all kind. And the girls, well, we are having some fun! Thanks for making us smile. :)

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  73. Eric, I got the same article by email yesterday. Enjoy your long holiday WE!

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  74. This is fun, and apropos:

    "Curate's egg" refers to something which is part good and part bad: In the cartoon, a young curate, a fairly low-level clergyman, is served a stale egg at breakfast with the bishop. Asked if the egg is to his liking, he stammers out that "parts of it are excellent."

    While the curate's egg expression is well enough established in British English to be considered a cliché, it still remains relatively fresh in the American lexicon.

    Monica says she's both good and bad. Alors, est-ce qu'elle est "l'oeuf d'un vicaire"?

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  75. Jennifer, Eric's too famous and important to join us these days in the comments box we need to figure out how to get him back...:l

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  76. Lynn, so true, so true....Eric must be out and about today, dodging the paparazzi in Paris. We need to discover his temptation (now that we know Michael is seduced by chocolates and perfume, not sure about our other fine PDP men).

    Oh dear, I need to get to class....

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  77. I have a question - you know you are selling your photos using Zazzle? Well, I was windering - how does it work and is it easy to use even if you don't live in the USA?

    Do you get paid in your own currency?

    Thanks in advance,
    SS

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  78. Michael: promisses, promisses... you guys always say you're going to take pictures of the picnic and what do we got: one rare photo of the group without Eric in it.

    Am I right Lynn? Haven't we been begging them to show us the naked pictures they took while bathing in the Seine last year but they never show us...


    Jeff, aren't we all?! ;)

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  79. Quite, Monica. I remember it well. There must been someone nearby who could have taken a photo including everyone. It's clearly because Eric was the only naked one, that he took the photo.

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  80. Don't worry girls. If I am there, I will take lots of pictures of Eric (naked or not) and then post it everywhere :)

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  81. Eric must be blushing now.
    Or getting a restrainning order for us.

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  82. How did the subject of Eric being naked came about? My goodness girls, no wonder poor Eric is hiding!
    Behave!

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  83. Nah, he's just limbering up, putting some body lotion on, flexing his muscles in front of the mirror that sort of thing. Preparation is everything.

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  84. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  85. Yeah Monica...nothing to do with you uhm? ;)
    Tomate!! Tut tut...

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  86. Ah, Rose, I neglected to note you are in Paris. Yes, I hope we can organize a picnic and we can meet.

    Hey, Monica, I sent you photos, at least once, didn't I?

    (If either Eric or Michael show up naked, I guarantee they're going into the river!)

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  87. oh Rose sorry for that, too many comments to do, too many buttons.. Yes that's right, I was not the first one to mention those compromising pictures!


    Jeff you did not sent me pictures? No no. But you're welcome to send them when you go to the picnic this time.

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  88. Oh Jeff, I wish I were in Paris...
    I m in England...

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  89. LOL Jeff that's so funny and WELL worth a picture.

    Surely Eric must turn up in a minute to defend himself against this rumour of being naked at last year's picnic? Nu a la Seine, n'est-ce-pas.

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  90. Eric nu sur les quais? Je n'y crois pas. It's embarrassing...LOL
    Rose, you will be in Paris in May, remember...:p

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  91. I will try my best Guille, but I m not sure.

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  92. Just thought I'd make it 100...

    Guille if Rose doesn't go to the picnic you have to promise us to take lots and lots of photos ok!

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  93. I like this so very much. And the story with it...

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  94. What is all of this talk of naked people along the Seine? I don't remember any of that. Just a few good baguettes, fromage, du vin (bien sur) and nice people. Now you all have to say it was practically an orgy. Oh my, to even write the word makes me blush.

    So Rose, why only, "I will try my best"?

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