No Internet Service on Horizon

Yes, we’re now well into our third week without any office telephone line or internet service. The sad thing is that I have no real idea of when it will be restored. Lots of promises, but zero actions. It’s fair to say that Orange has totally failed to manage my expectations and my life has been put on permanent hold. I don’t feel I can organise anything or commit to anything until it’s sorted.

Take today, for example, we were due to lunch with friends but Orange had scheduled a rdv by phone for 12:00 – 13:00 with their Technical Service dept. This was a rescheduling of a call due the previous day. I cancelled our lunch and waited patiently by the Livebox. No one called. I had to ring Orange and the whole ghastly procedure started again. I now have my next call scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. I feel as if I’m caught up in some Dystopian Groundhog Day.

Still no internet

It’s now almost two weeks since our internet service, Orange Fibre Pro was cut off, along with our telephone line. We’re now onto the fourth promise of reconnection. The Business Services operator I spoke to this morning has elevated my dossier to level 3 and guaranteed reconnection in 48 hours. I am fast exhausting my patience and faith in Orange.

Song Lyric Sunday #44

This week’s prompt for Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday Challenge is Old/ New/ Borrowed/ Blue – a wedding theme perhaps? In fact I immediately thought of White Wedding by Billy Idol. Quite possibly not what was intended by the prompt, but never mind!

Billy Idol is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and actor who holds dual British and American citizenship. He first achieved fame in the 1970s emerging from the London punk rock scene as the lead singer of the group Generation X. Subsequently, he embarked on a solo career which led to international recognition and made Idol a lead artist during the MTV-driven “Second British Invasion” in the United States. The name “Billy Idol” was inspired by a schoolteacher’s description of him as “idle”.

After Generation X disbanded, in 1981 Idol moved to New York to pursue a solo career. His debut studio album, Billy Idol (1982), was a commercial success. Music videos for singles “Dancing with Myself” and “White Wedding” Idol soon became a staple of then-newly established MTV.

Although not Idol’s highest-charting hit, White Wedding is often considered one of his most recognisable songs. In the US, it peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Bubbling Under the Hot 100 chart on 27 November 1982, then reached No. 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 on 2 July 1983 after it was re-issued. In the UK, it reached No. 6 in the UK Singles Chart upon its re-release there in 1985 and again 1988, when it was re-issued to promote the Vital Idol remix album.

Despite rumors to the contrary, this song is not about Idol’s actual little sister. “Little sister” is slang for girlfriend. Idol is singing about a woman/girl he loves marrying someone else while he still loves her. Idol did have a sister who was getting married which gave him the idea for the song. Like many of Idol’s compositions, he started with the title and wrote the song from there.

The video for this song help launch Idol to stardom. It was directed by David Mallet, who had worked with Queen and David Bowie. Idol had little cash, so Mallet cut him a break on his fee. The concept was a “nightmare wedding,” with a Goth guy (Idol) marrying a normal girl, with some vampire imagery thrown in. The bride was played by Perri Lister, who was Billy’s girlfriend. The resulting video contained some of the most indelible images seen on MTV, including the barbed-wire wedding ring and  the motorcycle crashing through the church window.

The song is very anti-marriage, yet many people have it played at their weddings simply because it mentions a wedding. Indeed it was used in the movie The Wedding Singer. After getting dumped at the alter, Adam Sandler tells his friends to “turn this crap off” after the video comes on. Idol later appears in the movie as himself and helps get Sandler together with Drew Barrymore.

