CHOOSE THE UNCOMFORTABLE.

JAYSPEAK

“We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time.”  (Denis Waitley)   

WELLLLLL, it is never too late.  I may still be blooming!!  I like to think so, anyway.  The latest urge is to move to Paris.  I started immediately with the “but, how can I take the piano?  Should I sell the car? But, what about all of the artwork?  What will I do with all the dishes and pots and pans?  But, how will I let go of all of this?  I don’t have the money to take it all with me.”  and so forth……..  Interesting thing – in ALL of my arguments with myself, NEVER ONCE did I doubt I could do it!  My arguments all concern “letting go of stuff!!!!!!”  Then, I saw this:

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Caring Less? Or, Caring for Something Else More?  In the 1960’s, I cared…

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A MOMENT’S PAUSE…..

I can no longer put it off – this March, I will definitely be “in my 80s”.  Somehow, 80 and 81 seemed to be somewhere else.  But, 82 is different.  As they say in “Waiting for Godot” – “nothing to be done”.  OK, I must accept it because it is definitely better than the alternative.  My attitude is the problem.  I keep telling myself to behave, but ……

Plus, this birthday, my California Driver’s License expires.  To renew in the U.S., I must have a permanent address in California AND take the written test because I am “in my 80’s”.   Here, I must take the written test in French – long story, AND a driving test since I am “in my 80’s” – long story.  A Driving School must test my driving skills, give me lessons that I must take (650+ euros)!  Then, get in line for the actual document!!!!  Long story.  So, I might as well park my car somewhere and forget about going anywhere that is not close to public transportation.  Maybe this is the time to write my life story.  That might take awhile!  

The good news is that I am taking cases and practicing Entertainment Law.  I LOVE doing that and am good at it!!  And, friends are showing up for “birthday lunches”.  That’s really fun.  This one at Les Agitateurs – delicious and fun – with Pamela and Margaret …

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And this one at the unforgettable Geppeto with Christine.  What a fun day!!  Delicious food.  And, more lunches with friends to come next week and the next!  Life is good!!

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So, don’t be telling me to move back “home” where I belong, because this is home for now.  And, I am not leaving anytime soon.  Besides, “home in California” is currently out of my price range.  Wonder of wonder, I can afford this Côte d’Azur – even with my limited budget.  Now, I must be careful where I go – which takes me to my next point, …

I belong to a lot of expat groups on Facebook, and this week on one of them, someone posted this.

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Gave me a moment of pause….   Because the other day, someone posted a question on one of the groups – Does anyone know where I can find stores near Paris that are like Target, CVS, or Office Depot?  I am running out of some supplies.  Haha.  Doesn’t exist in France  – that I know of.  It may, but I doubt it.  The French didn’t get the memo – One-stop-shopping. And, if they did, they ignored it.  Haha.  If you want the U.S. stores, go to the U.S.  Just sayin’……..

Now, before I leave to go to the grocery store for some copy paper and wine….. I know, I know, but City Market next door does sell good copy paper for my printer and sells excellent wine for my dinner, I have one more thought for the day that I want to leave you with (a special thank-you to the person who posted this one).  

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 Best, Jay  (All these head shots were taken January 2018.  Time for some new ones, Helena?)

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A MOMENT OF REFLECTION….and a laugh or three or four….

One of the things I have noticed here is that EVERYONE has a back story.  And, everyone uses labels.  When I first arrived in Nice, I asked people about their back stories (I did not call them that.). Every back story took a LOT of questions.  Where are you from?  How did you get to Nice?  Why Nice?  Oh, my goodness, Australia?  But, you are from the U.K., right?  How did you get to Australia? You lived on a boat?  How long were you in Australia on the boat?  What did that entail?  Was that interesting?  How did you learn to do that?  Where is your sister now?  And, so forth.  And, the longer I would listen and question, the more that person seemed to remember me and be interested in what I had to say.  

