7 July 2015

3 June 2015

à écouter (3)

Dans le cadre de sa récente série «Sortir de la seconde guerre mondiale», La Fabrique de l'Histoire a présenté un entretien avec Serge et Beate Klarsfeld pour célébrer la publication de leurs mémoires communes en tant que chasseurs de nazis (chez Fayard/Flammarion). J'ai commandé ce livre à ma librairie et j'ai extrêmement hâte de le lire.

Est-il souhaitable de réaliser tout ce qui est techniquement possible? Les Nouveaux chemins de la connaissance explorent cette question sous un angle philosophique. (Les pièces musicales diffusées lors de cette émission sont excellentes, en particulier la chanson de Boris Vian!)

À ma grande honte, je commence à peine à découvrir l'œuvre d'Albert Camus. Franchement ennuyée par L'Étranger, j'ai cependant été époustouflée par La Peste, et c'est grâce à une émission de Ça peut pas faire de mal consacrée à la correspondance entre Camus et le poète René Char (publiée chez Flammarion) que j'ai eu ce grand bonheur littéraire.

28 May 2015

à écouter (2)

Vous aussi, dans votre enfance, vous avez rêvé de devenir égyptologue? Pierre Tallet parle avec passion du quotidien de ce métier sur Les Savanturiers. (Et si ce n'est déjà fait, abonnez-vous au Salon noir!)

Un peu de lecture, Ça peut pas faire de mal! Guillaume Gallienne interprète, joue avec beaucoup de subtilité et de sensibilité les extraits de romans qu'il choisit. Il vient d'entamer un cycle Zola : La Curée, L'Assommoir, Germinal...

22 May 2015

à écouter (1)

Je suis depuis longtemps très friande de baladiffusions (podcasts). Je passe chaque jour de nombreuses heures, écouteurs bien enfoncés dans les oreilles, à m'informer notamment sur la philosophie, l'histoire et la littérature. (Mes favoris se trouvent d'ailleurs ici.)

J'ai donc pensé partager de temps à autre des émissions qui m'ont particulièrement intéressée ou émue. Pour commencer, en voici deux :

- sur Le Temps des écrivains, un long entretien avec l'écrivain, sémiologue, etc. Umberto Eco, entre autres sur son tout nouveau roman, Numéro Zéro (je préfère de loin ses essais, bien que Le Pendule de Foucault soit devenu un de mes livres préférés); c'est toujours un plaisir d'entendre cet homme si brillant et si espiègle!

- sur Les Femmes, toute une histoire, on parle du rôle des femmes (souvent très jeunes) dans la Résistance en France lors de la 2e Guerre mondiale, et de l'expérience de celles internées à Ravensbrück, alors que deux d'entre elles entreront bientôt au Panthéon; le site de l'émission montre quelques photos extrêmement touchantes et mentionne plusieurs autobiographies de survivantes.

20 May 2015

perfection


From the oval-shaped flower-bed there rose perhaps a hundred stalks spreading into heart-shaped or tongue-shaped leaves half way up and unfurling at the tip red or blue or yellow petals marked with spots of colour raised upon the surface; and from the red, blue or yellow gloom of the throat emerged a straight bar, rough with gold dust and slightly clubbed at the end. The petals were voluminous enough to be stirred by the summer breeze, and when they moved, the red, blue and yellow lights passed one over the other, staining an inch of the brown earth beneath with a spot of the most intricate colour. The light fell either upon the smooth grey back of a pebble, or the shell of a snail with its brown circular veins, or, falling into a raindrop, it expanded with such intensity of red, blue and yellow the thin walls of water that one expected them to burst and disappear. Instead, the drop was left in a second silver grey once more, and the light now settled upon the flesh of a leaf, revealing the branching thread of fibre beneath the surface, and beneath the dome of the heart-shaped and tongue-shaped leaves. Then the breeze stirred rather more briskly overhead and the colour was flashed into the air above, into the eyes of the men and women who walk in Kew Gardens in July.
                                                                                                                                               Kew Gardens, Virginia Woolf

29 November 2014

politique

M. Mabeuf avait pour opinion politique d'aimer passionnément les plantes, et surtout les livres. Il possédait comme tout le monde sa terminaison en  iste, sans laquelle personne n'aurait pu vivre en ce temps-là, mais il n'était ni royaliste, ni bonapartiste, ni chartiste, ni orléaniste, ni anarchiste; il était bouquiniste.
                                                                                                                                      Les Misérables, Victor Hugo

22 October 2014

what we've been up to

Hello!

