French slides

If indeed I did stay in Pontoise, I certainly did not know it was a haven for the earliest developments of Impressionism. This is because the first and oldest Impressionist, Camille Pissaro, lived here and attracted a younger generation of painters like Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Charles-François Daubigny, Gustave Caillebotte, Gustave Loiseau, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Frédéric Bazille, all of whom wanted to paint outdoors in natural light and learn from Pissaro.

Work at the same time upon sky, water, branches, ground, keeping everything going on and equal basis and unceasingly rework until you have got it. Paint generously and unhesitatingly, for it is best not to lose the first impression. —Camille Pissaro

Tomorrow my Eurail pass would end, and I was eager to invade England before my pass or England expired. So, I followed the usual trail of Gothic Cathedrals and Romanesque Castles from Paris to Calais — about 230 miles north. Is there an unwritten law in France that every town must have its own Gothic Cathedral?


Something important occurred in Boulogne. I know since I underlined Boulogne on my Europa map. I wonder what it was? Perhaps I stopped to roam around the beach like Manet once did. Or perhaps I heard about its fabulous herring catches, and stopped to chase after a red one. Perhaps I wanted to see where Napoleon planned to invade England with 200,000 troops, but instead, he only managed a 53 meter erection. Multipy 53 by 39 inches and you have what Monty Pythoners would call a quintessential case of Biggus Dickus. However, without this guy's massive ego, indirectly proportional to his mass, there would have been no Germany, no Hitler, no Israel, no Al-Qaeda. Should we thank him for all that? History, someone said — maybe me — follows the law of action and even greater reaction. Should this be amended to read the law of erection and even greater re-erection?

Khufu Pyramid 146.5 meters
Washington Monument169+ meters
Chrysler319 meters
Eiffel Tower 324 meters
Empire State 381 meters
Trump Tower 423 meters
Petronus Towers 452 meters
Taipei 101 509 meters
One World Trade Center     1776 feet
Burj-Khalifa828 meters

From Calais to Dover, the English Channel is about 22 miles. I took the ferry and slept most of the way. According to my passport stamp, I entered England at Dover and slept the rest of the way to London missing both the White Cliffs and Canterbury. Nowadays, I would have invaded the United Kingdom on a high speed train via the Chunnel Tunnel. Invasions to and from England are now a lot easier and faster. Last year, more than 18 million Frenchmen and Englishmen invaded each other, and the number continues to rise. Why can't we all just stay home and erect a monument to ourselves?

letterstone road

Sometime during this day, I made it to Letterstone Road, 3.3 miles from Victoria Station...
Hello, Ms. Fraenkel, it's Laura's friend from Tennessee.