Friday, November 4, 2016

Five Things Friday, in Bordeaux, in November. . .

More than halfway through my ten weeks' away from home now, and so much stored up to share here, once I get organised. For now, another Five Things. . .  'cause Random is the New Normal?

1. Leslie in Oregon asked, in the comments of this post which included my watercolour of a persimmon I found in he park, if I'd go back and get a photo of the persimmon tree for her. Readers, your wishes are my commands. . .

This was an especially enjoyable assignment because it recalled my sweet little gardener-mother, introverted and shy as could be, taking her small crop of persimmons (a relatively rare find, at the time, in Vancouver area gardens) up to the produce manager at the small local grocery store to see if he wanted to sell them. This was at least a decade before the laudable recent moves to Local and Seasonal, etc., and I'm still grateful for this man's willingness to ignore corporate policy and make space for mom's persimmons there-- she was so embarrassed by, and proud of, her eccentric move, a rare and delightful exercising of her potential. Can't see a persimmon without remembering that story. . .

2.  This amazing mural drew me off my route last week, down the street toward a wonderful 18th-century building whose history you can read more about here. Apparently, the building, abandoned for the last few years, was the site last year of a Group Show by a collective of graffiti/mural artists. We must have been here for the last week or two of the show, but completely oblivious to it. What a shame -- I wish we'd discovered it in time.  Judging by the astonishing works outside the building, the whole must have been well worth seeing.
At the other end of the building was this one
and then this around the corner

3. And ugh! I just lost the rest of this post, which I'd moved to my iPad to write, using Blogsy, because Wifi's been slow here, flickering in and out, and that means my MacBook takes forever to make photos from the Cloud available to Blogger. Got that? Oh, the technology we muck about with, terms I'd never have imagined, energy spiriting images and words and sounds through the air around us. . . .At any rate, the post I wrote on Blogsy apparently hit the same WiFi roadblock that's been slowing down my photo transfers, and that draft has disappeared. Do you ever get tempted to shake your iPad or WhateverTablet or Notebook or HandyPhone screen, shake it like an old-fashioned Etch-a-Sketch in hopes that the desired material will surface for you? No?

I'd recounted what I thought was a charmingly whimsical anecdote about a recalcitrant toddler and his patient mother, and when I get over the frustration of having lost those four paragraphs, I'll try to write them again.

Meanwhile, photos still not appearing on command, let me just tell you that

4. I did a headstand in yoga today!!! Yes, I conquered my Fear of Falling and I followed the magical method directed by the instructor we've quickly come to admire greatly, and there I was, top of my head, my two palms, forming a neat triangle on a (very well-cushioned) mat, my knees resting on my elbows. So yes, it was an easy version, a beginner's version, what I've heard called a "Teddy Bear Headstand." But it was something I always thought I couldn't do, and I was even more excited about this posture than I have been about occasionally achieving two seconds of near-levitation in Crow Pose. Perhaps because this was a French Head Stand! ;-)

5. And last, because I don't want Friday to be Finished before I Finally Post, I'm just going to send you over here if you want some recommendations for some yummy fall armchair reading, great books for curling up with under a cozy throw -- or, as I say in that post, for reading in your hammock if you're just moving toward summer in your hemisphere. . .

So that's my Five. How about you? Would you like to contribute One or Two? Or comment on any of my Five, or ask me questions. . . Have you ever done a headstand? Is it easy for you? Scary? Fun?. . . Or Persimmon Stories? Leslie told one when she asked me to go back to the park for that photograph, and I shared my mother's with you. . . perhaps there's an entire collection of persimmon stories to be amassed here. . . Over to you with the mic. . . And Bonne Fin de Semaine, eh? (that's my French and my Canadian selves teaming up there to wish you a good weekend ;-)

22 comments:

  1. ah persimmon is Sharon fruit. Yum!!

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    1. They abound at markets here, but I'm not sure what to do with them -- Suggestions?

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  2. I don't shake my devices Etch-a-Sketch style but I do hold my phone up in the air if a page is slow to load. Closer to the signal from outer space by at least a foot...😄

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  3. So would you go so far as to say you did everything but standing on your head to please readers... and then went on to stand on your head to please yourself? Ha. Bad joke. Sorry. Love the shots of that building. Amazing to just round the corner and see things like that, eh?
    And as it's Friday... I'd like to wish a restful and non-stressful weekend to our American friends. I'll be thinking of them on Tuesday.

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    1. Thank you. My anxiety knows no bounds.

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    2. Ha! Chuckling . . . pleased to see my head-standing moment getting extended attention, so all jokes accepted. ;-)
      And I'll echo your wishes to our southern neighbours (including Marie ;-). . . nicely said.

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  4. Inversions have always been a challenge for me, and I will NEVER forget the first time I kicked up into a handstand (against the wall, yes) by myself, at about the age of 42! It was so incredible. Well done on your headstand!!!