At first, I did not want to talk about Steve, his death, my life in France, my life before France.  Me.  I did not want to talk about me.  I just didn’t want them to forget me.  Funny thing there.  I left my hometown in Georgia because I “wanted to establish my own identity”.  My father was well-known in the community, and I was known as “Jesse Jewell’s little peach” or “Jesse Jewell’s little chicken”.  Well, I established what you want to call it because at the University of Wisconsin and in Los Angeles, nobody cared who my father was, much less me.  Little by little – with a lot of hard work, I became “Jay W. MacIntosh”, except everyone thought “he” was a man – until they met me.  But then, that depended on whether they remembered me. If not, I became labeled “a man” because no woman spelled her name “Jay”.  A woman needed that “e” .  “Jaye”.  Well, you know what I have to say to that!!!

Labels:  The definition of a label is something used to describe a person or thing. What do I mean by “labels”.  Adjectives that lump people into a convenient category – Moslem. Jewish. Woman. Pro-Trump. Anti-Trump. Democrat.  Republican. British. Blonde. Old. Young. Fat. Thin. The smart one.  The fat one. The dumb one.  Rich. Poor. Generalizations. As a result, a person doesn’t have a clue as to who that person really is. Labels are an easy way to avoid reflection. 

I hate labels.  And, if you want a person not to label you, be interested in his/her back story.  Then, defences come down and that person is all the more likely to listen to your back story (if you want to tell it) and remember you. So, what am I saying? I think it is important to listen to people’s back stories and practice avoiding labels. 

have lived long enough to see people forget people. Now, young people in my home town think “Jesse Jewell” is a street or a highway (a street is named after Daddy and a highway.).  People don’t remember my sister Barbara or her daughter Anna Beth.  Many don’t have a clue what happened to Janet Jewell.  And, now, some don’t remember Steve.  It happens.  Ugh. I am not sure why I am having a hard time with that one.  I want people to remember me – to know that I lived.  Why do I care?  I am not sure.  But, I do.  So I plan to continue listening to back stories a lot.  Hopefully, it will make someone feel better, including me.  The Entertainment Industry is great with casting labels- find me a young Jane Fonda. Find me a “Jane Fonda” type.  Find me Jane Fonda. Jane Who?

And now, a word from our sponsor…. Some funnies.

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Best, Jay

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“Jayspeak on the Côte d’Azur”

I am very excited because this week I received in the mail, eight “Authors’ Copies”of my published book Jayspeak on the Côte d’Azur. To all my French friends, please forgive me for omitting the required symbol on Côte.  Think of it as another blunder committed by this U.S. Expat.  Ugh.  But, it will have to stay this way for now.  Sorry.   I am very proud of this book.  It is a filled with memories and pictures of my time in Nice since I arrived October 1, 2015, and stepped off the plane in my new home – Nice, France.  It is the background, filled with my days and nights before and after the sudden death of my husband Steve.  And the book is dedicated to him.  If you want to read it, I think you will enjoy it.  I will post a link to it at the bottom of this post.  It is available on Kindle and in paperback on Amazon and e-book on Smashwords.  There are a lot of pictures, so the e-book will have the pictures in color.  That is too expensive to do in the paperback.  There, the pictures are in black and white.  Either way, the words are the same.  And, filled with my “scintillating” personality.  Haha.  Just teasing.  I am posting the Prologue below.

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PROLOGUE

“I was born in Gainesville, Georgia, USA, with the birth name of “Janet Tallulah Jewell”. Yes, that is right. Over the years, I went to college, got married, had children, moved to Los Angeles, California, changed my name to “Jay W. MacIntosh”, acted professionally in film and television, went to Whittier Law School, practiced law, and now live in Nice, France.  I moved with my husband, Steve Orlandella, in October 2015. Steve was a television producer and writer. We were looking forward to starting life anew. Regretfully, he died in August 2016 from natural causes (pneumonia). So, I am picking myself up, dusting myself off, and starting all over again – in France. I now spend my time writing. As an attorney / actress / widow / mother / grandma / ex-college professor (Chairman of the Division of Humanities at a branch of the University of Georgia) and ex-real estate broker, I have a lot to say.