Lyrics: White Wedding

Hey little sister, what have you done
Hey little sister, who’s the only one
Hey little sister, who’s your superman
Hey little sister, who’s the one you want
Hey little sister, shotgun
It’s a nice day to start again
It’s a nice day for a white wedding
It’s a nice day to start again

Hey little sister, who is it you’re with
Hey little sister, what’s your vice and wish
Hey little sister, shotgun (oh yeah)
Hey little sister, who’s your superman
Hey little sister, shotgun
It’s a nice day to start again
It’s a nice day for a white wedding
It’s a nice day to start again
Take me back home, yeah
Hey little sister, what have you done
Hey little sister, who’s the only one
I’ve been away for so long (so long)
I’ve been away for so long (so long)
I let you go for so long
It’s a nice day to start again
Come on, it’s a nice day for a white wedding
It’s a nice day to start again
There is nothin’ fair in this world, baby
There is nothin’ safe in this world
And there’s nothin’ sure in this world
And there’s nothin’ pure in this world
Look for something left in this world
Start again
Come on
It’s a nice day for a white wedding
It’s a nice day to start again
It’s a nice day to start again
It’s a nice day to start again

Source:LyricFind
Songwriters: Billy Idol
White Wedding lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Challenge Rules

  • Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not. If it does not fit, then please explain why you chose this song.
  • Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
  • Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
  • Ping back to Jim’s post or place your link in his comments section.
  • Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
  • Feel free to suggest future prompts.
  • Most of all, have fun and enjoy the music.

One from the Vaults: I’m not on holiday, I’m working!

One of many posts from my back catalogue about my family which if you recall is now just my two younger sisters.

One of my sisters bought this cushion which says: “Happiness is having a large loving family…..in another city!” So true –  although to be on the safe side, we’re in another country –  and never more so than the past couple of weeks while that sister has been over here on an extended vacation. She’s not staying with me (thank heavens) but is just down the road in our old holiday flat which she and her husband bought from us over 10 years ago.

One of the biggest problems of living (and working) on the Cote d’Azur is that when people come to visit, as they inevitably do, they’re on holiday. Furthermore, they tend to presume that you’re on holiday too. In fact, they think you’re on holiday all the time!

The worst offenders are my family, specifically this sister and her husband. When they first bought the apartment from us,  I offered to lend them a helping hand until they’d become accustomed to the way things worked in France. Sadly, because Big Sis is always available, neither of them ever bothers to sort out anything on their own. To add insult to injury, they rarely bother to follow my advice and then wonder why things go wrong. Nor have they tried to learn much French in that time, relying instead on me to translate everything.

This past week my beloved was on a business trip and I was looking forward to time on the bike and tackling my clients’ projects. Unfortunately, I’ve spent several days sorting out my sister’s ill-fated attempt to buy stuff over the internet. The last time she did this I had to accept delivery of her bed head after she’d returned home, and then pay to have it taken down to her apartment!

This time she bought a number of bedside tables so that she can finally return the ones I lent her over 10 years ago. Needless to say they are no longer in a pristine condition and I’ll have to pay to get them restored. Initially, she complained about having to wait in all morning for a delivery and had me chasing it up. I managed to persuade the delivery man to take the package up to her apartment. They typically drop off at the door to apartment blocks.

She signed for the delivery, noting that she’d not unpacked and checked it before the carrier left, as I advised. The box was damaged and so was one of the bedside tables. I immediately notified the vendor and subsequently sent photos showing the damage. Initially, she wanted to return both but has now decided to keep the one that’s undamaged. This has generated a flurry of emails which I have had to translate and then craft her response.

The other bedside tables she’d ordered cannot be delivered while she’s still over here. I don’t want to accept delivery, just in case she doesn’t like them, so we’re attempting to cancel the order on the basis that the delivery is taking a month longer than indicated when she placed the order. More emails, more translations.

I had hoped that buying stuff over the internet would avoid the necessity to go shopping with her – my idea of hell. However, now that I’ve resolved the problem with the bedside tables she’s moved onto lighting. Asking if I could take her to places that sell lighting. My sister fails to appreciate that unlike her I don’t regard shopping as a leisure activity. I’ve suggested a couple of places she can visit but I am so not going with her. Trouble is she only has the car for a couple more days and doesn’t do public transport.

