Doing British Things In FranceWritten by B A Boyle
There are plenty of “British” things to do in France but you may have to be a little more imaginative as far as entertainment goes. A nice meal with a good bottle of wine is quite straightforward, but stylish restaurant, even if there is one near you, may not necessarily be best. Try that neat little local restaurant instead . You may be surprised to find that owner provides more than just a “plat de jour”. He is often a magnificent, well-trained chef who can create great dishes with fresh local produce; vegetables and herbs from his own garden, fruit from his neighbour and mushrooms from field, He would love to win a Michelin star but his tiny restaurant in an unfashionable locality will never be a contender. Just as well - last thing you want is an invasion of tourists or gourmets who would change this simple ambiance not to mention price.
If you’re slightly more gregarious why not join a club. As population in some small towns and villages dwindles, locals are delighted for you to swell their numbers in yoga class, cycle runs or even senior citizens club. Don’t be surprised if you experience “hard sell”. They are likely to ignore a foreigner’s natural reticence, language barrier, and, in case of senior citizens, protests that you are barely 50 years of age. In fact, only membership criteria seem to be that you’ve given up work. The organisers of old folks’ Christmas party in our village, noting our reluctance to join, offered us temporary membership for festive season. Even though we brought down average age considerably, we were accepted with celebrity-like status. Our fellow revellers wanted to know how we managed to look so young. Our claim that we were in fact “young” was met with cynical smiles and disbelieving shrugs. Not much of a compliment I think!. However, as with most of these “dos” meal was superb. Countless courses of food prepared by local restaurateur were accompanied by fantastic wines to suit each delicious dish. Five hours later we were treated to a karaoke-style concert of songs from past. Interesting, entertaining and shamefully cheap.
In summer, a similar but faster repas can be had at many fetes. Each village seems to have its own version of a farmer’s market, display of ancient and modern crafts and often, a wonderfully British thing, car boot sale. For two hours at lunchtime though activities cease so that you may join stall holders and regulars for a fantastic mini banquet served to hungry crowds on trestle tables. If you haven’t booked beforehand, you may have to settle for beer and a sandwich in bar with other disappointed visitors.
Of course, there are other British things to do in France. Do you remember week-ends in UK? If you’re still addicted to visits to DIY store then nobody here will prevent you from continuing, except that is, on Sunday, when all such shops are closed, oh, and sometimes on a Monday too. However, you will be pleased to read that more and more retail parks are springing up everywhere and with them number of B&Q look-alikes. If you have satellite TV you can still watch house makeover programmes and then spend rest of those lovely sunny days painting your walls magnolia, sticking on paper borders or laying a laminate wooden floor. Remember though, it will be impossible to impress your French neighbours when their own floors are solid wood parquet and most fashionable décor is still to paper walls, ceiling and even doors in same garishly patterned paper.
Discover Norton Simon Museum In Pasadena CaliforniaWritten by David G. Hallstrom, Sr.
The Norton Simon Museum sits on 9.5 acres, is housed in an 85,000 squrare foot structure and is located in beautiful city of Pasadena, California at 411 W. Colorado Blvd. right across street from where television cameras are set up every year for Rose Parade. Therefore millions of people view front of museum each year as they watch Rose Parade. What most of these viewers do not know is that "The Norton Simon Museum of Art holds one of world's finest and most prestigious private collections of European, American and Asian art."
The collection, which includes works by van Gogh, Picasso, Rembrandt, Rodin and Fragonard consists of over 1,000 works, including paintings, etchings (by Rembrandt, Goya, etc.), sculptures, photographs (Ansel Adams) and other mediums spanning a period of over 2,000 years. The museum also hosts lectures, gallery talks, family programs, musical performances, dance performances, films and tours.
The museum provides both private tours and monthly free public tours of their collection conducted by Museum Educators.