News and Opinion from Anne Barone to Keep You Chic & Slim


Colette Bourlier, 91, defending her theis.

20 March 2016

Taking Breaks, Taking Time To Get It Right

So French. The media reports that Colette Bourlier, 91, recently earned her PhD with “high distinction” completing a thesis she began 30 years ago.

As someone who always takes a long time to write anything, I can certainly understand how it took the French woman three decades to write her thesis. As Colette Bourlier explained: "It took a bit of time to write because I took breaks." She added, "I did the best that I could.”

The French believe breaks are necessary to restore and refresh. And as I have explained before, to most French, the amount of time a project takes is how long it takes you — not how long it took someone else — to achieve the results you envision. The amount of time you spend on a project should be how long it takes you to do it well.

Though it took her 30 years to write, Colette Bourlier’s thesis topic is important today. Perhaps more so than it was when she began writing her thesis.

Her adviser, Serge Ormaux, vice president of the Université de Franche-Comté, told the New York Times “Ms. Bourlier’s examination of the integration of migrants, in particular women who came to France from Algeria, Italy, Portugal and elsewhere in the 1970s, resonates today as Europe grapples with a migration crisis.”

And what was the retired geography teacher’s method of research? “Ms. Bourlier met regularly over coffee and cakes with the migrant women she studied to check on their progress.”

So French.

be chic, stay slimAnne Barone

image: Colette Bourlier defending her thesis. Credit Ludovic Godard/Université de Franche-Comté

|| 17 March 2016

Arugula, Pear & Wild Violet Salad

Happy St. Patrick’s Day ! Green is, of course, the color of the day. And we have plenty of green at Provence-sur-la-Prairie this spring. Here is Sam patrolling the arugula, an ingredient in the salade du jour. My arugula is now in bloom. Pretty white flowers, though flavor is milder than earlier in the season. Still tasty for salads. More . . .

|| 13 March 2016

Halloumi Cheese Info & Recipes

Spring has come to Provence-sur-la-Prairie, as you can see in the photo of my back garden above. In the foreground are the delicate pink Geranium robertianum Robert Geranium. Across the background stretches henbit with its orchid-like heads. Henbit in this part of the world is always a sign of spring. The clump of purple is grape hyacinth which, from the few clumps when I bought this property, have spread to many spots around the back garden — to my springtime delight.

On Thursday I wrote about my disappointment with a package of imported Halloumi cheese I bought. Two readers, Ann Leslie in New York and Kat in London (Merci Ann Leslie & Kat) sent information about Halloumi that confirms my suspicion that the package I bought was probably not the most authentic of Halloumi — and that I did not use a good recipe for this firm, white cheese from the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. I mentioned a similar Sardinian cheese I used to buy. Ann Leslie’s description of the Halloumi she used to buy in Brooklyn describes a cheese much like the Sardinian cheese I remember. So it was likely a Sardinian version of Halloumi. Kat in London sent a her favorite Halloumi recipe. More . . .

7 March 2016

Kristin Scott Thomas' Madame Figaro Interview

The image above is from a Madame Figaro December interview with Kristin Scott Thomas. The quote translates: It isn’t easy to see aging on the screen. Isn’t the illustration of Kristin Scott Thomas wonderfully elegant?

Because of the response, both email and Twitter, to my Nouvelles about the Marie France interview with KST, I think you will also enjoy KST Style and Lifestyle nuggets from the Madame Figaro article. More . . .