Learning in Québec

My photo
I'm someone who began learning French when I was 53. I took a BA in French at 60 but wasn't happy with my level of comprehension (though I read very well). So, having really become comfortable with Spanish only by living on the Mexican border, I'm spending more time in Québec and near the border of Quebec, in Vermont, to see if I can do that here with French. I want to encourage others to do the same.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

C'est triste mais vrai -- Maria stepped into Québec

My friend Maria Martinez visited northern Vermont but could not enter Canada because even though she was born in the United States seventy years ago -- she had her birthday during this visit -- the U.S. government rejected her application for a passport because she was not born in a hospital.

But the librarian in Barton, Vermont, Toni Eubanks, suggested that she step across to the Quebec side of the Haskell library in Derby Line, so that is what she did.  Here is a picture of dear Maria on the Canadian side of the Haskell Library, her only way to visit Quebec:

Maria Martinez à Québec!
And here we are in Philadelphia, with the cracked Liberty Bell, later:

Maria Martinez with friend Sylvia and the Liberty Bell

Monday, 16 October 2017

Journal entry, my once-a-summer at the Jules and Jim

Le Jules et Jim on rue Cartier, QC

September 30, 2017:

Tony here that last year, here at Jules and Jim's.
Maybe like Catherine toward end of the movie, I've been going in circles since then.
The most important goal besides gathering my work is returning here to live out my best last years.
Whatever else is possible with that ... but this is where to be.
I wish I'd come yesterday [the anniversary of Tony's death] but Tony would be all right with me being a day late.
And piano.
Quebec, my work, piano.
I saw the Joan of Arc garden with Halloween decorations and walked to the Martello Tower.
Just now her car going off the bridge.  How could that be what I'm here to see?
Their remains -- Catherine's and Jules' -- cremated.  Jim attending.
Next year I'll try to be here on the 29th.

Long visit with Monique.  Meant to go to Beauport but went there instead.  Realized I'd seen her but not visited.

Matthew met us here -- or wasn't it at the sculpture of 3 elders by the Grand Theatre and then we walked here together.  Tony spoke of rivers and the land.

Afterward Matthew would say Tony was a surprise.  Such a good person, so intelligent.

I'll go now.  This was where to come, yes.  One brandy.

Friday, 29 September 2017

un poème par Iolande Jolicoeur

Io on passerelle over river Cap Rouge

28 septembre

ni être, ni avoir, sans mot dire
je vais jusqu'au bout de mes démons, de mes fantômes, de mes amours
à tout moment sollicitée, sans crainte de représailles --
"leftovers" de ma lucidité --
à bout de forces, à bout d'entrain
un clou en chasse un autre
un trou en fabrique un autre
                                                             Iolande Jolicoeur

September 28

neither being nor having, wordlessly
I go to the end of my demons, my phantoms, my loves
at each moment urged on, without fear of reprisals --
"leftovers" from my lucidity
at end of strength, of drive --
a nail hunting another
a hole making another
                                                    translation by Sylvia Manning

Sylvia Manning (left) and Io Jolicoeur on passerelle

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Le Tracel de Cap Rouge

from Wikipedia:  Le tracel de Cap-Rouge est un viaduc ferroviaire à tréteaux (ou pont à chevalets) situé dans le quartier de Cap-Rouge, à Québec. Il permet de franchir la vallée de la rivière du Cap Rouge, à l'extrémité ouest de la colline de Québec. Achevé en 1908, il est toujours en service.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Visite avec Juliette 31 juillet jusque 4 aout

Sylvia et Iolande avant la musique en Ste. Foy
Juliette and I had a lovely visit to Quebec City. 
This is a selfie Julie took of us on the bus; #11, I think.

Sylvia and Monique, chez Monique.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Photograph of photograph of Billie Holiday, Sherbrooke Museum of Fine Arts.  

Friend Stephen picked me up at Sherbrooke bus station (so wonderful) on my most recent return from Quebec City.  Bus leaves Ste. Foy station in Quebec City at 9:10 a.m. and arrives in Sherbrooke at 12:20 p.m. unless -- as on this trip -- it takes a special route to leave someone at University of Sherbrooke.  Didn't arrive until 12:45, but that still left plenty of time to see the Abenaki Gorge and the Museum of Fine Arts which is just at the falls.  It's so worth your visit.  Sherbrooke is the third largest city in Quebec, I think.  I like it.  Only 25 miles north of Vermont.  Best way up from the border is on 143, the back way.  So easy to get lost from the autoroute.

stairway down from Museum parking lot leads to gorge

La Robe de Nations

 This is in permanent exhibit at the Museum of Civilization in Quebec City, au Musée de la Civilisation.  It's on the second floor, rather hidden, making it even more a surprise when you come up on it.

It's just pieces of fabric from clothes of women all over the world, patiently hand-stitched to hang together.

I'll look for a better description when I'm there again at the museum.  I renewed my membership, mais certainement.