I have a Facebook account - there I admitted it! Not that I post much on it, but it is a good way to keep up with family members dotted all over the world - particularly nephews and nieces - who seem particularly keen on it. On Wednesday night I happened to be glancing over FB when I noticed that my oldest son was online. Our neighbour, with whom we are very close, turned 70 today so I sent André a message reminding him to wish Michel a happy birthday. He said he would and then asked if I was free on March 17th "only Lily and I are getting married that day"!!!! Say what!!!!! That is two weeks from today!!!! It's not the whole "we're getting married" business that threw me, it's the lack of notice!! Unlike the UK, church weddings are not legal in Switzerland (or France, for that matter) so typically people get married first at the Town Hall and then in Church, if that is what they want. In my case, the kids don't want a religious ceremony as neither are religious, so in July we will be having a non-religious family celebration of their marriage. My ex and I got married in Switzerland and the paperwork wasn't particularly fearsome, but with Lily being Swiss their paperwork was more complex because marriage to a Swiss confers certain rights to the spouse - I guess they are making sure it isn't a marriage of convenience. Fair enough and good for the Swiss, but heck, when was he thinking about mentioning the date to me? Bloody hell, now I've got two weeks to find something suitable to wear and no, I haven't exactly lost a ton of weight either! Kids! In fact this morning he emailed me to ask if I could send scanned copies of his brother's British and American passports to him today! Apparently the Maire who will be marrying them needs copies today of Jordan's passports to register him as the official witness. Luckily I make a habit of scanning all official documents so was able to send them but "no pressure there then"!
On the "losing weight" scene, I went walking again today and have to say it is slowly getting very slightly easier going uphill. On the way back I came through the botanical gardens again and I have noticed several times now the beautiful scents given off by some flowers in particular areas of the gardens. I try to look at the names of the flowers/bushes but can't keep the Latin ones in my head of course. Maybe I should take my ipad with me next time. But, going through a group of rhododendrons there is always the most beautiful scent - and I didn't know rhododendrons gave off a scent (not that I know much about any botanical matters really). In fact, in one part of the gardens is the "Jardin des Senteurs" ("perfume gardens", I guess, for want of a better translation). It is specifically designed for blind or sight-impaired people and has all the plant names written in brail. Some of the scents there are just fabulous! So that's another thing to add to my list of "things I want to delve further into" when I retire!
And moving swiftly on, last night a friend and I went to see La La Land. I always try to wait a few weeks when a film comes out to avoid the crowds at the initial screenings. After first going to the wrong cinema we made it to the right cinema just as the opening titles were coming up. I have to say - crikey - what an amazing place that cinema was! I nearly fainted when I found out the entrance fee was 25 Swiss francs (that's about 25 dollars) and that had even come down from the 35 Swiss francs he was charging previously. But ..... and it's a big but here ..... the cinema was absolute luxury! Imagine yourself on a plane in first class, reclinable seats, plenty of space, and with your own individual tray for drinks etc. There was a bar/coffee shop just outside and some people brought their glass of wine in with them. Frankly, although it was expensive, it was a real treat to see a film this way and. I feel, worth occasionally splashing out on. I must not be the only one to feel this way because apparently this guy has recently bought another run-down cinema and will be doing it up in the same vein! Now that's an entrepreneurial spirit if ever there was one!
As for the film, it was ok/good. Very "feel good" but not the greatest of films but by no means boring. I would give it a 7/10, to be honest.
The film is all about a young man desperate to open his own jazz club and a young woman desperate to find fame as an actress. I couldn't help noticing that while Emma Stone is not, in my opinion, conventionally beautiful, to my mind she has something very attractive about her (but of course, with Hollywood make-up artists they all look great). Nevertheless, I think she is attractive (and talented). This week, of course, we had the Oscars and while I don't watch them (9-hour time difference and no interest anyway) there was a real whoo-haa in the press about La La Land being named the best film by mistake. Not the end of the world by any means, and of course there are far more important things going on in the world, but I couldn't help noticing how dreadful Faye Dunaway looked. Yes, I know she's getting on and all that but her plastic surgery is just appalling! So then I got to thinking how hard it must be for someone who was once considered a great beauty to age, and how desperate so many seem to hold on to their looks. In the end, isn't it easier for the rest of us mere mortals not to have to "apoligize" for aging and not be examined under the microscope. Just a thought!
And finally, another thought (gosh, I seem to be having a lot of those lately)! OH and I split up in June last year after seven years together. I ended it because I was tired of never doing anything ever and felt that with my divorce well and truly in the past and the kids moved on I am just chomping at the bit to do things and he just wasn't. We're still friends in any case, and occasionally have a drink together, but we are no longer a couple and we're both fine with that. Well the other night I was having a drink with him after work and they were playing salsa music in the background. I commented on how much I love that music and ex-OH commented how much he "loathed it with a vengeance" (see how compatible we aren't!). Well I had been talking to a colleague who, like me, had previously taken salsa lessons and was thinking of going back to it in September when they start up again from scratch. The salsa teacher I had was great but like so many other women I didn't have a partner, and while she made sure we all swapped partners as much as possible, it wasn't ideal. So I was looking up the schedule for the current classes (she teaches other things than salsa) and I noticed that she gives private lessons. They are expensive but I was wondering if it might be worth treating myself to 10 private lessons so that I can get more out of it. I wouldn't just want salsa lessons either, as she teaches ballroom dances such as the waltz and the foxtrot and so on (which I tried out and loved). Normally each year I try to go away in February/March for a break from the winter, but this year, with the wedding coming up, I won't be going away until later in the year, so I was wondering - should I put some of the money I would have spent on going away into private dance lessons? Being a Libran I have to weigh these things up, not only because of the cost but because I have (happily) gotten involved in so many different clubs/projects that I also don't want to have every night taken up with going out. Aaaahhh first world problems to be sure!