I can only thank my lucky stars that I’m off to Paris while she’s on her own for a week pending the arrival of one of her friends for the final week of her (far too long) vacation. Also, thank goodness they bought their own apartment otherwise they’d be staying with me, expecting me to wait on them hand and foot and, while we might not have to worry about bedside tables, I’m quite sure there would be something else.

Cee’s Flower of the Day #109

What fun showcasing beautiful flora – flowers, shrubs, trees, bushes and leaves – throughout the year.

Cee’s challenge is all about bringing a little beauty and colour into our daily lives. Who wouldn’t be in favour of that?

Challenge rules, why not join in?

1.Feel free to post every day or whenever you you feel like it.  You can either post new flower photos or dig back into your archives.

2. Depending on the time of year, you can post any of these types of things for your FOTD.

  • Single flowers
  • Buds
  • Multiple flowers
  • Bouquet
  • Flower fields
  • Wildflowers
  • Tree or bush blossoms
  • Autumn leaves
  • Spring leaves
  • Decorative Cabbage
  • Berries
  • Still life
  • Fake or Silk Flowers

Still No Internet

Many apologies but I’ve been struggling to get our internet service re-established after it was cancelled by persons unknown.

I have twice been promised reconnection and I’m hoping it’ll be third time lucky on Tuesday, a week since we were cut off!

Luckily I had already scheduled some posts but I’ll have to suspend these now until Tuesday. Wish me luck, I certainly need it.

Update:

Well, today’s the day my « cancelled » WiFi service was due to be switched back on. However, it now appears that despite protestations to the contrary that there is a technical issue!

I’m suspecting Orange didn’t want to own up to this because my contract promises to resolve technical problems within 8hours. It’s now a week!

Fortunately my beloved has been able to access WiFi elsewhere and continue working but it’s been mighty inconvenient.

Have now resorted to lightning candles and praying – it can’t hurt, can it?

Cee’s Flower of the Day #108

What fun showcasing beautiful flora – flowers, shrubs, trees, bushes and leaves – throughout the year.

Cee’s challenge is all about bringing a little beauty and colour into our daily lives. Who wouldn’t be in favour of that?

Challenge rules, why not join in?

1.Feel free to post every day or whenever you you feel like it.  You can either post new flower photos or dig back into your archives.

2. Depending on the time of year, you can post any of these types of things for your FOTD.

  • Single flowers
  • Buds
  • Multiple flowers
  • Bouquet
  • Flower fields
  • Wildflowers
  • Tree or bush blossoms
  • Autumn leaves
  • Spring leaves
  • Decorative Cabbage
  • Berries
  • Still life
  • Fake or Silk Flowers

Cee’s Flower of the Day #107

What fun showcasing beautiful flora – flowers, shrubs, trees, bushes and leaves – throughout the year.

Cee’s challenge is all about bringing a little beauty and colour into our daily lives. Who wouldn’t be in favour of that?

Challenge rules, why not join in?

1.Feel free to post every day or whenever you you feel like it.  You can either post new flower photos or dig back into your archives.

2. Depending on the time of year, you can post any of these types of things for your FOTD.

  • Single flowers
  • Buds
  • Multiple flowers
  • Bouquet
  • Flower fields
  • Wildflowers
  • Tree or bush blossoms
  • Autumn leaves
  • Spring leaves
  • Decorative Cabbage
  • Berries
  • Still life
  • Fake or Silk Flowers

French Fancies: Eres

While my beloved has plenty of pairs of Vilebrequin swim shorts, I just have two swimsuits. Classic black and an emerald green both from French company Eres which started with swimwear and has since expanded into lingerie, casual and active wear.  All of its products are highly covetable. Their pieces are simple. They fit. They come in great colours. There’s nothing complicated about them—no weird straps or hard to figure out bodices.

How it all began

Eres was the name of a boutique in Place de la Madeleine that sold bathing suits and other garments in the Twenties in Paris. Irène Leroux’s family acquired the shop in the Fifties. When Leroux’s father died in 1968, she took over the business and decided to focus on retailing her own line rather than carrying others. She opened her doors in May of that year, but had to close the next day because of student riots. That dramatic debut seems fitting for a brand that has been credited with changing the concept of modern swimwear.