Well, I haven't been around as much as I'd planned... There's a variety of (mostly boring) reasons, but I thought I'd pop in to wave and let you know that I haven't entirely abandoned this space.

However, I'm spending most of my time and energy these days on another project, in French: C'est ben simple! Thus far, I've mostly shared super simple "recipes", but eventually there'll be more on there about other aspects of making everyday life less complicated. I don't pretend to be an expert on the subject, but there are so many blogs on simple/frugal living, but so few in French, that I thought it might be worth sharing my "experience" (how pretentious that sounds!).

In other news, Rebus has been on Fluoxetine for almost 3 months now, and things are still going very well. The changes in his behaviour are really remarkable, but the one that really brings tears to my eyes is that he no longer hides when strangers come around! He comes right out and says hello, as he used to do when I first adopted him, before all the moves and disruptions! I'm so happy that people get the chance to meet him and pet him and enjoy his sweet personality and laugh at his antics. He's my big swirly cinnamon bun again!




13 September 2014

an update about Rebus

closeup

I haven't mentioned Rebus for a while — 5 months, in fact — and I thought it was about time to let those of you who might be interested what has been going on of late.

We persisted for as long as possible with the milder medication (Zylkène), but even with 2 pills a day Rebus still needed 3 vigorous play sessions daily... and even then he might display unpredictable predatory behaviour. It was extremely frustrating, and I was getting exhausted from constantly having to remain vigilant around him. I'm sure he could sense my tension, which didn't help at all.

When I first consulted our veterinarian back in February, she explained that there were two types of medication available when dealing with problematic behaviour in cats: a mild one and a very powerful one. The vet technicians told me that the latter was "heavy duty stuff", that they'd heard it made cats almost unrecognisable and practically turned them into zombies. Well, there was no way I was going to do that to my Rebus! I fought the idea for months and months, in spite of the glaringly obvious fact that the mild stuff wasn't working. (I did investigate other possibilities such as homeopathic vets, but there are no practitioners in my area.)

Everyone has a breaking point, and mine came in July. I had a lengthy phone conversation with our vet about the actual side effects of the more powerful medication. Although she was less of an alarmist than the technicians, she said that Rebus could become very anxious and aggressive, or on the contrary be completely lethargic, and even pee and poo outside the litterbox. But, she stressed, these were potential side effects, and the dosage could be reduced if any of these things occurred. After sleeping on it, I thought it was worth the risk.

This new medicine is called Fluoxetine, which is another name for Prozac. (Yes, I know.) The directions said to administer it once every two days, then once a day if there was no problem. I was a bundle of nerves on the first morning, following Rebus around and peeking worriedly into the laundry room each time he used his litterbox. His pupils were slightly dilated, and he slept a bit more than usual, but wasn't at all groggy when he woke up. He ate and drank as usual. There were no litterbox-related mishaps. He played as enthusiastically as normally did. As the first couple of weeks passed, there were really only a couple of very minor incidents — almost nothing compared with his previous behaviour.

Since everything was going so well, and with the support of our vet, I've continued to give Rebus his chicken-flavoured chew every other day instead of once a day. It's having the desired effect, so we see no point in giving him more medicine than he needs. (I confess, my bank account is quite happy with this decision too — that stuff is expensive!)

Do I feel good about giving Prozac to my cat? Obviously, I'd rather not! We did give the alternative an earnest try. It didn't work. This medicine does work, without impairing my cat's quality of life or turning him into a drugged-up bundle of fur or a wild beast.

And how is Rebus? Well, *fingers crossed* I'd say he's almost back to his old loving, snuggly, silly self!