As an attorney, I specialized in entertainment law and employment litigation, helping employees who had been victimized in the workplace. I still practice transactional law from my Home Office in Nice, licensed in the State of California.  As an actress, I continue to perform in film, television, commercials, and theatre. I am a member of The Actors Studio, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, SAG-AFTRA, and ASCAP. I hold a Master’s Degree in Drama, and am a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Zodiac Scholastic Society.  My published works include Janet Tallulah, Journal of Janet Tallulah, Volumes 1 & 2, The Origins of George Bernard Shaw’s Life Force Philosophy, Moments in Time, and Capturing Beauty, currently for sale on amazon.com. I am currently writing a sequel to Janet Tallulah and a blog – jayspeakblog.wordpress.com. [Note: this was written before I began this blog – my80sinfrance.wordpress.com]

Steve spent most of his career working in sports television, primarily baseball. He studied broadcasting, history, and theatre at California State University, Northridge. While working on his degrees, he joined the University staff as a producer-director of Educational TV.  In 1979, he joined KTLA Channel 5 in Los Angeles as a news producer, senior sports producer, and director of “News at Ten”.  In 1985, he was promoted to KTLA’s Supervising Producer/Director. He produced and directed entertainment programs, Angels Baseball, and Clippers Basketball Games. In 1987, he worked for MCA/Universal as Producer of media for the Merchandizing/Licensing Division, later becoming an independent Producer/Director. He produced winter and summer Olympic specials, Kings Hockey games, promos and commercials for Z-Channel and Sportschannel, and directed boxing, pro and college basketball.  In 1993, he became Producer for Dodgers Baseball for nine seasons. He won Golden Mikes, Associated Press Awards, and was nominated for Emmys twelve times. He received two Emmys for his work with the Dodgers. In 2005, he launched Steve Orlandella Productions and Ormac Press.  His published works include Burden of Proof, Capitol Murder, Marathon Murders, Dance with Death, Midtown Mayhem, Titanic, The Game, and Stevespeak.

Why did we choose Nice, you ask? My love affair with France started when I was a little girl. I don’t know when Steve’s started. I always knew that one day, I wanted to spend quality time in the South of France. Nice is the perfect place for me to live, now that he is gone. It feels right. My plan is to speak French fluently, eat good food, write books, take photographs, and meet people. That is the plan, anyway.  This book is a compilation of my blog posts since Steve’s death. I have dedicated it to him.”

That gives you an idea of who I am and a bit about Steve.  Now, this is a description of the book.  “American Actress and Attorney JAY W. MACINTOSH moved to Nice, France from Los Angeles in 2015. In this book, she creates and writes about her new life in France in a way that captures and keeps your attention throughout. Her style is casual and comfortable, as if she is in the room with you, enjoying a cup of espresso or a delicious glass of French wine. A delightful read for those who love to live life in new ways, vicariously or otherwise. She takes you along for the ride.”   If you want to order a copy for yourself and your bookshelf, this is a link to it on amazon.com.  And, if you are more interested in the e-book on Smashwords, com, there is the link to it. 

For the record, March is my birthday month.  On March 30, I will be 82.  So, as you know, time is of the essence.  I lit my March candle with Saint Rita. 

IMG_0298I am not sure what she covers, but I like her – for some unknown reason. 

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Well, I am ready for it – age 82.  My Daddy used to say to me, “Janet, the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence”.  He would say that to me when I wanted to go to the University of Wisconsin, have money, or move to California from Gainesville, Georgia.  And, I would feel a few moments of doubt.  Like – I should stay put.  WELL, I am here to tell you, that for me, the grass WAS greener on the other side of the fence. If I had stayed put and accepted the status quo, I probably would have had an interesting life.  But, I didn’t.  I went looking and found a LOT of wonderful things.  Yes, that were a lot of tough times, but none of it stopped me.  And, now, the challenge is to spend quality time here, living a life that I could not imagine before – in my 80’s. Sometimes I get excited for no good reason. Just being alive! Do you realize how lucky we all are, just being alive!! Seeing trees, smelling flowers, feeling the Seabreeze!!  An attorney friend of mine is always saying and writing BAM!!  Let’s go get ’em!  Well, I am saying it now to all of you, BAM!!  Let’s go get ’em.  If not now, WHEN????

