Archive for January, 2008

More “Inconvenient Truth”

January 31, 2008 9:36 pm

davis.jpgMy dear friend Jane Heaven just told me that her friend Yolanda Bain, a San Francisco yoga instructor, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last month and will be undergoing surgery in a few days. Friends have put together a website inviting people to be a part of Yolanda’s “healing team.” A very welcome way one can participate is by making a donation on the site to help defray her looming financial costs.

Yolanda is young, exercises regularly, eats well, doesn’t smoke or drink too much, and has a air of serenity that no doubt stems from her devotion to Buddhism. Why has she gotten cancer? I heard an interview recently on Fresh Air that might have the answer. To quote from the show’s introduction, “Epidemiologist and environmental-health expert Devra Davis writes in The Secret History of the War on Cancer that Americans have spent $40 billion in a war on cancer, fighting the wrong battles with the wrong weapons against the wrong enemies. She says the effort has focused on detecting, treating, and curing the disease, instead of looking at what causes it. Her book argues that powerful economic interests [to wit, the chemical industry] have steered money toward research on treatment rather than looking at how their own products may be causing the disease. Davis says we’re surrounded by potentially cancer-causing products we ought to be paying more attention to.”

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Small Gesture, Big Impact

January 19, 2008 6:38 pm

Bottled WaterI’ve been afraid to see An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore’s documentary about Global Warming, because I know I will only get depressed. I am already well aware that the polar ice caps are melting, that changing weather patterns are adversely affecting animal migrations and causing natural disasters such as hurricanes, droughts, and floods to occur more frequently around the world. Why would I want to hear more about a subject I feel completely powerless to do anything about?

Kevin told me just recently about a website that a friend of his, Diane MacEachern, has put together, The Big Green Purse. It’s excellent.

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NEWSFLASH: Who Said You Can’t Train Cats?

January 16, 2008 7:03 pm

Michael K’s Cat
This just in from our Foreign Correspondent, Michael, in Alameda, California. He managed to capture his cat, Little Kat, executing a perfect rendition of Boat Pose, I think while watching the Dog Whisperer on tv.

4.jpg Impressive, but can she do this?

A Private Yoga Lesson

12:27 am

SammieI wasn’t kidding when I said I was lucky. Obviously not! One huge part of my life in California that I miss terribly was my twice-a-week two-and-a-half hour one-on-one yoga lessons that I did for three years with a beautiful Javanese yogini named Sammie. She’s the sort of yogini who can wrap her feet around her head with no problem, as if her bones were made of rubber. It’s not that she doesn’t work at it: she gets up at 4 every morning and practices – hard – for two hours. That is the kind of dedication that, alas, I can only hope awaits me in a future life.

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Drumming from 1 to 100

January 13, 2008 11:35 am
Someone sent me a link to this very innovative video of people from 1 to 100 hitting a drum.


Saturday Hike

January 12, 2008 5:59 pm

After a torrent of rain last night complete with lightning that we totally failed to catch on film (or rather, memory card) it was a warm 5ºC and sunny this morning so we headed off for a walk. We live on the side of “the Montagnette,” a little mountain, and decided to explore the far side of it, only 5-10 minutes drive away.

Saturday HikeSaturday HikeAs you can see, we had a bit of a climb at the beginning but we got some spectacular views out towards Tarascon. A little chill at the top but as we descended to other side it became quite warm in the sunny lee of the rock. There we found a wide track to follow which led us along a ridge of high, rocky hills. We were overtaken by a couple of joggers with a quick “bonjour” they were gone as fast as they appeared.

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Once upon a time …

January 7, 2008 7:06 pm

IMG_1716… in a land far far away – to be precise, San Francisco – a California lady, Ruth, met a London gentleman, Kevin, in a photography class. They became friends, then they fell in love. They climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro; they eloped to London to get married at the Chelsea Registry Office; then they returned to their home in the Bay Area. There, a most holy Saint of the Universal Life Church, David, invested with the powers conferred upon him by the Internet, married them again before their friends and family.

Life was good, but there was trouble in paradise. Ruth and Kevin decided to flee their evil ruler and settle in a strange land, a land once ruled by Romans, by popes, and by kings – Provence. This blog will follow them on their journey through life together in Provence and beyond, and will offer their fearless observations on existence in this most peculiar universe. They also hope from time to time to have Foreign Correspondents post their contributions.