Issue number 31. An appropriate number that ties in with the festive season. Starting off we have Christmas. Synonymous with gifts, but also family. Family… a gift? Or a burden? As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, blood does indeed seem to be thicker than water, and not as clear.
Next issue out on... December 25th!
Source : Favim
Finally! A chance to take advantage of the end of year celebrations to dress with a little more elegance without the fear of overdoing things. We’re going to dare as the pleasure of doing so is extremely gratifying for men and women alike.
However, it is less and less common. Especially in France, even though we symbolise all that is chic. Today, even a birthday celebration doesn’t mean “going all out”… Trips to the theatre that once required “semi-formal wear” seem to be obsolete. And those who still make the effort to respect a certain level of refinement are almost pointed at while tattered jeans are de rigueur. This is what it has come to. Looking sideways at people who wear their Sunday best for occasions that deserve it but for which the custom has fallen by the wayside.
The fault lies with the everyday it could be said. The rush of days that run into one another with work and shopping, lacking the urge when you lack a reason, choosing comfort as if it meant avoiding yet another burden… Economic circumstances are to blame, it could be added, even though certain protocols have been abandoned for years. Making elegance important when there are more serious issues at stake is necessarily seen as indecent.
Except when you have a good reason, the main one tends to be forgotten. Getting dressed up is above all, a gift to yourself. Giving yourself a different perspective. Taking the right to look your best and through a ricochet effect, be more at ease with yourself and those around one. It also means giving others a gift. A little like wearing perfume. You wear it first for you but everyone gets to enjoy it.
Our English, American and Italian neighbours have no compunction about dressing up, even to go out to dinner. If you look at the smiles around the table, the compliments flying, the proud, happy faces, there is something in the heads held high that is enviable. Perhaps, we are secretly longing for just that. Why not go for it?
Photo © Odile Berthemy
THE RIDICULOUS DICTIONARY
Just like every year for the past eleven, the éditions Fleurus have published “Le Dico des Filles” aimed at young girls between the ages of 12 and 16. The pages between the glittery covers have become an absolute must. Of course! At an age where it is better to avoid the big issues with parents, it is like a gift from the Gods – the Catholic origins of the publishing house notwithstanding. And why not? Well, “not”.
This bible covers everything: friendship, acne, lipstick, dope, sexuality… And most of the advice or suggestions are relatively well argued if taken in context. That’s not the problem.
The problem comes from certain definitions and ideas about socially connoted, so-called correct behaviour surreptitiously and insidiously slipped into the pages. With “duty” as a watchword. No less. For example, you “have a duty to your friend (…) not to doubt her word (…) not to condemn her even when you know she is in the wrong”. Nevertheless, elsewhere, there is contradictory information such as “your friends don’t always have your best interests at heart (…)”. There are some statements that made us jump. On the subject of abortion: “big religious families have something to say about this as it is their role to outline the principles aimed at guiding human acts”. Is that so? As for homosexuality, hygiene, marriage… All key subjects, clichés, and points of view that are double-edged.
This ambiguous content has enflamed the press and the Internet and have, rightly, been corrected, moderated and debated. But it is the consequences of these ideas on the lives of these young girls that should be examined. Creating complexes – a twelve year old is not necessarily in a position to wax… Creating problems between friends by replacing innocence by guilt or mistrust… Forcing a young girl to close in on herself by providing too much information that lead to too many questions… Taking into account that between the ages of 12 and 16, one doesn’t read things in the same way.
It is hard to believe how such a book can still be available on the shelves of every supermarket. And worse under many trees this Christmas.
The loser has lost none of his aura in the world of the auteur. Filmmakers and novelists.
In “Inside Llewyn Davis”, the new film by the Coen brothers, the eponymous hero (played by Oscar Isaac) is a gifted singer-songwriter who wants to modernise American folk. Except he does nothing to increase his notoriety, he doesn’t know how to “sell” himself, or doesn’t want to, hanging out in the Greenwich Village of the early sixties. Just before the arrival of Bob Dylan who, inspired by the same musical approach, will completely take over.
