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Tony Grist

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CERN And Ferney-Voltaire [Feb. 27th, 2010|05:02 pm]
Tony Grist
Monday morning was all about packing and cleaning the appartment. In the afternoon we drove Matt home to CERN. We'd hoped to take a tour of the visitor centre- the wooden globe in the photo below- but it was closed for repairs. CERN above ground looks like a business park.

With time on our hands, we went to Ferney- a not particularly pretty, small town-  famous as the home of Voltaire- and the site of his many, philanthropic and daring social experiments.   There's a statue- inscribed to Le patriarche de Ferney, a fountain with his bust on it, and a painting on the side of the hotel which shows him in silhouette, sitting, drinking some enlightenment beverage, legs crossed, with a slipper dangling from his toes. Voltaire was a very great man and a very good man- a secular saint- and I was moved to be in his presence. His so-called chateau, on the edge of town- is a tasteful and modest country house. I don't know if it opens to the public, but it was certainly closed on this occasion- and I got no closer than the gates.

In the evening we dined at the Coq Rouge in St Genois. I ate foie gras, fried in a raspberry vinegar sauce, veal kidneys in a gingerbread and mustard sauce and a coupe colonel- which is lemon sorbet with vodka. I've racked my brains to remember if I've ever had a better meal in the past 59 years- and I don't believe I have.

[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2010-02-27 05:34 pm (UTC)
I'm enjoying these posts and photos very much - and I'm awestruck at how much you have fitted in!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-02-27 07:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I don't go away very often, so when I do I go for broke...
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2010-02-27 08:29 pm (UTC)
This has been a wonderful series of pictures. Thank you!
And that meal you describe...a most fitting ending!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-02-27 09:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-02-28 02:28 am (UTC)

To Tony -- with admiration

Tony: All these years I've shied away from social media, etc. And it's been ages since I've looked at your dreambattle thing. Thanks again for your posting. Your joie d'vivre is refreshing and your erudition (nobody where I work knows who Fellini or Ken Kesey is -- and these are so-called "creatives") and your foodie tastes (foie gras, yes indeed -- where I am, fine dining is "Chipolte," the ugh McDonald's version of Mexican). AT any rate, it's about time I took the plunge and signed up for sites, such as the one that hosts your dreambattle. The photos of your trip to France -- magnificent. Thanks.

Paul Brucker
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-02-28 09:47 am (UTC)

Re: To Tony -- with admiration

Hey Paul, it's great to hear from you again. I was thinking about you just the other day, wondering how you were, whether you were still writing, regretting that we'd lost touch.

I'm pleased you like the blog. You're someone whose good opinion it's worth having. People who know me in person think I'm a grumpy sod, but I try to work at the good old joie de vivre. As Stevenson wrote (approximately),

The world is so full of such wonderful things
I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.

It would be good if you got a livejournal- for several reasons. 1. It's a great medium for self-expression, 2. there are some excellent writers here- and they're good company. 3. We could talk more often- and not just once every five years or whatever it is.

Hoping to see you you around (so to speak)


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[User Picture]From: airstrip
2010-02-28 11:45 pm (UTC)

That tall bearded guy looks like one of my exes.
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[User Picture]From: airstrip
2010-02-28 11:46 pm (UTC)
Same beard, face, even style of dress.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-03-01 09:15 am (UTC)
Was he also a scientist and a gamer?
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