BEST, JAY

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“DOSTADNING” – It’s Swedish

On this Super Bowl weekend, I am enjoying watching all the preparations and excitement!  I doubt I will stay up all night to watch it, however.  I feel too bad when I lose sleep. So, I will read a score throughout the night on my iPhone and watch the commercials on You Tube the next day. I know. I know. It is not the same.  But, I have to choose – feel bad or watch the game.  I don’t like feeling bad.  Period. End of story.  So……

Meanwhile, I am focusing on something that I think is much more interesting that I am choosing to write about. I hate the name – dostadning” – a hybrid of theSwedish words “death” and “cleaning” or how to declutter you life.  I will explain as I go along.  First of all, this is not new news that I have been trying my best to “simplify”.  Downsize my needs.  It is easier to do here, in France, because the French live a minimalist lifestyle.  Not all of them, but there is less emphasis on stuff.  They seem to need less.  Small cars, Small apartments. Less clothes.  Small closets.  Small tables in restaurants.  Small lobbies in hotels.  Small spaces for shops.  One bathroom for all in a restaurant.  Less amenities. Less parking.  You get the picture.  

As I understand it, the principle behind it is that – when you die, no one wants all of your stuff!  In fact, it costs your heirs money to get rid of it!!  So, give them what you think they would want while you are still alive – like rings or jewelry or such. Then get rid of most of the rest.  Keep things you really want or need.  Now, take all of this with a grain of salt. 

As a personal example, during my life while Mother was still alive, I would have a favorite thing that I would want.  She would say, “the three of you can fight over it when I’m dead.”  Well, when she died, none of us wanted anything because we would have had to pay the other two off.  My sister Barbara was already dead, and her daughter wanted NONE of it.  She wanted the money.  In other words, I would have had to pay my sisters money for things I wanted, then pay to ship them to California. As a result, we had an estate sale so that the three of us could split the money. That is how I got through Law School and opened Law Offices of Jay W. MacIntosh, at the age of 63.  

WELL, none of my children will travel to France to see if there is anything they would want to ship back to California!!  And, my landlord would want it gone so he could re-rent the apartment.  Haha.  Well – HEY – reality check here!!!  Imagine this coming from a lifelong packrat.  I saved birthday cards, my children’s framed drawings, handprints in clay, papers of all sorts, books, clothes, you-name-it. I moved the living room draperies and patio concrete planters with geraniums in them from Georgia to California and was upset because the geraniums didn’t survive the trip.  Of course, it was July 1968 on a cross-country trip.  Duh.  Mother was the same kind of packrat.  

I started getting rid of – little by little – when I moved into my first apartment in Beverly Hills from a large house in Pacific Palisades (1993).  Then, when I moved to Irvine, CA, (1996) to go to Law School, I got rid of a little more. There was nowhere to put the stuff.  When Steve and I moved to France, we got rid of even more and still brought more than we needed.  Paid through the nose to do so, too.  Fast forward to today.  Steve is gone. A lot of his stuff is still here.  And, of course, a lot of my stuff is still here.  Dishes, china, silver, tablecloths, pots and pans galore, computers, printers.  

SO, 

This is the Plan!  Downsize more. The problem is that I have already gotten rid of what I don’t want.  So now, I must get rid of what I want. The plan is to stop wanting so much.  Be content with less. Make room for the new experiences.  Move. Travel. Have more discretionary income. Move into a Studio in a nice building with parking.  Possibly with a view and a pool for my health. I will not be entertaining in a formal dining room. So……Little by little, I am letting go. Yesterday, I let go of most of the yearbooks.  Not all.  They are heavy and take up a lot of room.  I don’t look at them, and my kids don’t want them.   I doubt they want their own.  It is clutter. What is clutter, you ask?  Clutter is “stuck energy”.  And, with my new knee, I am wanting to clear out the clutter that is still here and make a fresh start. It seems like something practical and tangible that I can do to help myself. I need to get rid of things I don’t use and won’t use or “might use one day”.  It all keeps me in the past and puts my life on hold. 