In “Jason Murphy”, a new book from writer Paul Fournel, Jason Murphy is the object – and the subject – of all his searches. Because he is supposed to have given Jack Kerouac, the Beat Generation’s key figure, the idea of using a long roll of paper in the typewriter instead of having to change pages all the time. The roll of paper is a famous as Kerouac himself now. But not Murphy, who appeared to have preferred to remain in the shadows.
Llewyn Davis’ real name is in fact, Dave van Ronk . Never heard of him. And Murphy… Murphy. Same. It is possible, we know, to be talented without being successful. And the opposite is also true: successful despite the obvious absence of talent. In other words, they are not necessarily travelling companions… To which we must add fame, which in recent times has become an end in itself.
You create a buzz, and that’s all it takes!
As if knowing how to become famous had become a new… talent.
Fashion & Design
A privileged moment with one of the designers specially chosen for you by l’Acharnœur. For you alone, the designer you wish to meet will open the doors of their workshop or will organise a private tour of their store. Over a drink, you meet the designer and get a chance to talk. You might even discover hidden treasures, rare fabrics, the latest thing… that might become a unique piece. Yours.
145 euros (incl.VAT) per person. This includes the Acharnoeur headscarf signed for you by the designer (exclusive accessory) and souvenir photos.
Are you wondering what still makes French cuisine exceptional ? Around a theme, a season, a region, a product or a recipe, l’Acharnœur will answer your question in a few mouthfuls and a few sips… Some surprising blends will be revealed in the two hours spent with our Wine&food specialist. It is also a chance to find out about the best places in Paris and the rest of France to stock your cellar or enhance your dinner parties.
Our last tasting: Friday December 7th. From 80 euros (incl. VAT) per person, includes the Acharnœur’s special « Révélations » booklet and souvenir photos. Tasting places limited.
You are invited to a private residence located in astonishing surroundings in Paris or nearby. Around the table, you and your friends or other readers join the founders of l'Acharnœur as well as special guests who incarnate the style and dynamic of the moment: fashion designers, photographers, sports men and women, journalists, actors... Exceptional conversation combined with exceptional food.
From 200 euros (incl. VAT), including the exclusive Acharnœur headscarf, signed by the guests (exclusive accessory) and souvenir photos. Dinner places limited.
Original tours, Parisian encounters, authentic walks… Why not experience Paris the way Parisians do? L ‘Acharnœur offers you a unique chance to discover the other magic of the world's most legendary city, adapted to your desires and personality.
From 120 euros taxes inclued per person.
Rachel Griffiths and Sally Field in the ultimate season.
Brothers & Sisters is extremely engrossing probably because it evokes a variety of family issues.
The main characters are three brothers, two sisters and their mother who have to cope with certain realities and home truths on the death of the father (that happens in the first episode!). Then add the uncle, the father’s mistress, the husbands and wives and the illegitimate children to the mix… You get a very broad range of portraits! Some work in the family business set up by the father and others have chosen to throw off the burden of their inheritance for more personal careers. There is the perfect politician, the drug-addicted soldier, the gay, workaholic lawyer, the dilettante musician and house husband, the working mother who tries her best with her kids, the TV presenter, the entrepreneur, the ex-actress President…
They experience love, divorce, unemployment, grief, fear, joy, hope, success. All these personalities and situations make it possible for viewers to see themselves in some characters and to find this extremely diverse family credible (but aren’t all families diverse in their own way?). It is the show about family and family stories par excellence. And when they all get together, secrets are told, experiences shared, misunderstandings occur and arguments break out. A dinner without some form of discord is rare. But they usually manage to work things out and come to an understanding the next day.
Brothers & Sisters, is life itself. In five seasons. It first came out in 2006 and is less well known than the competition such as Desperate Housewives, but this series is reassuring to those who think their own family is complicated and can’t understand how so much passion and conflict can find itself around one table. The final surprise is the amazing cast that includes Calista Flockhart, Rob Lowe and the magnificent Sally Field.
Source : france-pittoresque.com
TIME TO LOG IN!
