Archive for the ‘Paris’ Category

3/1/21, Good Morning America with Robin Roberts

Posted on March 1, 2021

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope the last week was a good one for you. We’ve had better weather, and some sunny days, which cheered everyone up!!! And today is a VERY exciting day. Tomorrow my new book, The Affair, comes out, in hardcover. And today, I am appearing on Good Morning America, with Robin Roberts, who is one of THE nicest people I know, and an amazingly talented, wonderful (very beautiful) woman, whom I am honored to consider a friend. I am a huge admirer of her talents, her intelligence, her poise, her charm, her kindness to guests on the show. Being on the show with her is an honor and a privilege every time, when she has me on the show. This time will be new and different, I won’t be seated next to her, I will be three thousand miles away, in my own living room in Paris, on Zoom, joining the show live. And I’m somewhat behind in technology—it will be my first Zoom!! I will miss giving Robin a hug at the end of the show, but in the pandemic, the show is put together with appearances by Zoom, although Robin will be in the studio.

 

I’m usually very shy, and VERY nervous before TV appearances, particularly Live ones, but Robin makes it a wonderful experience every time, highlighting the books and being incredibly kind to me, which puts me at ease. I am so thrilled to be on the show with her, and we’ll add a clip of the show to the blog so you can see it too, in case you missed it on TV. Robin is just a spectacular person, and I know you’ll enjoy watching her.

 

Have a great week, full of happy surprises, great opportunities, fun moments, and good news!!

 

love, Danielle

 

Here is a link to my interview:  https://bit.ly/3uLv366

2/22/21, Why Not?

Posted on February 22, 2021

 

Hi Everyone,

 

How are you? Hanging in, I hope. Despite the challenges, the sometimes alarming news, and learning to live with masks, curfews, reports of contagion and mutations of Covid 19, and living our work life on Zoom, our family life on Face Time, and having no social life at all (with restaurants closed, and a 6pm curfew in Paris), we’re all struggling to maintain a semblance of normalcy in our lives, and explore new avenues. I’ve been working a lot and doing some fun things related to the work front, some great promotional opportunities that keep life interesting. And meanwhile, I have a new book coming out on March 2nd, The Affair. It’s a fun, slightly racy book as the title suggests, and I hope you love it!!

 

I’m scheduled to appear on Good Morning America on Monday, March 1st, which is always the high point of my year. Robin Roberts is one of the most amazing women I know, someone whom I admire enormously and have a deep affection for. Being on the show with her is always an honor, a privilege, and a heartwarming treat.  As a guest on the show, she makes you feel very special, and like a Queen. This time, I will miss out on giving her a hug in person, but even being on the show with her on Zoom is exciting. I’m the least high tech person I know, so a small team of people (Covid tested before) are coming to help man the equipment, and the person who does my make up for TV is in New York, so I am trying someone new. The Thrill of it for me will be being on the show with Robin, as always. We’ll be talking about my new book, “The Affair”.

 

That same week, I am very honored to be included in an exciting promotional event by Loewe, the luxury fashion brand that make gorgeous clothes, and I’ve been invited to join their very talented designer Jonathan Anderson for a special event—-full of surprises, and a very exciting opportunity for me. They are wonderful people to work with, and Jonathan Anderson is an incredibly talented designer.

 

I just finished an article for a major American magazine, which is fun to do. And am editing two books that will be coming out soon. So I’m keeping busy, and the work challenges of the pandemic make us all come up with new, different and creative ideas and ways to do business and share our work in new ways. High end restaurants are doing take-out, that would never have considered it before, people are making films, documentaries, writing books and articles in spite of the challenges we’re all facing. It’s a learning experience to do new things and brings new elements into our work. It’s teaching us all creativity and flexibility, with a “Why not? “attitude. In fashion, without the traditional Fashion Week shows, they are finding new ways to show us their collections, and we’ve all adapted to shopping on line. The secret is to keep businesses and industries alive, and make them better than ever. It’s a time of exploration, serious thought about new avenues, and inventiveness. It’s a benefit of these unusual times. People are discovering new talents, and interests, they’ve never thought of before and didn’t know they had. So if you’re tempted to do something new, try it, do it!! You may find a whole new world opening up to you with a talent that has lain dormant all your life. I think “Why Not?” is the right answer right now. What have we got to lose? Try something new, a painting, a hobby, something you haven’t had time to do before. Stuck at home, you have more time to try new things. (And no, I am not learning to cook, that might be asking a little too much of my limited talent in that area. But anything relating to writing or art seems like a great idea to me. And I’m very excited to be invited into the world of fashion by Loewe.)

