Yeah (Ouais), mes proches (close friends — the rare case where the version français is shorter) have been telling me I should blog this or better book this but the level of misery has been so jaundiced I can’t cut the vein in my usual humour. When it was just the tarantula-sized spiders — no doubt looking more ominous set off against the stones in the walls of this 300-year-old stone house in the Valley of the Dordogne in the Capital of pre-history in Southwest France — I could see the hilaritiy in my sleeping with the lights on and a blindfold over my eyes so they wouldn’t come out. And I guess there’s some slapstick humor in the explanation of how I broke the plastic deck table — by standing on it so that I could lodge the deck parasol in the brown trelisse so it would cast a shadow over the window and discourage the yellow-tailed flies from infiltrating the house. But the physical challenges? One of my two remaining cats dying? (Not because of the place — Hopey loved it here ((except for the time when the huge black horse chased her)) ) And then there’s the psycho-social aspect which I just deleted from this entry. How about focusing on the culture and political mix and the mix of culture and politics? I’ve been here long enough that this is not going to be your “Isn’t France cute?” or “How about those wacky Frenchies?” or “My new country is perfect, my old country sucks” story. Maybe it will just reflect my observatory powers as a foreign correspondent of thirty years standing, a world citizen of three great cities (San Francisco, New York, and Paris) and some esoteric locales (Anchorage, Princeton, Stonington, Ct., Plainsboro, N.J., Les Eyzies, the capital of pre-history in Southwest France) in two great countries. My hope is that whether you’re a Francofile on that side of the Ocean, a Yankofile on this side, or a resident of either country looking for an outside perspective — whoops, there go the lights.