Avignon & Lyon

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What I did
Raced about and watched tennis

Flag of France  , Rhône-Alpes,
Saturday, September 10, 2011

10 Sept - Tired today so we opted to stay the night in Avignon and after much messing about found a hotel which has Eurosport and will air the US Open semis. Early night then watching the tennis and try to find a hotel in Lyon with the rugby covered. Can't be bothered with the tourist things and all the papal stories that go with Avignon. Quite annoyed with the hotel since wifi only seems to work in the lobby instead of the room...this really angers me. A pictureless day! ( Interesting Microsoft Word allows you to add non-existent words to the dictionary- maybe later they'll publish in competition with oxford or Cambridge.).

11 Sept - An uneventful drive to Lyon (a big city) and this time I'm upset by the hotel not having Eurosport so we can stay in to watch the Ladies final in NYC. If it's not one thing it's the other, it seems.These days you have to think of everything as everyone's misrepresenting what they are selling you. What's happened to honesty? Gone out the door with ethics and integrity it seems. What politicians do seems to give justification to the business world to lie cheat and misrepresent and so many now do not even realise they are doing anything wrong..

Susan did discover Eurosport on a surfing expedition and so, after a lovely dinner in town, we got to watch the ladies beat the hell out of the ball for 1 hr 13 min. Sam Stousur won in 2 sets and earned the same as the winning man will tonight. How is that for the ladies who still complain about inequality. Women's tennis is pretty much rubbish in the present era. A bunch of bums taking turns to win their retirement money in one tournament. Stousur...thrashed by a poor Italian in Paris then swamped in Wimbledon and now a winner in NYC...go answer that!

12 Sept - A very late start after waking late, sleeping again then dealing with rubbish emails for the kids I support (beneficiaries of a trust I administer for a dead friend who would have not given them a penny but for me). These days education argues the three Rs are no more valuable than subjects which teach the student to feel good about themselves at school only to discover afterwards nobody gives a damn about how they feel but only what they can do. Can you believe a private boarding school is teaching this kid how to make good coffee and that's a subject in year 12...also she keeps a blog as part of another subject....who's the fool here? Me or me since I'm paying over AUD 8,000 a term ( 4 a year) for this kid to be there, off the streets and away from her useless mother.

I've got to get off this merry-go-round...the world's gone mad. There we have sportsmen and women earning millions as entertainers and real contributors earning peanuts or out of work. At the same time trades people call the tune for all to dance to. And of course...crooked politicians writing the score. 

Finally getting out into the city it was pretty awesome. I've never stopped in Lyon before and have been taken today with what I saw. Helping me appreciate it all has been the reading of Pillars of the Earth, and before that, World Without End, both by Ken Follett.

You look around Lyon which dates to the Romans (BCE) and see the churches started in 12th.C then understand why there are so many in Europe and how they were the learning curve for today's metro systems and mechanics and engineering and it all seems so understandable. It makes you despise the old church and distrust the new.  Humanity has changed naught over the past 2,000 years on the negative front, while having learned so much on the positive side. It's easy to get despondent and depressed at everything I see as a skeptic and cynic. It also makes the wine taste so much better.

The Basilique Notre-Dame de  Fourviere up on the hill overlooking the city is perhaps the most impressive I've ever seen, bar St Peter's in the Vatican. It's amazing... the crypt chapel and the walls of the basilica are just breathtaking. Old St Jean-Baptiste in Vieux Lyon is likewise impressive. I've noted my diary to show Susan Winchester cathedral. Chinese architecture and engineering was, to my knowledge, no where near Europe's because China did not build structures like cathedrals.

The pictures speak as much of the talents of artisans as the greed and opulence of the church officials in an era where church and king tolerated each other in sharing power...pure and absolute over their vassals. All that it represents makes me interested now only in living artists and have no esteem for the 'old masters', corrupt as they might well have been in my mind. 

Today is mid-Autum and while I write this and process the pictures (oodles), Susan fasts from meat and prays while glancing at the TV for the start of the men's final.

Just Skyped with my friend Erwin in Zurich whose partner for the 17th  has pulled out of our tennis match. He's panicking and Susan suggested he contact Martina Hingis who's doing nothing other than drugs. Anyway...we stopped since the match has started.

The Noodle is now down 2-6 in the first and at 2-0 and deuce in the second with Susan quite animated. I sometimes get the feeling these matches are choreographed….Anyway, let's have tea, biscuits (Nappees de Chocolat Blanc) and pannetone and watch more!  

It’s 0118 and the Noodle – Djoko ball smash fest continues into the 3rd set but the Noodle looks 'done’ while still hanging in there.

Tomorrow to Annecy!

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