 

My youngest daughter started a tie dye business and is having a ball, my artistic daughter in law is doing paintings for commissions, and my daughters who work in fashion are expanding their horizons too, as is my son in his field. And I have several friends starting new businesses, not easy, but well worth doing if you can. It’s a time for entrepreneurs, and brave, creative people. And when the pandemic finally ends, it will leave us with newly developed talents, new interests, new connections, and new friends, along with the ones we had before.

 

So why not? Whatever you’ve been mulling over and hesitating to try, give it a whirl, you may open the doors to a whole new opportunity and some fun, even if it’s doing a thousand piece puzzle, watching shows you’ve never seen before, learning a new language,  painting, baking—-even making money doing something you love to do and never thought of charging for before. The possibilities are endless.

 

So I’ll see you on Zoom, and let’s have some fun with what we CAN do, rather than mourning what we can’t do right now and think we’ve lost. And when this is all over, we’ll have found a new talent. Why not?

 

 

Have a great week, I send you a virtual hug and lots of love,

 

Danielle

 

2/15/21, Love

Posted on February 16, 2021

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope that all is going as smoothly as possible for you on the roller coaster ride of the pandemic. The numbers seem to be coming down in a lot of places, and then you read about the “mutations” and it scares you all over again. I hope we’re all being as careful as we can be, and being as safe as we can, without missing out on life entirely. It’s a fine line to walk, following all the rules, and not getting totally isolated, and missing out on life entirely. And lots of people are trying to figure out how they feel about the vaccines.

 

People are social animals, and it’s really hard to be deprived of the company of others and our loved ones. I always feel better when I get out and see people. I REALLY miss seeing friends at restaurants. The restaurants in Paris have been closed since late October, and there is talk that they won’t open again until April and May. I see a few friends at my home, with plenty of fresh air and a respectful distance, but there are only a handful of people I see now. I can’t wait to give a party when this is all over!!! I can hardly wait for that.

 

Valentine’s Day turned out to be really lovely. I talked to all my kids, and they spoiled me as usual, and a very dear friend came by for a visit. It is soooooo nice to talk to a friend, share opinions and just relax, and have a good laugh. And the day before, two other friends came for a visit. So it was a pretty nice weekend.

 

It has been very, very cold in Paris, and icy-scary-slippery on the streets, and it snowed twice. I spent some time with my son and daughter in law on Face Time helping them move things around in their home, to make more room (I swear by Ikea closets, and have them everywhere!!). And it was really fun, being part of it. I am a great ‘space maker’, with nine kids, and always a house full of people, with a ton of stuff—and five daughters who have a lot of clothes, I’ve been figuring out how to create space for ‘stuff and people’ for years. Give me a measuring tape, a note pad, and an Ikea catalogue and I can create miracles. I had a walk in closet with a window once, and turned it into a tiny cozy bedroom. It worked well for several years!!!

 

I’ve been doing some writing and editing. Sometimes I feel that I am slower at getting things done in the pandemic. There is always an underlying anxiety, which is distracting, and I don’t whiz through things as fast as I usually do. I don’t like putting things off till the next day, but some days I just have to.

 

And I was reading your comments to this blog tonight. Thank you for your wonderful messages.

 

I’m going to share something with you that I have on my desk. I have it framed and it inspires me. I’m not sure where I got it, but I framed it so I can see it every day, right next to my computer. Maybe it will inspire and comfort you too.

 

It’s titled “Love”

 

“There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer; No disease that enough love will not heal’; No door that enough love will not open: No gulf that enough love will not bridge; No wall that enough love will not throw down; No sin that enough love will not redeem.

It makes No difference how deeply seated may be the trouble, How hopeless the outlook, How muddled the tangle, How great the mistake; A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all. If you can love enough, you would be the happiest and most powerful being in the world.”

 

 

I hope that helps you. It does me. Stay safe and take care, and have a fantastic week!!!

