Lammas Night In ancient times, Celtic months were named for trees. Today, August 4, is the last day of Tinne, the Celtic Holly month. Tomorrow, Coll, the month of the Hazel tree begins, kicked off each year on August 1 by Lammas, the Eighth and last Celtic fire festival of the year. Pagan Lughnassadh, or “Lugh’s Night” celebrates the Celtic god of wisdom, for whom cities like London and Lyon were
Last winter, my young millennial assistant Ludovico Orsini told me that he aspired to gain speedy fluency in the French language, so he could apply for a special graduate program in France. I suggested that he spend a highly-intensive period in a part of France where no one spoke English (or where people didn’t know that he spoke English.) Ludovico decided, starting in Paris, to spend 3 months and
After my arrival at le Chateau in Brittany, France… I soon found these fantastic menhirs, nearby to the Chateau, in Carnac. (Menhir – from the Brittonic languages – ‘maen’ or ‘men’ meaning stone and ‘hir’ or ‘hîr’ meaning long) And then journeyed to Lagatyar, north of Carnac, for even ‘longer’ stones and a small dolmen.
My visit to Mont St Michel & Chartres One of the questions on the Graduate Record Exam before I got into grad school was: “The author of Mont Saint Michel & Chartres was also the author of what other book?” Answer: The Education of Henry Adams! Having read Henry Adams’ autobiography (written modestly in third person) I got the answer right. And I’d read Adams’ luscious descriptions a
I went to Paris for my French book tour, and over that weekend, I tried to go to Notre Dame on my birthday! But instead, I ended up going to a wonderful restaurant on the Left Bank and some art supply stores. The next day happened to be Palm Sunday, so I went to Notre Dame, but it was closed for the Mass – or so I thought! I stood out of the way of the tourist lines, at the center gate, when