More photos of Provence

Provence August 2014Provence August 2014

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“Home” in Provence

Photos of the fabulous Chateau de Mappe, where friend Alice and I were for a few glorious days this summer.

Chateau de MappeChateau de Mappe

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Sketchbooking away

I am taking an online sketchbooking class from the fabulously talented Mary Ann Moss. Now bound and determined to post about this, including the widget-thingy (um, soon; gotta read the instructions). Trying to get up to speed on WordPress!

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This is a test

this is only a test, I repeat….

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The Sunday surprise

One of my favorite bits of the Sunday NY Times is the “download” column. Sometimes, like today, it makes me feel very, very dull indeed.

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Jaw-dropping

Programming for 4-year-olds?!! i am sooooo far behind.

http://bit.ly/19YxMxQ

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Notes from Manila

The Manila Hotel is a fine old place. True, it tends to run out of hot water in the mornings and the wifi was wonky until a lovely young woman at the concierge desk gave me a tip for resetting it–but it’s tremendously comfortable and inviting, with an exceptionally friendly staff.

The quality of the pianists in the lobby is variable, but I venture to say that is generally the case everywhere.

After the meeting today, I was so, so tired. Typing for hours on end is pretty tiring to begin with, as you will appreciate.

Fortunately, I was able to make a beeline for the pool when we got back to the hotel.

So there I was, in the steamy Manila evening, the sunset a lovely purple over the Bay, doing some water aerobics and feeling grateful for the water–just one incongruous note, the Christmas carols blaring from the swim-up bar!

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In Manila

When you get up at 5, having given up on sleep, it is a LONG TIME until the mall opens at 10!

I made my way to said mall when it opened and it did not disappoint–it was crazily enormous, maze-like, and contained a bewildering number of restaurants, all of which appeared to be of about the same quality–sadly, I could not bring myself to eat a Krispy Kreme outside of Winston-Salem–and music was blaring, and I mean, BLARING, from everywhere. After O Holy Night in the hotel, do I really need a reverberating version of Little Drummer Boy? On October 20?? I think not.

Mall

I went to the grocery store, as is my wont in every new city. May I say, as a native North Carolinian and long-time visitor to all parts of the Deep South, I have never, ever, seen so much SPAM or so many pork rinds in various flavors in my entire life?

The hotel, by the way, is smoke-free. From Oct 20 to Oct 26! ????!!! Except for one wee problem: it doesn’t seem to be WORKING. . . .

It was hot, very hot, and humid today, and I had decided to walk over the place, so by the time I collapsed into the hotel, I was hot, sticky, sweaty, and remembering why I did not love living on a tropical island. Also glad that Manila Bay looks good from a distance, because it stinks rather alarmingly up close.

Hoping against hope for sleep tonight, as serious work begins in the morning!

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Scenes from Manila

The hotel is full of Jehovah’s Witness convention-goers.

At dinner the first night, a group of women are in the Chinese restaurant, asking for cheese wontons. Trying to explain to a mystified waiter what they are. To no avail, apparently.

Yesterday, on the way to the office, I passed by an intriguing looking bookshop. Bookshop AND dental clinic, all in one.

Every evening a young woman plays piano in the lobby. She has the score on her iPad! I guess I am behind, as I’ve never seen that before.

Yesterday morning, she was holding forth on a very emotional rendition of O Holy Night!

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Prayer for our times

From Sojourner’s Voice of The Day:

On The Ground

Put prayers on the ground,
so many prayers that not
a drop of blood can find its way
to the earth, not a drop
can leach into the soil or soul.
Put your prayers on the ground.
Make a place for God to walk
among the horrors and hopes.
There you will find us standing
in his wake, knee deep
in invocations and possibilities.

-Belle Fox-Matin

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