 

all my love, Danielle

 

11/9/20, Bag Story

Posted on November 9, 2020

 

Hello Everyone,

 

AMAZING story: 2 weeks ago, I had lunch at a favorite restaurant with a terrace, before the new confinement. Fun lunch. Happy day. I was wearing a favorite handbag I love a lot, a big black leather bag with a bright red lining. I put it under the table at my feet. End of lunch, I reached for my bag: gone. Vanished. Stolen. A first for me. In Paris, there are cameras in the street high up on posts, to fight crime. 5 hours at the police station, stolen bags a common occurrence (all my credit cards, ID, phone, address book etc. in it). It’s an expensive one of a kind bag, and the likelihood of ever seeing it again was zero. Back to the police station the next day for another 4 hrs. And then, luck was with me. The police had the whole theft on video from the street, the case was referred to a special theft unit, and a fantastic senior officer took an interest in the case. 12 days later after some incredible police work by the Surete Territoriale, they arrested the thief, and a miracle: he still had my bag, hadn’t sold it. I never, ever thought I’d see my bag again. I am SOOOO GRATEFUL to have it back, and the detectives of the special unit are OUTSTANDING. They handed me the bag, and it was a very happy ending for me. I’m thrilled and the French police were truly amazing!!! Wow!!! I posed for a picture with the detectives of the Surete Territoriale, to celebrate the return of my bag and their incredible police work!!

Have a great week!

 

love, Danielle

11/1/20, Back in Lockdown—the dogs are back!!!

Posted on November 2, 2020

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you’re doing okay, and that you’re finding ways to keep your spirits up, even during Covid times with the inevitable restrictions—which in the US seem to vary from city to city and state to state. It seems very hard that there is no uniformity of rules and guidelines in the US, and there is everything from total freedom to total lockdown, with and without masks. In France, the President calls the shots and makes the rules. One person delivers the message, which applies to the entire country: the President, and I personally think he has done a good job, been responsible, and is very presidential, although he is a relatively young President. Right below him is the Prime Minister, who reinforces what the President said and spells out the details, like what stores and businesses will be open, and what won’t, parks and gardens are open, and places that gather big crowds aren’t (gyms, theaters, movie houses, etc.).  With the rules coming from those 2 people, it’s a bit like having a Mom and a Dad. And the rules are clear. And although they tried hard not to, they put us back in confinement again last Friday, which was disappointing, but the rules are less rigid than the total lockdown of March, April and May. People were more panicked then, I think they are less so now, we’ve been living with Covid for 8 months now. I think what set off the sharp increase of cases now were all the people who went on vacation and partied all summer, on beaches, in bars, restaurants and nightclubs, inevitably spread the virus, and then went back to their home cities with the same free spirit and made everyone else sick. The increase in cases was dramatic in September and October, so they put on the brakes, and put us back in lockdown again. It was disappointing, but I think it was wise. We need to get things back in hand, so it doesn’t get totally out of control. It doesn’t feel as ominous as it was in March, where our whole world was caving in at a rapid rate. Since then, we’ve been confined, we know many people who have had Covid and survived it, so it doesn’t sound like an automatic death sentence, which it does not have to be. And we’ve had 5 months of deconfinement now in France, which was really very livable, and heaven compared to three months locked up at home. There are also better treatments now, easily accessible testing (in France), and everyone is wearing masks. The one big uncontrolled element are young people, teen agers, adolescents, high school and college students, who have been the hardest to control and convince to be careful. They party, they kiss, they hug, they congregate in big groups glued together, they don’t wear masks, and at one point half the people getting Covid were under 24. I think our current lockdown was in great part due to their refusing to follow the rules, and the adults who partied like crazy over the summer months and threw caution to the winds and ignored the rules. The young are convinced that they won’t get it, and if they do, it will be mild, which isn’t always true—-but their flaunting the rules and getting even a mild case makes the people they meet sick, some of whom, many even, are older and more vulnerable. All of which spells Lockdown for the rest of us. We’re under Lockdown for a month now, until December 1st, to be reviewed then.

