Monday, May 7, 2012

Brighter Day



The already stunningly deep blue sky seems to me to be even brighter this morning. I woke up feeling lighter, a weight had been lifted off of my chest that I hadn't realized was there. I am really happy--no, I am really, really, really happy that François Hollande was elected the French president yesterday.


Five years ago, I listened to Nicolas Sarkozy's promises and was thrilled to see that a record number of people turned out to vote. And yet, with the passing of time, I was increasingly disappointed by the "divide and rule" tactics and fear-mongering that ensued. As someone who works in the press, I saw first-hand how he muzzled the editors of some of France's most important magazines in the name of self-interest. As a foreigner, I felt more and more unwelcome as he chased after the vote of the extreme-right Front National Party, whose ideology is based upon limiting the arrival of immigrants such as myself. Sarkozy dared to say to a fellow citizen "Casse-toi, pauv'con!" (roughly "get out of my way, you poor jerk") and his ministers could make 'jokes' about France's Arabic population without being reprimanded. The economy worsened without solutions for those in the middle and lower classes while caps on tax hikes were put in place for the wealthiest. The jobless rate continued a steady climb. There hasn't been much in the way of hope in the air for quite some time now.


So goodbye to all of that.


Today is a day to celebrate!


I'll leave you with some photos of one of my favorite corners of the Alpilles, just beyond St. Remy. My honey has long been attracted to this tiny chapel and has photographed it many times. I never tire to accompany him as there is always something new in the land, in the light to try and capture...










...including a heart shaped rock, surrounded by stone in the middle of that ancient wall. What a beautiful discovery and it seems somehow very appropriate for how I am feeling today.


Have a wonderful week everyone! 

22 comments:

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Heather:
Although we are not of course directly affected by the result of the French Presidential election, the outcome is one which we personally wished to see, balancing as it does, to an extent, what we regard as a very worrying move towards the far right as is the case here and, most alarmingly in Greece where, it would appear the Golden Dawn party are set to win seats in Parliament for the first time.

Lost in Provence said...

Yes, I couldn't agree with you more and we just were watching a news segment about it. I had to sit down I was so horrified by the prospect of Neo-Nazis in power.

Linda McMullan said...

Heather, we are all holding our collective breaths to see what this "Normal" man can bring to the enormous challenges he has been elected, with such hope, to handle.

We have all been living through times that our grandchildren will study about in college, and I, along with millions of others, have discovered that I don't like making history.

Bon courage to Mr. Hollande!

Jeanne @ Collage of Life said...

Hi Heather...just had to stop by and say hello and to thank you for your lovely comment. I have to say also, that I love your photos...the one with your hair blowing in the wind..in shadow, is brilliant! I enjoy photographing stonework as well. I wonder what that says about us??

I can see from the blogosphere that Sarkozy's departure is meeting with mixed reviews. People seem to be divided, but isn't that the way with politics. I try and follow the American news as well, it seems it is the same over there. I know I will get an earful when I return back to MA to visit my family in July.
Yes..we are Ho Chi Minh bound come July. I am looking forward to it, like you say, it is an adventure. I am very excited for the photographic possibilities. I was there last month in a daze but excited for what is yet to be.

Many thanks for following along...

Jeanne xx

Lost in Provence said...

I know Linda. He has too much ahead of him but I am still hopeful--at the very least that he can bring people in this country together again. There is much that I find very positive in his planning--we shall see what he can achieve!

Lost in Provence said...

Oh hooray! How lovely of you stop by. :) And I realized that we have eaten at the same riverside restaurant in HCM--isn't that funny? I can't WAIT to follow your adventures there. Brave lady, you are. And YOUR photos are amazing--the colors!

And what DOES that say about us that we both like to photograph stone? Hmmm...

I think that I have been so interested in this election also because it is a warmup for our US election...Oh la la don't get me started! :)

Concrete Jungle said...

How very interesting to hear from someone who is actually there...one never quite knows how the deal goes when you aren't there. Thanks for voicing an opinion for us all to listen to.

Jenny Woolf said...

Ah looks beautiful, so different from gloomy England. I too am glad to see the back of Sarko.

Judith said...

We were cheering for Hollande in this household as well. I, of course, am hoping that the American voters will be as wise as their French counterparts. A Romney presidency would spell disaster here.

Your photos are so amazing. I love the one of your hair in shadow and of course the one of Monsieur Ben says it all!

Bisous.

Anonymous said...

Pauvre France!

Anonymous said...

Yes, of course Obama is what made this country great! Before him we were in darkness! LOL

Glamour Drops said...

But it's early days yet. Seems that people are lurching both left and right - perhaps it is more about the lurching than anything else? The pendulum of politics, the pendulum of social history come to that.

Acquired Objects said...

Look at your hair doing a shadow dance, love it! I'm glad that you're happy to have the President you hoped for. Ben certainly looks thrilled too, he's so cute!

XX
Debra~

Dash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dash said...

Hi Heather, apologies for not commenting recently, have been having broadband problems, Grrr France Telecom!

Monsieur Hollande, has a mountain to climb and one of the most difficult jobs in politics, especially in the current economic climate, I have everything crossed that things will change for the better, only time will tell.

Lovely pictures as usual and I agree with the others, the one of your hair blowing in the wind is superb.
XXX

Lost in Provence said...

Glad you appreciated it Heather--it is just one opinion though--I certainly would never assume to be the "right" one!

Lost in Provence said...

It is gray here today, Jenny, so I hear ya! The gloom was the NUMBER ONE reason why I wanted to leave Paris--it drove me crazy!

Lost in Provence said...

Well said Virginia, as always. There have been interviews with many folks that "lurched" to the extreme right who admitted as much.

Lost in Provence said...

Oh Dash, that sucks truly. We waited until Arles got high-speed internet before moving here--really!

I'd be curious to hear how the votes fell in your region...

The wind was blowing like crazy that day--I couldn't resist! :)

Liza in Ann Arbor said...

I didn't realize that France had the same reluctance as the US to tax the wealthy. All the better that Hollande won.

LaPouyette said...

Unfortunately - most of the French presidents behaved like Roi's! Except De Gaulle, Giscard d'Estaing and Choupin ? (don't really remember how to spell his name, does anybody remember him ???)
As soon as they move into the Elysee Palace.....they feel like being the king and "little" Napoleons. OOHHPPS!

amicalement, karin

have to read all again, so pleased that, finally, somebody is talking about......

Lost in Provence said...

Karin! You are so funny. But since Hollande is taking a pay CUT for himself, I think that he will be different. (Do you remember how much Sarkozy raised not only his paycheck but the budget for receptions at L'Elysée? Scandalous)

And yep Liza, somebody has got to do it!