photo: quai du louvre

Winter traffic in Paris, with the Seine quays flooded.


At Home At Christmas

Email from Dana Shaw, writing from the WebBar in Paris. Sent via the Internet: Tuesday, 21. December 1999 / Received in Paris Wednesday, 5. January 2000:-

It is with mixed feelings that I face the approach of this final Christmas of the millennium. No, there is no Scrooge blood in me, not a drop of "bah, humbug."

Rather, I am facing the dilemma of leaving Paris after having spent two glorious months here watching the Parisians prepare for the holiday season with lights, snow, villages de Noöl and even a giant ferris wheel, 'la Roue de Paris.' After being involved with all this preparation and watching spirits rise as the holidays approach, I am going to miss it. I go home on Christmas eve.

"Bummer," you say in the vernacular of the young; but is it really? By being home I will be able to see my children and grandchildren, revel in the joy on these loved ones faces, especially the little ones, when they see what Santa Claus has brought.

I haven't seen them for these two months and miss them, so the dichotomy isn't really a problem because it is a win-win situation. I have had the city I adore for two months but will be home in time to spend Christmas with those who are dearer to me than even the City of Light.

I wish everyone a joyous holiday season, hoping that you, too, can revel in the love and warmth of those dear to you.

Dana Shaw

Dana Shaw©1999
photo: le roi du cafe
This 'Roi du Café' may actually be one.
Cool Christmas In Sydney

Email from Tony Simon. Sent via the Internet: Monday, 27. December 1999:-

Christmas 1999 Sydney-style was unusual for the temperate weather - 23 C. or 73 F. - on a day which can traditionally reach 40 C - 104 F. Whilst the rain has not reached the enormous proportion of Northern Europe's Christmas tragedies, we have also had a deal of unseasonable precipitation - which has dampened enthusiasm for christening bikes and other outdoor Christmas gifts.

An interesting weather story - I hosted an evening dinner at Sydney's Darling Harbour three nights before Christmas where the outdoor gas heaters were turned on. This is unheard of at this time of the year in Sydney!

Sydney itself looked good over Christmas, as the city prepares itself for a huge 'Y2K' entry on Friday, and later, for the Olympics in September. The harbour will be the focus of celebration for both events - and - when the sun shines this harbour is truly an incomparable place.

Christmas day for my family includes much 'traditional' northern hemisphere fare - turkey, ham, pork, supplemented by Australian seafood and salads.

The French flavour for the day comes from the wine selection which is predominately French - De Castellane and Bollinger Champagne, Hugel Riesling, a wonderful Crozes Hermitage from Alain Graillot - La Guiraude 1990, and a namesake Barsac, Chateau Simon. These features were supplemented by Australian Semillon and Reisling and a comparison 1990 Syrah from the Hunter Valley - the Rhône wine won hands down. In the absence of Krönenbourg, Australia's premier beer, Cascade, from Tasmania, was also consumed in reasonable quantities.

Seasons' Greetings from a subdued, 'calm before the storm' Sydney, Australia.

Regards

Tony Simon

Tony Simon©1999
'My Christmas' Part V

Bonjour Readers -

Paris:- Wednesday, 5. January:- When I called - without much notice - for your versions of 'Christmas Where You Are' in the Café column in issue 4.51 on Monday, 20. December, I said all emails would be published.

I mentioned a deadline. All the emails from you received on this date were published in issue 4.52. What I had not reckoned with was the Internet being a bit slow.

Dana's email took 15 days to arrive, from Paris to Paris. Tony attributed his email's late arrival to 'slow Australian post.' This was his way of saying the International Dateline played tricks with it.

With the publication today of these last two 'Christmas Where You Are' emails, all are now online. Thanks again to those of you who took the time to write them. signature, regards, ric

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