 

One of the big struggles worldwide is to salvage the economy, while protecting the people. The lockdown which protects the people is a threat to the economy. If everyone is locked up at home, they are not out spending money, buying things, going to restaurants, or doing the things that support small and large businesses. So the rules are a bit softer this time, in order to respect businesses as best they can, although many will still take a hit, particularly at this time of year, with the holidays coming up, when restaurants and stores need sales. Bars are closed now, period, because it’s where people congregate in close quarters with their masks off, face to face, so they’re out. Restaurants are closed now, but can prepare takeout food, so they will have some income. Most stores are closed, but many are being allowed to take phone orders and deliver, and ‘essential’ businesses are open: food, alcohol, tobacco, anything to do with technology or phones, opticians, essential repairs, the construction industry is fully functioning, work is encouraged, remotely whenever possible, but in person if you can’t work remotely. Schools are open (they weren’t during the March/April/May lockdown), and are being kept open now so parents can go to work, day care is open for the same reason. It’s possible that the lockdown will be less effective, because the rules aren’t as severe, but it is the government’s attempt to keep business and the economy alive and not shut everything down. One of the things they have tried to stop is social gatherings. It sounds crazy, but even though we were only supposed to have no more than ten people visiting at home, or 6 at a table in a restaurant, and at one point only four, I do know of people who were giving big dinner parties, and gathering a lot more people than was allowed. It always annoyed me to hear about it—when the rest of us are battling to keep the virus in control, and following the rules, how irresponsible is it to give a party for 20 people, with masks off so people can eat and drink, which makes a gathering like that dangerous. I have stayed away from the people who weren’t respecting the rules. And I think the holidays will be challenging for everyone, trying to find a safe middle ground so families can be together and not risk getting everyone sick. I have gotten braver about asking employees, and even friends to have a Covid test before we see each other, and I’ve had tests too. My son came from another European country, and visited me with his wife and kids, and we all had Covid tests before we saw each other (the first family member I have seen in 8 months), and we all plan to do that before we get together for Christmas. I think following the rules right now is essential to get control of the situation, and get the numbers down to something livable again, so we are all as safe as we can be right now—and wearing masks of course.

 

One funny thing I’ve noticed is that during the March thru May lockdown you could ONLY leave the house to buy groceries, see a doctor, exercise for an hour, or walk your dog. Suddenly, overnight everyone in Paris had a dog, and was walking them day and night. The dogs looked exhausted and had this look of “Oh God, not a walk again”. The streets were crowded with people walking dogs. I don’t know if they begged, borrowed, or rented them, Paris was swarming with dogs, many of them very cute. By the end of May, with lockdown over, the dogs literally disappeared. I have no idea where they went, but the poor things were lucky if they got out at all. Now, looking out my window yesterday—-the dogs were back!!! Everyone I could see had a dog on a leash. I’m not sure if the dogs are happy or not about this situation, but everyone is out there walking a dog again.  I happen to have 3 two pound Chihuahuas who are so small they hate going out, they sit down, glare at me, look pitiful and want to be carried, so I can’t get away with using my dogs as an excuse to go out and get some air, unless I carry all three of them, and nowhere in the rules does it say that you can go out for an hour to carry your dog—-you have to fill out a form to do so, which says that on your honor you are going out to walk your dog, see your doctor, or buy food. But the dogs are back in any case. I’m sure some of them haven’t had a decent walk since May, when everyone went back to normal life again. The dogs look pretty happy to be out so far. And if I want to leave my house, I’ll either have to buy groceries, go to my doctor, or convince my dogs that taking a walk really isn’t so bad. I didn’t leave my apartment for 77 days last time, which I think is unhealthy in other ways (not seeing other people, and not getting enough air and exercise. And isolation from other humans is really depressing).During lockdown last Spring, I sat on a tiny balcony to get air, it was a window ledge meant for plants, and walked around my apartment for a mile every day to get exercise. I think this time I will take a walk regularly to stay sane and get some air (maybe I can borrow someone’s dog??), and at home, I’m going to be doing a lot of writing again, and I’m going to start wrapping Christmas presents. And I can’t wait to be out again on December 1st.

 

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, inside or out, locked down or free, have a GREAT week!! The good times will come again, and there are even good times now, we just have to remember to notice them.