The association between the traditional Christmas dessert of the yule log and the fires burning in the hearths this time of year is easy to make. This dish symbolises a widespread custom in Europe and great importance is given to the length of time it takes to burn. As the log used for Christmas was in the past supposed to burn very slowly: for at least three days, or over twelve nights – corresponding to the twelve days difference between the lunar and solar calendars.
This huge log (often a stump) was chosen by the head of the household, preferably from the trunks of the fruit trees for which he hoped a good harvest. There followed a blessing ritual before lighting the fire. The log was sometimes decorated with lace and ribbons – which led to the decorations we now see on the dessert. It was then sprinkled with holy water, or wine which was good for the harvest, or oil or honey to invoke divine benevolence.
After the preparation it was lit by the youngest, or the eldest family member, either using a firebrand from the church or a boxwood or olive branch kept from Easter. The flames and the crackling along with the smoke provided signs as to the year to come: war or peace, abundance or famine, good or bad luck, etc.
Other magical benefits of the log included its medicinal qualities! The embers could cauterise certain wounds or injuries, while the coals had protective qualities and healed burns. As for the ashes: when spread on the land, they cleaned up the earth by destroying parasites and when scattered around the house they kept bad spirits at bay (which might explain the little elves in the cake).
Today, the meaning behind the ceremony has been lost but we have retained the pleasure of eating this sweet dessert. And families argue over those choice between a cake log or an ice-cream one. The cake is a sponge rolled (to resemble a tree trunk) and covered in flavoured cream, sometimes with alcohol. Ice-cream logs are a contradiction in terms! The opposite of lighting a fire !
Do that many people really sing in the shower?
More and more seem to, in any case on the television.
There are those who, every day on France 2, attempt not to forget the words when the text goes off the screen.
Then there are those who, on some Friday nights on France 4, sing the same tune with 100 others, with the words in front of them, facing a computer that is supposed to figure out who is hitting the notes best.
From one channel to the next, things are out of tune but it is fun and convivial. Like talent competitions in general.
What is surprising though is the extension of these singing contests. Anonymous singers from all over are showing up to sing, live or in live conditions. Thus confirming Beaumarchais’ theory that “it all ends in song”.
Without knowing exactly what ends. Or what “all” entails.
The world? An era? A wedding? A New Year ’s Eve party? Well, let’s end with a song too, you choose.
We like it so we're doing it… Our way !
Photo © Cédric Canaud
A MOVING RUG
Out of ideas for arranging your furniture differently and creating a new feeling in your living room? Having problems pushing the walls – unless you break them down – to give your bedroom another dimension? No worries. Now, all you have to do is play with your rug!
The principle is simple: pieces (or modules) sized 132x83cm each made of a rectangular slice and strips that you can combine, juxtapose, superimpose, thread together in order to create multiple assemblies and shapes. From the simple square to crosses, stars, mosaic effects or designs straight out of your imagination… The possibilities are endless and you never get tired of letting your imagination run free to create all sorts of motifs, outlining zones, rethinking architecture and living differently in the same place according to your wishes of the moment. The same place can be a living area, a dance floor, a game zone or a reading corner… Everything in the same ultra-contemporary, even artistic spirit, thanks to the structured lines and the rough, natural materials of each module.
This collection is called “Un peu comme Gulliver” (a little like Gulliver), the perfect reference to fantastic literature and parallel universes that can pop up at any moment. You think you know a place but it takes so little to find out it can be so different! The idea is both clever and aesthetic and is the brainchild of Cédric Canaud, a young designer, and this is not his first project. In 2008, his line of fun textile objects for dotdotndot, in collaboration with Romain Gibert was evidence of his ambition to revisit everyday objects to make them more practical, innovative and interactive. We await his next project with bated breath and a chance to rethink our surroundings!
In the meantime, you can order the “Un peu comme Gulliver” modules and have fun decorating for the festive season…
he subtle but original and funny adaptation of a Christmas decoration into a cheeseburger appeals to us! Feel like checking if people are really admiring your tree?