Eres was the first brand to sell swimwear all year round. In the 1970s, Eres also became famous for its radical interpretations of bathing suits — including the creation of two-piece swimsuits with different-sized tops and bottoms to reflect more realistically the female shape. It also eliminated armature like underwires and padding from suit designs.

Since those early days Eres has built a reputation on creating elegant swimwear with streamlined silhouettes that mold to the body. One fashion critic explaining the sophisticated appeal of the brand said:

Eres makes the best little black swimsuits in the world. They are the Coco Chanel of swimsuits.

Eres’ predominantly female swimwear designers, working in a light-filled atelier on the top floor of the brand’s headquarters on Boulevard Voltaire, in the 11th Arrondissement, look to create visual impact through unexpected colour choices, working with colours that are not necessarily easy to wear on the beach. Generally,  something that is always out of the ordinary. They claim:

You really have to have a deep understanding of the female body. You need to try things on, and it is only by trying things on that you discover what works and what doesn’t. There is a female sensibility to it. A man is going to be more focused on the fantasy and his own projections of a woman, whereas a woman will focus on the realities of a woman’s daily life.

To the design team this means creating bathing suits that respect the natural curves of the body and enhance them through the use of state-of-the-art fabrics and cutting-edge design techniques, which include the injecting of silicon into layers of fabric to create a padded effect — as in a raised bow motif or a spongy spring to straps — and laser cutting to create precise forms.

The two exclusive materials that act as the base for the brand’s swimwear line are called Peau Douce and Parachute. The exact make-up of these materials, which mix polyamid and spandex, is a company secret. But the results they achieve have proved popular: The dense weave of the Peau Douce claims to sculpt and support the body, while the more relaxed Parachute fabric is prepped to whip away water so that a suit dries fast.

In 1996, Eres was bought by Chanel, broadening the brand’s reach and distribution capabilities, and in 1998 the swimwear company entered the lingerie and shapewear market. Once again Eres set its sights on building collections that focused on fabric technology and ergonomic design.

Initially, Irène Leroux retained the artistic direction of the brand before stepping down in 2007 to be replaced by Valérie Delafossen, a former stylist for Princesse tam.tam and many other brands. In 2013, Marie-Paule Minchelli (studio director at Eres since 2008) and Yasmine Eslami replaced Delafosse as joint artistic directors, with the former assuming sole responsibility in 2018.

What you’re paying for

On average, a new Eres swimwear collection takes two years. The brand tests each bathing suit in a number of different conditions, from sand and sun to washing machines and chlorine, and most of the Eres staff will “test-drive” prototypes to see how the suits work on different body shapes and how they hold up under everyday conditions.

Once the fabrics have been selected and the validated designs have been translated into patterns that are cut out in fabric and mounted, each prototype is perfected by the team in preparation for the production stage.

The pieces are graded from 38 to 48 in European sizes. All retouches are made on models, using mirrors to see the pieces from all angles, and each size is tested on a range of morphologies. Adjustments to the patterns — such as the tweaking of a décolleté or a neck strap — are made using computer software for precision. All validated fabrics are put through a series of tests in a lab in the site’s basement before being green-lighted for production.

Downstairs in their Paris-based design studio, Eres has the “destroy lab” where each style is tested with the harshest conditions: light, sand, and water, to see what the suit can withstand and how it will wear over time. All of the hardware (anything “extra” that’s put on the suit) is also tested with heat for the same purpose.

For each palette, the team will have tested numerous nuances of each shade; the colour has to be spot-on. the team also factors in things like how a colour will sit on different shades of skin, or the sun at the different times of year, because it also has winter collections. Minchelli, who experiments with the cuts and materials to shape the pieces on the body, explained:

A colour will change under the sun or in water. Eres is all about the architecture of the body, colour and freedeom of movement.