 

Take good care, and stay safe, love, Danielle

 

10/26/20, “Expect a Miracle”

Posted on October 26, 2020

 

Hi Everyone,

 

Another week in this crazy year. I hope things went well for you in the past week. It’s time for things to start going right, instead of this crazy roller coaster ride we’re all on. I had a very interesting and exciting business meeting, and did some writing. I’m keeping social activities down somewhat and going out less than previously, in honor of the higher Covid numbers. It seems smart to be careful. France is currently wrestling with the ‘second wave’, things look deceptively normal, but the danger is out there. The government imposed a 9pm curfew, to keep nighttime social activity down, and people are afraid of getting confined again. This long period of uncertainty is stretching out, we just have to try and live it day by day until the storm clouds clear.

 

I am VERY excited about my new book coming out this week, on Tuesday. “Expect A Miracle”. I chose the title two years ago, but it turns out to be the perfect title for the book right now. It’s a very special book, and a first for me. I have collected quotations all my life, since my teens—-quotes of famous people, anonymous ones, things I’ve seen in magazines, on greeting cards, read somewhere, saw on walls as graffiti. I love reading those quotes to boost my spirits, give me hope, make me smile, or laugh out loud, to make me think, or apply to the challenges of life. Very often, I frame the quotes I love and hang them on my walls (in my office in San Francisco, and in my dressing room in Paris—-places where I see them every day).That book has been a lifetime in the making, and we’ve been working on it for 2 years, sifting through the quotes, verifying the source whenever possible, working on the lay out, and picking designs to go with them. I wanted the book to be handy and pretty, easy to pick up, and open to any page and find a quote you’d love. It’s divided in 5 ‘chapters’, Road Map to Life, Courage, Faith, Laughter, and Love. But you can open the book anywhere, and hopefully find whatever you need at that moment. I REALLY hope you love the book as much as I do. It’s small, and shiny red, and would make a great gift, and I hope those quotes accompany you now, and give you as much hope, comfort, joy, and strength as they have given me. That book is straight from my heart to you.

 

I really really really REALLY hope you love it!!!

 

Have a great week and I hope wonderful things happen to you!!! Even during this challenging Covid time, terrific things can happen!! I wish you many of them!!!

 

love, Danielle

10/19/20, Before the Dawn

Posted on October 19, 2020

 

 

Hi Everyone,

 

Well, here we are again. As I write this, the week begins, and every week I try to think of fun things to tell you, reports of where I’ve been, and as the saying goes “all roads lead to Rome”, back to Covid. I’m not going to fashion shows to report to you. I’m seeing them on video, with my hair a mess, wearing jeans and an old sweater, and the only spectators I am watching them with are my 3 Chihuahuas, who are no better dressed than I am at the moment. I am not eating at indoor restaurants, only on outdoor terraces, or open air restaurants, and it’s getting chilly at night, so I’m not dining out often. I haven’t been shopping lately, or been to a museum, or a movie (I’d rather watch at home). I haven’t flown anywhere since February (or seen my children, ugh, still, but travel still seems daunting.).  I didn’t take a vacation this year, because my kids couldn’t come to Europe and it was dangerous to go home, so I couldn’t write about “My Summer Vacation”, and I’m seeing fewer friends and having lunch out less often than I’d like, and not entertaining at home, except for a few friends. For the moment, Covid seems to be running our lives. It is challenging scientists, politicians, religious leaders, and ordinary people like you and me. It invades our thoughts, our lives, cancels our plans, and makes ordinary activities a life and death decision. The only thing I am doing is writing more than ever before. And re organizing my closets. Again.

 

Covid has definitely given 2020 a bad name, and will be a bad memory for most people, and a tragic one for some. If you look more closely into each of our lives, some good things have happened, but the drumroll of Covid always in the background drowns out some of the happier sounds. For instance, in our family we’ve had 2 weddings since the beginning of the year. One, immediately pre-Covid, with dancing, touching, laughing, kissing, 150 guests, and everyone was carefree and had a ball. The second one, during Covid, postponed 3 times until the bride and groom finally gave up and got married alone with 2 strangers as their only witnesses, and no guests, and no family by their own choice. But they’re married now, and we’ll celebrate next year. One of my sons and his wife are expecting a baby. And we have two new puppies in the family (a miniature dachshund and a tiny teacup Yorkie. Lucy and Coco Monkey). Everyone is healthy, which is the greatest blessing of all. So some good things have happened, even with Covid going on. But there is no question, it’s distracting and scary as hell at times. And the daily uncertainty of what will happen next is unnerving us all. The sudden rise of numbers of cases all over the world is disconcerting to say the least. I try to keep everything as normal as possible, but some days are harder than others, especially far from my family, who have always been the mainstay of my life. It’s weird and a challenge to be on my own.

