I'm leaving tomorrow morning for a week in France. Given that I woke up this morning and goggled at the temperature being 1 degree Fahrenheit (that's -17 and change Celsius), I'm not at all unhappy about this. Good lord, it's cold out there! I went to the dancer's house last night for dinner, and just walking to and from the subway almost killed me. I know some people reading this live in places like Alaska where you're very likely scoffing at me, but man, this is crazy. Although, on the other hand, it does bode well for the local farmers, many of whose crops -- especially fruit trees -- need a hard frost to bear properly in the summer.
At any rate, this trip will not be based in Montpellier (home of Europe's latest bird-flu scare) -- although of course we'll go there -- but, rather, to Nimes, where I'll be staying near a Roman amphitheater which is currently used for bullfights. Yes, the French also have bullfights.
The reason for this is that I've been working on a project which I've had to keep secret: an English-language magazine for the Languedoc region, which includes Montpellier. It'll be free, and it's going to be distributed over a wide geographical range -- by me and the publisher! That's right: Thursday and Friday will find me in her car zooming hither and yon, handing off copies to shops and tourist bureaus, and anyone else who wants them.
The first issue is available as a pdf download here, and, while it's no masterpiece, it's definitely got potential. And once I'm living down there, I'm quite sure I can attract writers, photographers, and other support personnel to make it a model of a regional magazine.
But first we have to get them out to the folks who need them. I'm definitely taking the camera this time, and there'll be pix here and on Flickr for those who'll want to see them.
And, because the journey's so long, I'm breaking it coming and going with an overnight stay in Paris. Tomorrow, dinner at Chez Paul! Yet another thing to look forward to.
Back here late in the evening of the 31st. See you then.