artist's website welcome page with self-portrait against blue background

image: Welcome page of Françoise Gilot's website

|| 20 January 2022

Françoise Gilot at 100

So here we are nearing the end of the first month of 2022, coping with the Omicron variant and — some of you — surviving the onslaught on a major winter storm.

But make yourself a cup of tea and read the interview article in The New York Times with Françoise Gilot. The French artist and writer is, at 100, as saucy and opinionated as she has been through the decades.

In Chic & Slim Toujours, Françoise Gilot (with Liliane Bettencourt who died in 2017 ) were, at 92, the oldest of the chic French women of certain age that I profiled. Françoise Gilot seems to have perfected the art of aging as she successfully as she perfected her own artistic style and personal style.

In the NY Times interview, Françoise Gilot says of personal style:

“A sense of style is important,” she said. “It’s like a pane of glass that makes you seem transparent but at the same time is a barrier.”

Barriers can be handy. “You should not make yourself known that much to other people and keep your most intimate thoughts to yourself,” she said. Even with a husband? “Especially with a husband,” she said.

NY Times Interview with Françoise Gilot

|| 16 January 2022


Susan in Hamilton is a fan of the blog That’s Not My Age created by London-based Alyson Walsh. Recently Susan sent text and a link for an article by a guest writer on the blog encouraging walking. Merci, Susan.

A walk? you say. But it’s so COLD out there!

Properly dressed, you can find a walk in the cold invigorating — not uncomfortable. I like wearing my three-layer Covid masking for cold walks because it keeps my nose warm.

Of course, when you return from your walk in the cold. a mug of steaming tea tastes wonderful.

Why walking is good for you on That’s Not My Age

|| 9 January 2022

News From France

If you are following the current news from France, you know that President Macron has (again) stirred up the protesters.

Some are protesting a new law that those unvaccinated for Covid will not be allowed to attend sporting events and theaters — will not be allowed to enter cafes and restaurants.

Others are protesting the provocative words Macron chose in his announcement.

Out of curiosity, I looked up the offending verb emmerder in my 1962 edition of my New Cassell’s French Dictionary in which it states that the word is very crude. It means: to be a great nuisance, to create trouble. But there are other words that express this meaning that are more proper.

You can read two articles in The Guardian that explain the situation.

Macron declares his Covid strategy

Macron rebuke to unvaccinated citizens incurs anger in parliament

|| 6 January 2022

Remembering: Capitol Attack — Last WWII Veteran

Here in the USA today, we are observing the first anniversary of the 6 January attack on the US Capitol. A serious day of remembrance with many who hold differing viewpoints voicing their opinions on the event.

And while we are focused on remembering the Capitol attack, we should not fail to note the passing of the last American World War II veteran Lawrence N. Brooks of New Orleans at age 112.

He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1940 and assigned to the 91st Engineer General Service Regiment stationed in Australia. He completed his service in 1945.

|| 30 December 2021

Believing in Better

This morning, before I had even made my pot of tea, I dropped an uncooked egg on the floor. A mess to clean up — but not as big a mess as the one made a few days previously when my elbow somehow collided with the blender container of kale soup and knocked it off the kitchen counter and into the floor. (Fortunately most of the soup fell on the kitchen mat and I was able to carefully carry the mat out the back door and turn the garden hose on it.)

That is the way the week has gone. Not a good week. And looking further back, it has not been such a great year either. But we are counting down the hours until the end of 2021.

I have been thinking lately of a woman I knew several decades ago. She had been a teenager in Warsaw and was in the first group that the Nazis took off to a concentration camp. Of her family, only she and her brother survived the camp. She said what sustained them through the long incarceration was the belief that if they could survive, when freed, they would go to the United States. Things would be better there.

Whatever the difficulty, whether great or small, we humans seem to be able to survive those difficulties if we believe that they will eventually end and things will be better.

Through difficulties large and small, we must not lose our belief in better days to come.

Onward to 2022 — Anne Barone

|| 19 December 2021

Notre Dame de Paris: historic and evolving

Before the controversy began over the restoration to the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral following the 2019 fire, I was grateful to have been given a copy of Notre-Dame de Paris: The Eternal Cathedral. Now that the cathedral's restoration plans have been approved and we have learned that there will be changes to the interior of Notre Dame that to my taste (and to the taste of many others) will detract from the beauty and dignity of this venerable building, I am especially glad to have the book. More . . .

|| 16 December 2021

Covid & Obesity: The Connection

Early in the pandemic we learned there was a direct connection between obesity and Covid 19. Now a new study helps explain why this is so. Briefly: the coronavirus attacks fat tissue. The more fat tissue you have, the more of you Covid has to attack. Established in the your tissue, Covid can spread.

A New York Times article explains in depth what the study found.

The Coronavirus Attacks Fat Tissue, Scientists Find

If you cannot access the NYTimes article, there is a shorter, less detailed report on WebMD.

Coronavirus Attacks Fat Tissue, Study Says

Merci to Susan in Hamilton who sent the link to the New York Times article.

|| 12 December 2021 — UPDATE to 9 December Nouvelles

Kitschy Notre Dame Restoration Plans Approved

It was a disappointment. Notre Dame's controversial 'kitsch' restoration plans were approved in the Thursday committee voting. But the renovation of the historic cathedral is expected to take at least two years. Perhaps some of the ideas for ‘kitschy” changes will be discarded before the reopening.

Notre Dame's controversial 'kitsch' restoration plans approved after vote in EuroNews.

Note: While you are on the EuroNews website, you might find other articles of French interest in the links.

|| 21 November 2021

Chanel No. 5: new book set

One of the books celebrating the 100 years of Coco Chanel's iconic perfume Chanel No.5 is a pricey 2-volume set by award-winning French novelist Pauline Dreyfus.

You can read more about the books on the publisher Abrams catalog page for the set.

Chic & Slim trivia note: In the early days of Chic & Slim, when I was selling and shipping my own books, I would scent all the packages with Chanel No. 5 — and not a counterfeit or facsimile of the perfume — but with real Chanel No. 5.

|| 15 November 2021

Julia Child Documentary

A new documentary on Julia Child has recently been released. The review in The Guardian is as delicious as one of Julia Child's recipes. The comment by one of the documentary's co-directors Julie Cohen that in one episode of her television series Julia Child held up an artichoke and tells the audience not to be afraid of it reminded me of the lovely photo of French artichokes that our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat sent from France during her late summer visit. I thought Kat's photo was the perfect image to accompany today's Nouvelles.

You can read the review of the new Julia Child documentary.

Bon appétit !

|| 21 October 2021

Translating From French

How is your French? Did you work out the translations of the signs in the market photo our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat provided for the French Ready Meals Nouvelles? More . . .

|| 14 October 2021

French Ready Meals / Fast Food

I still have photos and comments sent by our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat during her recent trip to France that I have not yet shared with you. Today a photo and comment she sent mid-September on "ready meals" — what we in the USA call fast food — that Kat found available when out shopping. More . . .