7€ for the Cheeseburger decoration. On sale at tous-les-jours-noel.fr
FASHION - PARIS
Metro Etienne Marcel
For this festive season, the concept store Question Mark Society welcomes a gang unlike any other up until December 31st: Girls and Roses! Designers with a true rock and roll but glamorous style including Gabriella de Galzain and her new collection of iconic jewellery, Iris de Saint-Germain and her irresistible shoes with the famous WarHawks, Lord SM and his clothes, jackets and scarves as seen on many stars, Icône Pourpre… Most are one-off pieces or limited editions to decorate your wardrobe or under the tree. On your marks!
Question Mark Society
18, rue de Turbigo
And for a more in-depth design experience, try the «Fashion & Design» section in the Acharnœur !
L'Acharnœur found 14 french words in 3 minutes. And you in your langage?*
INSTRUCTIONS FOR FUN
No, seriously, you can’t do that to him! He was clear: video games or pocket money. But then, while you were out Christmas shopping, you found yourself in an area where your nephew has never ventured: the board-games aisle. And at the risk of appearing cheesy, you can’t resist buying him a Pictionary. Come on, at least it’s not Scrabble …
You have to admit, you were overcome with memories… That time when you tried to draw the ears of Mickey Mouse and someone shouted “Prince Charles!” Hilarity ensued! You can still see yourself as a teenager, unwillingly accepting to play snakes and ladders. But then the shocking low scores your uncle managed, while you flew ahead, the tears of laughter from your grandmother who exuded pure happiness, the excitement, the jokes, made you change your mind…
When you were younger the game was Monopoly. You went bust quickly and ended up as the banker. You liked handling the notes. However, you never imagined that the brother you adored could be such a cheat. How often did he take advantage of your idolatry to get you to pass him money under the table!
You also remember the Boggle evenings with your parents, your brother – him again – and your sister… In the beginning, you could only manage three-letter words that the older players let you have as they were searching for longer ones. And then that fateful day when you found “smartest” all by yourself. You couldn’t believe it! As for the joy and pride in your parent’s eyes…
Then you smile when you remember what a sore loser your cousin was at Connect 4, the resignation of your other cousin who never “had any luck” at Mousetrap... You are overcome with nostalgia thinking about Operation or Cluedo. Admit it, the Pictionary is really for you, not your nephew!
* To play, letters must touch themselves and can't be used twice for the same word. Good luck!
say about who we are today.
"La Pile". December, thursday 5th.
They started piling up in my room at the same time as my passion for them was developing.
I found them a space at the foot of my bed, on a wooden coffee table.
Each, day, each week, each month, each quarter, the pile grew. They included «L’Equipe», «Miroir-Sprint», «Sport & Vie», «Miroir du Cyclisme».
My attraction to newspapers, my desire, my need, began with the sporting press. Photos of cyclists above all. I would come back from the newsagents holding them gently against my chest to protect them from the wind.
They would land on my desk like that: impeccable, beautiful, smooth. Still smelling of the printers… And then I would flick through them, then read them, taking care not to turn down the corners, or worse, wrinkle them. This was an art that only I mastered. And it was obviously forbidden for any member of my family, even my brother who shared my room, to touch them once they were on the table.
Any infringement of this law led to a hysterical reaction on my part which worried my mother, whose copy of the local paper «Dauphiné Libéré», I massacred daily. I would cut out pictures to illustrate my own paper that I would put together from time to time on foolscap sticking them on with glue and writing my articles around them. I felt as if I were in a real newspaper office, surrounded by my “archive”.
They were “my” papers, my treasures, and this continued throughout my life from “Disco Revue”, “Combat” or “Le Monde”, until I truly became a journalist, and beyond.
Today, other piles have taken over the coffee table in the living room to the despair of my cleaning lady. And my daughters have followed the rules since their childhood, giving my papers a wide berth!
Artistic DirectorPerrine Lebas
Web designFranck Biehler
ContributorsMaurice Achard, Bianca Alberti, Bruno Lancelot, Elido, Marie Veyrier, Stéphanie Norris