I am working on letting go and surrendering.  I don’t know who wrote this but I saved it – “Surrender is the ultimate sign of strength and the foundation for a spiritual life. Surrendering affirms that we are no longer willing to live in pain (e.g bad knees). It expresses a deep desire to transcend our struggles (e.g. fixed income) and transform our negative emotions (e.g. stay positive – ugh!).  It commands a life beyond our egos, beyond that part of ourselves that is continually reminding us that we are separate, different and alone. Surrendering allows us to return to our true nature and move effortlessly through the cosmic dance called life (e.g. the dance continues). It’s a powerful statement that proclaims the perfect order of the universe. (e.g. in spite of the State of the Union and climate warming and…….)”

On that note,

Best, Jay

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JANUARY 2019 – FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Both of my daughters-in-law are teachers in Southern California, Jean MacIntosh in Los Angeles and Joy MacIntosh in Huntington Beach. Both of them pour their hearts out in their jobs.  I keep current with the activities and protests that are going on in CALIFORNIA on behalf of teachers because TEACHERS need everyone’s support.  This is the best that I can do from France.  BUT, I stay in touch with my family and my former community.  Believe me, if I were in California, I would be doing the best I could to find ways to support teachers.  

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JEAN MACINTOSH
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JOY MACINTOSH

Not too long ago, I saw a post written by a prospective teacher that I saved because it is on point, well written, and expresses my thoughts about what is expected from our teachers!!!  I want to share it with you.  

After being interviewed by the school administration, the prospective teacher said:
 
“Let me see if I’ve got this right. 
‘You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning. 
‘You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self esteem and personal pride. 
‘You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook, and apply for a job. 
‘You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, and make sure that they all pass the final exams.
‘You also want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents in English, Spanish or any other language, by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card. 
‘You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps.
‘You want me to do all this, and then you tell me……
I CAN’T PRAY?”
This was nominated for email of the year – DE.  Again, Author Unknown.
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Best, Jay
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EMPOWERING WOMEN – CUTVNEWS RADIO

At this time in my life, when I am all but retired and still fighting to stay in the game, somehow, I came to the attention of CUTVnews Radio and their series “EMPOWERING WOMEN”.  Tomorrow, I will be interviewed live by Jim Masters about my life on the radio.  It will air at 10:00 a.m. EST.  That will be 4:00 p.m. here in Nice.  This is the direct link to the show, if you are interested.  I have no idea what will happen, but I can tell you this!  It will be fun!  I LOVE doing things like this.  

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cutvnewsradio/2019/01/16/cutv-news-radio-spotlights-super-lawyer-jay-w-macintosh

BEST,  JAY

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AS 2019 BEGINS…..

One of the wonderful things about living in Nice, France, at the age of 81, is that everything is new.  It all is different.  Now, you would think that would make me feel insecure, longing for the familiar, the tried, the true.  Quite the contrary.  It makes every day interesting. 

I will admit that I was not ready to “retire”.  I thrived on work, on being busy.  I loved having the best at my disposal.  If it were theatre, I had the Music Center.  If it were golf and a Palm Desert retreat, I had the best at my disposal an hour-and-a-half away.  If it were film – Hey, it was LA!!  Premiers down the street in Westwood.  If it were hobnobbing with attorneys, I had CAALA, CELA, and the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills Bar Associations for MCLE (continuing education) and mixing and mingling.  Casting directors, The Actors Studio, ATAS (the Television Academy).  Life was good.  I loved every minute of it.  But, all of that was for a young person, even though I was only “young” in my head for a lot of it.  But that did not stop me.  So, I was not ready to leave when my doctors and Steve told me that I MUST consider my health, mainly my blood pressure.  Yes, there were medicines to bring it down, but I was allergic to most of them, mainly sulphur.  And, when I got on the airplane to move out of the country, I was a mess. 

