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Friday, 22 August 2008

Touring Paris

Given that Chiara demanded her mum's attention, I was touring Paris alone. Not that I minded a lot because I love walking and talking pictures and I know that I am not easy to follow. I only stop for a coffee or a snack and the rest of the time I am moving.

The first day I arrived at Chatelet les Halles and walked through le Marais, went down to plage des Vosges, had lunch, then continued toward La Bastille, Port d'arsenal, walked along la Seine, crossed over to l'institut du Monde Arab, went up the roof, took pictures and then walked up to Notre Dame and took the train back from St Michel next to st. Germaine des Pres.

The weather was gloomy which made it perfect as what I described is more or less 10km walking fast - unless stopped for pictures.
My second trip downtown started from Arc de Triomph, I waited about an hour to climb up, then walked down Avenue George V, stopped at Pont D'Alma to pay my respects to the spot that Diana died, walked toward Eiffel Tower, did not dare to wait in line to go up, took about 200 pictures, walked up the small hill to Embarcadero, and then walked down la Seine to the Louvre

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed my picture talking and walking - have too many funny stories to talk about with the people that I met - and with the about 600 pictures I took during these two days.
Once again I am pretty sure that Paris is if not the most beautiful, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Pictures speak for themselves.

My goddaughter

Chiara Zeta is now 10 months old. At this early age she can walk, talk a foreign language (bebe) and she can lead an entire household as at least two people full time and at least one part time, and she can make heads turn wherever she goes. Most importantly, she is one of those persons that love life as she keeps smiling all the time and tranmits to people around her good vibes.
Imagine what she can do at 10 years old!!

Of course I am biased. She is the baby of my best friend and my godchild. She is such a joy to be around, although extremely tiring as she now wants to walk and climb up and down the stairs and has a mind of her own of what she wants to do that keeps changing every five seconds.
But she is absolutely a wonderful kid, she sleeps at 8pm and wakes up at 8am smiling. She loves eating, taking a bath, playing with her toys, with the dog, the cat, even with grown ups. She loves the attention and she gives great caddles.

Definitely the outcome of parents that spend quality - and quantity - time with the baby.
I can not tell you how proud I am of her and how much I miss her already

Visiting my family in Paris

When I go to see Helena and her family in France is like visiting my own family. This time it was not an exception.
Michelle, her mum, has been such a gratious host that gave us her house in la Varenne, an exceptionally beautiful suburb, to enjoy for our self for an entire week.

Each one had our room and bathroom - mine was en suite - and we had a huge garden for Chiara to play wer her new bike and Sierra, the dog to run up and down.
I had been in the house in La Varenne in the past as well, but had not spent time there so much before. Usually we were staying in the Grandma's house in Rue de Reines, or her village house and lately in Helena's flat in Issy les Moulineaux. But La Varenne is a suburb with beautiful houses built on the bank of La Marne, a river that is so peaceful that swans and ducks live there, people train on canooing and there is a whole joggers community that meet on a daily basis during their exercise. Since I was not going to spend time clubbing because of little Chiara, I took advantage and did my jogging, strolling, picture taking and generally enjoying the beautiful serene landscape of La Varenne and Le Marne

The jogging and the walking in downtown Paris gave me a combination of approx 7-10klm milage daily. That helped me loose 2kg despite the endless amounts of fromage de chevre and St. Emilion that I consumed :-)
Most importantly I got to spend time with my sister Helena, my niece Chiara and of course La Michelle and Kerdin. I must not forget to mention Sierra, the dog and Leo, the peroquet that completed the family

Beijing Olympics: Women football final. A beautiful game

Last night I was browsing the olymic channels to see what was worth watching. The women's football final caught my attention and rightfully so. I never thought much of women's football as I thought that such a tough game is a men sport. Last night's final between USA and Brasil (Athens's finalists as well) proved me wrong. I should be so happy to go watch such a beautiful game during the entire Super League season. The game I watched last night was equivalent of a champion's league game (without the hard fouls and the boxing involved).
It was evident that a Brasilian irrespective of the sex with the ball on the feet can do miracles. Especially Marta, the Brasilian midfielder, Brasil's 10 that has been named woman footballer of the year for two years in a row.
Unfortunately for Marta that was an absolute joy to watch playing the game ended 1-0 in favor of USA. Brasil had the undisputable dominance in the offensive initiatives but they either got unlucky or the stress of the final got a bit too heavy
The USA with much less offensive attacks scored a goal and were more substantial. They played extremely good defense. So good that frustrated Brasilians. I couldn't help but thinking that if only Otto's men were playing defense so well and were so effective in the 2-3 attacks they unfold in every game Greece would be much less boring to watch.
Anyways, it is not that the best team won. Both teams were very good. They both played as team. The only player's amazing talent that stood out - in my humble opinion - was that of Marta's that reminded me of another great 10, Rivaldo, in his earlier days. The US team reminded me a bit of Germany to be honnest. Efficient but boring.
Brasilians cried during the medal ceremony. I was a bit upset myself. It was schedule and solidity that beat flair and spectacle. And flair should always be praised. Especially when it is so much in abundance as in the case of Marta. In my mind she is the winner.

Pugs are the superior creatures in any planet

Don't you wish you were hot like Frankie (the Pug)???
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Pugs talk!