 

Another machine that simulates body heat tests the fabric for bleeding when subjected to water, sweat, chlorinated water and seawater.

The fabric is also stretched using a membrane that pushes up like a thumb to create a dome shape that distends the warp and the weave, to test how quickly it regains its shape.The models are then assembled, with the seamstresses carrying out a variety of operations on different machines throughout the day. Eres’ signatures include flat-felled seams, and the curved bust darts that feature on the cups, a dexterous manual operation.

The final stage is referred to as “épluchage,” which means “peeling” in English. There, the finished garments are sent to a station where workers manually inspect and clean up the pieces, removing stray threads or trimming any parts that overlap using scissors and blades. The measurements are also checked to make sure the piece corresponds with the size marked on the label.

Perfection doesn’t come cheap but if you look at the price in terms of cost per wear, it’s wholly justifiable. At least, that’s what I told myself.

All images courtesy of Eres

Song Lyric Sunday #43

This week’s prompt for Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday Challenge is City/County/Country/State/Town. Places like New York and California feature prominently, so what do I have in my archives that fits the bill? How about New York: Empire State of Mind by Alicia Keys?

Alicia Keys is an American singer-songwriter, actress and classically-trained pianist. Keys released her debut album, Songs in A Minor in 2001. The album was critically and commercially successful, producing her first Billboard Hot 100 number-one single and selling over 12 million copies worldwide. The album earned Keys five Grammy Awards in 2002.

Her second album, The Diary of Alicia Keys (2003), was also a critical and commercial success, spawning successful singles and selling eight million copies worldwide. The album garnered her an additional four Grammy Awards. Her duet My Boo with Usher became her second number-one single in 2004. Keys released her first live album, Unplugged (2005), and became the first woman to have an MTV Unplugged album debut at number one. Her third album, As I Am (2007), sold 7 million copies worldwide and earned her an additional three Grammy Awards.

Her fourth album, The Element of Freedom (2009), became her first chart-topping album in the UK, and sold 4 million copies worldwide. In 2009, Keys also collaborated with Jay Z on “Empire State of Mind”, which became her fourth number-one single and won the Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

Empire State of Mind is recognized as a modern-day anthem for New York City.  Both Jay-Z (Brooklyn) and Alicia Keys (Harlem) are New York City natives, and they teamed up on this track to represent their hometown. Accordingly the titular “Empire State” has been a popular nickname of New York since 19th century.  The song deals with topics as diverse as recognising celebrities who live in the city to chronicling the tale of a female runaway who got caught in the snares therein.

This song was originally conceived by a pair of NYC writers named Janet Sewell and Angela Hunte who came up with the tune while visiting London in 2009 and suffering from homesickness. The song came to the attention of Jay-Z after the two writers submitted the tune (twice) to his label Roc Nation. Sewell and Hunte received both writing and production credit for the song, as did Al Shux. And the track’s other co-writers are as follows:

  • Sylvia Robinson
  • Jay-Z
  • Alicia Keys

Robinson is an old school performer who is actually one of the pioneers of hip-hop. And the reason she is credited as a co-writer is because “Empire State of Mind” samples a track she wrote that came out in 1970 entitled “Love on a Two-Way Street”, by the Moments.

Keys has received numerous accolades in her career, including 15 competitive Grammy Awards, 17 and an award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and National Music Publishers Association. She has sold over 50 million albums and 40 million singles worldwide making her one of the world’s best-selling music artists and was named by Billboard the top R&B artist of the 2000s decade.