It took a while for my system to adjust to less activity, less phone calls, French medicines, French food, French machines, French language, French everything.  I am still adjusting. And, I will admit, it has been hard without my best friend, Steve.  But, I like to think that I am transforming into the person I was meant to be, now that I have time to think about things.  This is my new “cut and color” I got on Thursday.  After a long 5 months of being in an incubator (pre-op, op, post-op, rehab, etc.)

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Everything is changing. I am not the same person I was a year back.  I often think of the quote by Heraclitus:  ‘The only thing that is constant is change”.  Some of my changes have been intentional and some of the result of experiences. Either way, I am learning. I have never minded being alone.  I cannot recall any time I actually felt “lonely”.  Wellll, maybe that is not true.  After Steve died, I felt devastated.  Was that “lonely”?  Maybe.  Anyway, I got Missy, my cat (a rescue).  That helped. 

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I realized early on that I have few people who have the same “vibe” as I do, even though we are all part of the same game.  We all are on different levels.  I need to save and protect my peace and energy.  I am not and never have been willing to spend time and myself on people who don’t bring enough to the table.  I am my own soul mate these days.  Believe me, I am far from perfect, but I am comfortable in my own skin.  I accept my faults and am not interested in having to defend myself. If someone criticizes me, I may still get offended when corrected if it comes to me as “advice” or in a hurtful way.  But I have stopped getting angry at myself for not being able to do certain things.  I am trying to better myself in things that have my interest and that I am passionate about. 

I am getting better at saying goodbye to toxic relationships, especially in this environment of expats from all over the world.  I am letting go of people and relationships that disrupt my mental peace.  AND, I am no longer an open book.  True, I blurt out more than I should, but not as much as I used to.  I listen.  What a concept!! And, I strive to know whom to trust.  Most of my time is invested in myself, especially now that I am back to basics, working on “walking” with my knee replacement.  I don’t enjoy meaningless conversations or random “hangouts” with people who mean nothing to me. My idea of a perfect weekend involves my staying home, catching up with my writings, doing washing, watching screenings on television, or walking or dining somewhere (with friends or by myself).  

On some days, I am not at my best.  On those days, I am my own Savior and hold my own hand. I allow myself to cry and write in my Journal a lot.  It is part of life and I totally accept it.  I value my time more – especially since it is limited. “Is it actually important?” “Will I learn something new from this situation or person?”  “Is it really worth my reaction and attention?”  I cross-question myself multiple times before I invest myself and my time on someone or something.  I treasure my time and have a clear picture of what I want in life at this late date. 

I am focusing on some of these things because I have received comments and emails from people all over the world, interested in my thoughts about things, saying that I have inspired them.  That makes me very happy.  I wrote my Journals to inspire other women who felt trapped in a situation or marriage or location.  And, 45 years later, I am STILL writing in my Journal.   

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE:  There are ways out!!  As my Daddy would have said, “I know a man in the ranks, who would not stay in the ranks!  Why?  I’ll tell you why.  Simply because he had the ability to GET THINGS DONE.”  Of course, he would make me say it and simultaneously pound my right fist into the palm of my left hand.  At age 5.  This was just as WWII was ending.  Somehow, I got the message.   Peace.  

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Best, Jay
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT – THE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

JAYSPEAK

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jinx with lucy
betty furness

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CHRISTMAS IN NICE – 2018

Before we welcome in the New Year, let’s take a closer look at Christmas in 2018.  Remember, this is now CHAPTER 8.  Chapter 7 concluded in August, 2018.  Now, it is all new.  Every Christmas since I have lived in France has been different.  The first Christmas 2015, Steve was still alive.  He wanted me to see Christmas in Paris, so we spent five days walking everywhere our legs would take us in Paris. Oh my goodness, did we have fun!!!  We got a bed and breakfast in the Marais. It was then that we bought a lock to seal our love forever, and Steve threw away the key into the Seine.  The lock was placed on a bridge that may have been torn down by now. I don’t know.  But, it was so romantic, and we were so happy.  Little did we know what was coming. 

