Category: "Uncategorized"

the 14th

07/14/17 10:11

I’m an undemonstrative Francophile. It may be because the two months I spent in Germanic Alsace were much more meaningful than the eight months I spent in Italianate Provence. And I moan inwardly every time I walk in a bookstore and see the monopoly of books on France (and its hotter cousin Italy). Publishers, there are other countries in the world! Most of these books, of course, are about Paris or the South; my beloved Alsatians go unlimned. Toujours Provence. Jamais Alsace.

 But I admire the French, especially now that, for the first time in history (as someone has pointed out) they have a president who speaks better English than the American president. And they have other talents. Charles de Gaulle questioned how one can govern – while many visitors wonder how one can’t love – a nation with over 300 cheeses. My sister-in-law was in Paris recently with her daughter and, after a few days of patisseries and boulangeries, Elizabeth had a good question for her mother: “If you lived here, would you ever bake again?”

By Thomas Swick • Category: Uncategorized

no go

06/14/17 08:46

Hania refuses to see Wonder Woman. She hates competition.

By Thomas Swick • Category: Uncategorized

rain man

06/08/17 08:26

I used to love rain. Last year I nodded when the author of Rain, a professor at the University of Florida, said in an interview that she loved being in Miami during a thunderstorm. I believe she mentioned how she’d watch the torrents and then, 20 minutes later, the sun would come out.

I always told people that the great thing about South Florida was that it was one of the few places in the country that got huge amounts of sun and huge amounts of rain. A few years ago I worked with a woman who didn’t buy that; she said Florida was the wettest place she had ever lived. I laughed. She had grown up outside Seattle.

Last evening, during a break in the rain that I mistook for a conclusion, we went out to dinner. Halfway through the meal it started to pour. Going to get the car, I may have ruined my favorite pair of shoes.

By Thomas Swick • Category: Uncategorized

The graduation party for the Washington International School was held at the French embassy, where I sat next to a large and very interesting man who worked for the Dutch embassy. His best posting, he said, was in Ghana, though he also enjoyed Australia, in part because it entailed a visit to Papua New Guinea. (He went there to see what help the Netherlands might be able to give the people and came away with the conviction that they were doing fine as they were.) He said he hadn't started out in the foreign service, and asked me to guess his original line of work.

"Engineer," I said.

"No."

"Teacher."

"Close."

"Social worker."

"Very close," he said.

"I give up."

"I was a policeman," he said, with satisfaction.

By Thomas Swick • Category: Uncategorized

Boston Strong. Manchester United.

By Thomas Swick • Category: Uncategorized

The difference between older man and old man is almost as great as that between joy and joyless.

By Thomas Swick • Category: Uncategorized