Lyrics: Empire State of Mind

Yeah
Yeah I’m out that Brooklyn, now I’m down in Tribeca
Right next to DeNiro, but I’ll be hood forever
I’m the new Sinatra, and, since I made it here
I can make it anywhere, yeah, they love me everywhere
I used to cop in Harlem, all of my Dominicanos
Right there up on Broadway, pull me back to that McDonald’s
Took it to my stashbox, 560 State St
Catch me in the kitchen like a Simmons wippin’ pastry’s
Cruisin’ down 8th St, off white Lexus
Drivin’ so slow, but BK is from Texas
Me, I’m out that Bed-Stuy, home of that boy Biggie
Now I live on Billboard and I brought my boys with me
Say what up to Ty-Ty, still sippin’ Mai Tais
Sittin’ courtside, Knicks and Nets give me high five
Nigga I be Spike’d out, I could trip a referee (come on, come on, come on)
Tell by my attitude that I’m most definitely from

In New York (ayy, ah-ha) (uh, yeah)
Concrete jungle (yeah) where dreams are made of
There’s nothin’ you can’t do (yeah) (okay)
Now you’re in New York (ah-ha, ah-ha, ah-ha) (uh, yeah)
These streets will make you feel brand new (new)
Big lights will inspire you (come on) (okay)
Let’s hear it for New York (you’re welcome, OG) (come on)
New York (yeah), New York (uh) (I made you hot)
Catch me at the X with OG at a Yankee game
Shit, I made the Yankee hat more famous then a Yankee can
You should know I bleed blue, but I ain’t a Crip though
But I got a gang of niggas walkin’ with my clique though
Welcome to the melting pot, corners where we sellin’ rock
Afrika Bambataa shit, home of the hip-hop
Yellow cab, gypsy cab, dollar cab, holla back
For foreigners it ain’t fair, they act like they forgot how to act
Eight million stories, out there in the naked
City is a pity, half of y’all won’t make it
Me, I got a plug, Special Ed “I Got It Made”
If Jesus payin’ Lebron, I’m payin’ Dwyane Wade
Three dice cee-lo, three card Monte
Labor Day Parade, rest in peace Bob Marley
Statue of Liberty, long live the World Trade (come on, come on, come on)
Long live the King yo, I’m from the Empire State that’s
In New York (ayy, ah-ha) (uh, yeah)
Concrete jungle (yeah) where dreams are made of
There’s nothin’ you can’t do (that boy good) (okay)
Now you’re in New York (uh, yeah)
(Welcome to the bright lights, baby)
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you (okay)
Let’s hear it for New York (come on)
New York (yeah), New York (uh)
Lights is blinding, girls need blinders
So they can step out of bounds quick, the sidelines is
Lined with casualties, who sip the life casually
Then gradually become worse, don’t bite the apple, Eve
Caught up in the in-crowd, now you’re in style
End of the winter gets cold, en vogue, with your skin out
City of sin, it’s a pity on the whim
Good girls gone bad, the city’s filled with them
Mommy took a bus trip, now she got her bust out
Everybody ride her, just like a bus route
“Hail Mary” to the city, you’re a virgin
And Jesus can’t save you, life starts when the church end
Came here for school, graduated to the high life
Ball players, rap stars, addicted to the limelight
MDMA got you feelin’ like a champion (come on, come on, come on)
The city never sleeps, better slip you an Ambien
In New York (ayy, ah-ha) (uh, yeah)
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothin’ you can’t do (okay)
Now you’re in New York (uh, yeah)
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you (okay)
Let’s hear it for New York (come on)
New York (yeah), New York (uh)
One hand in the air for the big city
Street lights, big dreams, all lookin’ pretty
No place in the world that could compare
Put your lighters in the air everybody say
“Yeah, yeah” (come on, come on, come on)
“Yeah, yeah”
In New York (uh, yeah)
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothin’ you can’t do (okay)
Now you’re in New York (uh, yeah)
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let’s hear it for New York (come on)
New York (yeah), New York (uh)

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Alexander William Shuckburgh / Alicia J Augello-Cook / Shawn C Carter / Angela Hunte / Bert Keyes / Sylvia Robinson / Janet Sewell
Empire State Of Mind lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

Challenge Rules

  • Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not. If it does not fit, then please explain why you chose this song.
  • Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
  • Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
  • Ping back to Jim’s post or place your link in his comments section.
  • Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
  • Feel free to suggest future prompts.
  • Most of all, have fun and enjoy the music.