 

Christmas 2016, Steve was gone – heart failure, August 31 – and I was alone.  Thankfully, a Facebook friend of Steve’s – Christopher Putney, and his husband, John – invited me to spend Christmas Day with them.  They are both WONDERFUL cooks, so we ate a feast and gabbed for hours.  I was so thankful to have somewhere nice to go. It was a very thoughtful thing for them to do for me in my hour of need.  That Christmas, I did not take many pictures.  I was not in a good space.

 

Christmas 2017, Chris and John had Christmas Dinner again and included friends Andrea and Slav to the gathering. It, too, was great, delicious, and lots of fun.  

 

So this year, Christmas 2018, we decided to play it by ear because Chris’ father – who lives nearby – was declining rapidly, and they needed to spend Christmas with him. I am glad they did because he died on Thursday, December 28.  Very sad for all of them.

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Since Andrea was in Canada with her family.  I was on my own to make plans.  I contacted my friend Pamela.  We both knew we wanted to do something special that was not too pricy.  Our friend Margaret – who has places in Paris and Nice, was coming to Nice on the train, travelling on Christmas Day.  Most of the restaurants were closed.  But, some were open with a set menu and a set price.  ALL required reservations.  My first choice was The Negresco Hotel in its main dining room The Chanticler. 

 

But, it was too pricy for our pocketbooks. 

But, they had a new dining room- Le 37 POP – that had a five-course Dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day that we felt we could afford since it was Christmas!!

RÉVEILLON
& DÉJEUNER DE NOËL

Escargots en persillade, concassée de tomates
Snails in parsley butter,
tomato concassé

Carpaccio de noix de Saint Jacques, glace aux oursins
et fenouil croquant au curry
Scallop carpaccio,
sea urchin ice
and crisp curried fennel

Dinde farcie aux marrons,
gratin de blettes et champignons Turkey with chestnut stuffing,
chard gratin and mushrooms

Brie aux noix
Walnut Brie

Le délice de Forêt Noire du Negresco The Negresco’s special Black Forest delight

RÉVEILLON DE NOËL LUNDI 24 DÉCEMBRE AU SOIR 

DÉJEUNER DE NOËL MARDI 25 DÉCEMBRE À MIDI 

We made reservations for lunch on Christmas Day.  

 

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First of all, I had NO IDEA of what to wear.  What would fit?  All my clothes are from Los Angeles and out of style here.  Ugh.  So, I spent hours trying to figure out what would work with my current body, my hair style, my new knee, one cane and ugly shoes (Asics and socks).  I tried on my boots.  Wouldn’t fit.  My right foot was still too swollen.  AND, the slacks I had planned to wear did not fit.  Ugh.  Disaster.  Memo to Self:  address wardrobe immediately!!  

I finally got dressed, took my fur jacket out of the hall closet, threw Steve’s silk scarf around my neck, put on Daddy’s gold watch, got my cane, and left.  I called Uber to pick me up in order to meet Pamela in the Bar at Noon.  Before I left, I took a selfie.  I don’t have a full length mirror in this apartment so I had NO IDEA of what I looked like.  

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The Negresco Bar was gorgeous.  I immediately felt right at home and remembered another lifetime when things like this were part of my lifestyle.  

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At 12:30 p.m., we segued to the Dining Room to our table.  It went well.  Five delicious courses!! 

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Margaret joined us, coming from the GARE, having arrived from Paris.  I kept hoping I would be able to handle all of the emotions I was having, the fun, the wine, the champagne, the beauty of my surroundings, good friends, and still get back home in one piece. 

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Needless to say, it was a lot of fun.  And, these days, I count my blessings when I am able to walk from the table to the toilette without stumbling.  (Just kidding!!)  

SO, there we have it!!  Christmas 2018. Chapter 8!!  And, now on to New Years Eve.  New Years Day and a BRAND NEW YEAR!!  Happy New Year, Everyone!!! What Chapter are you in?   Think about it?  It needs to have a defined closing of the previous Chapter and a defined opening of the New Chapter.  Maybe a tad of looking back, but focus on the excitement of the new.  Time is precious.  We must make the most of it.  

Love all of you!!  Hang in there.  2019 – The Best is  Yet to Come!!

Best, Jay

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