THINKING ABOUT FRANCE
FOR OBVIOUS TRAGIC REASONS
RANDOM PLEASANTER MEMORIES
As I have mentioned before many times, one side of the family, Benjamin Lentaigne de Logivieres, came from France, from Normandy, because the locals had decided to cut his head off.
It’s as good a reason to emigrate as I can think of. He hadn’t done anything (as far as I know) but he was an aristocrat (his father was a count), the French Revolution was on, and decapitation was all the rage.
I can’t resist this. Think of it as the cutting edge of democracy.
He wasn’t madly keen on the idea so made love to the jailer’s daughter—and she helped him escape. Supposedly she lowered him in a laundry basket into the river, and he drifted to a ship which was going to Ireland.
Is a waterproof laundry-basket credible? Wicker seem more appropriate. Maybe he was only lowered in the basket, and swam thereafter.
Lucky for me that he did—or I wouldn’t be. His sibling were not so lucky. It’s disconcerting to look up your ancestors and see Guillotined beside one after the other.
I love France so have been there often. Strangely enough, I’m not madly keen on Paris—though I once had an affair with a countess there (sadly, she is now dead). She took me to a very expensive restaurant and sitting at the next table was the then Mexican president (and party). If memory serves it was Carlos Salinas de Gortari. He started flirting with her but lost out. He is the only president I have ever had as a rival.
I’m rather glad it wasn’t Clinton. I might have been in trouble.
Le Monde paid the bill. Catherine worked for them at the time. Le Monde—as of course you know—is a rather classy French newspaper.
I was robbed in Paris on another occasion and recall sitting in the police station watching policemen coming off duty and racking their submachine guns one after the other. Irish cops normally aren’t even armed so that got my attention.
French cops armed with automatic weapons actually goes back to the aftermath of WW II when there were so many weapons around there was a serious violent crime wave. Then came came the French-Algerian War and its aftermath—and numerous plots to kill President de Gaulle.
In short, Paris has seen a lot of action.
We used to vacation in Monaco—which, of course, isn’t in France. However our hotel was by a few feet.
Thinking of France, and then Monaco—and then jogged by the blog I wrote about my brief film career yesterday, I tried to recall the name of a French movie star I had met there. The name had eluded me for years but today I had Wikipedia to hand. Yes, it was, indeed, Michele Morgan.
I have long had thoughts of retiring to France. I rather fancy dying by slumping forward onto my empty wine glass after a hard day’s writing. The location would a local bistro—and the wine bottle would empty too.
Would I be alone? That would be telling.
VOR words 511.