My Mother’s Voice

Alzheimer’s being the conniving thieving bitch that  it is, my mother wasn’t herself in the final years of her life. The  woman I visited in the Alzheimer’s special care unit was a stranger wearing my mother’s skin but not much else, like the invasion of the body snatchers had taken place, month after month beneath the surface, until one day we looked and the woman we knew was gone, replaced by some alien being. An imposter. Intruder alert. Intruder alert. She died back in 2012. Don’t worry; I won’t be getting maudlin on you.  My real mother–not that stranger in a wheel chair, head nodding on her shoulder–is who I want to think about today.  My real mother —Enid Maude Good nee Hayden, a prim, old-fashioned name, perhaps the only thing about her I didn’t love— was British-born and had a lovely London lilt to her voice her whole life even though she left England in the mid-1950’s. I suppose at thirty, her vocal patterns were already frozen in place.  Sounding like a cross between

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Dreaming of France: Trompe l'oeil

photo credit: moi

The trompe l'oeil technique used here works better on a sunny day when the real sky matches the painted blue sky on the building. On the day we visited this spot in the 10th arrondisment, the grey clouds visited the neighborhood too.

Literally, to deceive the eye, the official definition of the French phrase trompe l'oeil is
• visual illusion in art, especially as used to trick the eye into perceiving a painted detail as a three-dimensional object. 
We spotted this one on the Rue du la Faubourg above a storefront near the Gare de l’est. But that’s all I know about it and so far, even my friend Google, has been of little help. I have no idea what he initials ELZA stand for, they don’t seem to be connected with the shop below, one that sells military accoutrements.


photo credit: www.paris-en-photos.fr

I did discover that Paris boasts an abundance of buildings done up in trompe l’oeil to fool the eye. The one above (not my photo) is of a wall next to a fire station. In the 20th arrondisement it depicts firemen saving a cat from what appears to be the Bridge of Sighs in Venice.

To me, hunting for more examples of trompe l’oeil that I can share on Instagram sounds like perfect excuse to plan another trip to Paris ... as if we needed one! 

As usual around this time of the week, I’m hooking up with Paulita Kincer’s weekly Dreaming of France meme. 



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