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    1. I doubt there are enough years left for me ever to achieve a handstand (the upper body strength!) nor even to extend my legs from my beginner's headstand, but I can imagine how exhilarating your first one must have felt! Wow!

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  5. I love the story about your mother,so emotional!
    I thought that persimmon was a shredberry (and we had two trees till a couple of years ago) but luckily googled it.
    Brava for your headstand! Your yoga lessons are going great!
    I did a handstand (alone,without the wall,the wall handstand seemed more difficult to me) last time when I was 15 (so brava for Tiffany,too!).
    Nowdays,I'm closer to be happy for a leg stand :-)
    Dottoressa

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    1. I don't know the Shredberry -- does it go by another name?
      You were very athletic already, even as a teen.
      Leg stands are good -- I do love a good Mountain Pose in yoga (Tadasana) -- almost as much as Shavasana ;-)

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    2. Thank you-but it was not the truth- I was lazy and non-athletic with some unexpected and sporadic achievements!
      It is an old fruit tree-maybe Mespilus germanica,Medlar,Gall nut?
      D.

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  6. I had to google persimmons, too. And found out that the name by which they are known in this country, kaki, is Japanese. I also read that a persimmons tree could grow in our climate, so there is another idea of what to plant in a future communal garden. (“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”)
    I love the story about your mother. How come she had a persimmons tree in her garden at that time when they were not very common, apparently?
    I have never done a headstand. It is not a fear of falling that prevents me, I simply feel very uncomfortable when my head is lower than, say, my knees. For many years now my yoga teacher has been trying to coax me into all sorts of preliminary postures. Maybe she will succeed before we both turn eighty.

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    1. Yes, apparently the tree is Diospyros kaki, native to Asia. I am very pleased to think of one in your future communal garden, and I absolutely love this quotation you include, which I looked up to find that it's by Martin Luther.
      My mother was a keen gardener who loved discovering new plants. She had a wonderful collection of tree peonies, for example, long before they became as popular as they have recently. She was considerably limited by budget, but she used hers widely and she mixed the exotic with the common to complement both.
      As for you and your yoga teacher, good luck and patience. I think there's considerable wisdom to keeping our heads up above our knees, but sometimes perhaps our brains need that extra oxygen! ;-)

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  7. I've never tried a persimmon. Your mother sounds like a plucky introvert. I have a fear of falling and balance is not one of my strengths. But when I first met my husband (30+ years ago) he impressed me by doing a headstand in my living-room. It says something about age because he can't do one now and I would be
    admonishing that he was likely to break something. Is the African Doctor available
    on Netflix in France? I watched it (in French) this week. It is the story of a black family who move to a rural French town. Bonne fin de semaine à vous.

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    1. Oh, I wish I could have shared that phrase with her. She was, indeed, a plucky introvert -- I used to tell people that my mother would have loved to be an eccentric except that she was too shy to want the attention that might attract. She masqueraded as being quite conservative, but now and again. . . I tried to find the African Doctor (Bienvenue a Marly-Gormont) but it's not available here on Netflix (perhaps because they're still marketing it otherwise, it being so new). I'll try to remember it for when we get back and are still trying to keep our French fresh.

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  8. Well hi there! My mother in her gourmet phase made persimmon pudding. I never ate any. That could be a poem, in someone else's hands. Your story is lovely. And I don't know which impresses me more, the murals or your headstand.

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    1. That is definitely a poem. It could also perhaps be a short story (imagine what Alice Munro might do with it, although it's perhaps difficult to think of her "doing" California). And definitely a novel....
      The headstand was ever so modest -- we've found a very cool yoga teacher here who emphasises that it's all about technique, lightness, not force or strength. And oh, the breathing. . . .

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  9. Don't think a persimmon has ever crossed by path but I having pangs for crab apples - for no other reason that I had a sudden recollection of the crab apple jelly my mother made when I was 4 or so. Think I may have to get one for the garden.

    It's Bonfire Night here today so outside there are fireworks going off in all directions. I spent the day at my first creative writing workshop. Shall award the experience a definite Hmm

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    1. You'd have to have your own tree for crab apples these days, I imagine. Haven't seen them sold anywhere, although the markets here might have them Best flavour ever for jellies, right?
      In Britain, apparently, the persimmon gets called a date-plum. . .
      A definite Hmmmm. . . . could be the name of a small choral group, no?

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  10. I'm so impressed with the handstand! I think I've come too late to yoga. Slow breathing is my favourite bit ;). Know what you mean about uploading photos when you are away. On my iPad I used google chrome and added all my text to the post first with spaces to allow photos. Then I clicked the HTML button found where the spaces were and added photos that way.it seemed to work with low internet bandwidth. Good luck. B X

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    1. Omigosh, not a handstand! Perish the thought! Just a teddy-bear headstand.
      I'll check out that photo-loading technique

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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