 

Family and friends in other cities report that their cities aren’t the same, look different, some sound grimly depressing. In Paris, one sees the opposite: everything looks normal, especially on beautiful sunny days, people are busy, the city is unchanged, but you know that the virus is out there lurking, a constant threat if you’re not careful, and everyone you see is wearing a mask (except teenagers who don’t care).

 

In a more religious vein, I am reminded of Bible stories, of Daniel surviving the lion’s den, of the Hebrew boys thrown into a blazing fire and came out of it, alive, unscathed “without even the smell of smoke on them”….David and Goliath. We will beat this in the end, ‘without the smell of smoke on us’. Nothing lasts forever, not even Covid. We just have to do our best to stay safe and wait it out, be sensible and not careless, mindful of others, and have the best life we can under the circumstances.

 

I write almost all the time, I have started needle pointing again, I have the neatest closets of anyone on the planet. I see friends when I can, in the safest possible circumstances. We can’t stop living, being, hoping. We have to keep our spirits up and reach out to others. We have to KNOW and believe that we will make it through this, and the current spike will go down again, and Covid will no longer be a threat one day.

 

I found 3 tiny butterfly costumes in a closet this weekend, and dressed my dogs up for Halloween. I’ve made a few forays out for Christmas shopping. I move paintings around in my apartment. I read and watch series on TV, but most of the time I write. This has gone on longer than we expected, but it will end. With darker colder weather, and shorter days, it makes things seem a little more grim, but as they say, “The night is darkest before the dawn.”

 

All I can tell you is that we know that dawn is coming, there will be an end to all this. Life goes on, even now, with its high points and its joys, its unexpected blessings and good news.

 

We have to join hands across the world and get through this, and fight to stay on top of the waves, and get back up when we get knocked down by a big wave. This storm will pass, and the sun will shine again. It is shining even now, we just have to look a little harder to see it. But all the good stuff is still there, love and hope, and babies are being born, and some wonderful treasured moments with the people we love.  And sometime in the coming months, I’ll be telling you about a fashion show, we’ll be going to parties and weddings again, and family gatherings, and hugging each other, and not standing 6 feet apart with a mask on. The dawn IS coming, maybe sooner than we know, and I am clinging to the belief that the best is yet to come. We are going to enjoy normalcy SOOOO MUCH after all this, ordinary pleasures will seem like miracles to us. Life is a miracle, even now.

 

And in the meantime, I send you happy thoughts, as we hang on tight— Have a GREAT week (and to hell with Covid)

 

all my love, Danielle

 

10/5/20, A little of This and a little of That!

Posted on October 6, 2020

 

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you had a good week, even a great one with some lucky breaks.

 

It’s gotten chilly in Paris, and the Covid numbers have gone up in Paris, and all over Europe. I personally think it’s still the fallout of the people who were cavalier about safety measures this summer, and hung out on beaches, too close together, in bars WAY too close together and without masks. And it got us headed in the wrong direction again.  We can’t afford to be careless, and ignore the safety measures. I like eating outdoors, and haven’t eaten indoors yet at a restaurant. But as the weather gets colder, it’s too chilly to sit outside, or it will be soon.

 

They announced new health measures today: they are closing the bars for 2 weeks so people can’t congregate, and restaurants are under scrutiny to decide if they are safe enough and need to close too. It’s definitely a hard time for small businesses. And the tourist industry has suffered the most.

 

My answer to the problem is simple, when the numbers are high, I stay home and write. I get a lot of work done that way, and it keeps me out of dicey situations, like being around people who don’t wear masks.

 

I haven’t done anything interesting lately, I’ve been working on a book, several in fact, as I usually do.  Halloween is coming up, and it brings back such happy memories of my kids.

 

I was supposed to go to the Chanel fashion show tomorrow, with 200 spectators, and I LOVE those shows, but I just didn’t dare take a chance. It just didn’t seem Worth the risk.

 

 

So it’s been a quiet week, more writing in store. Have a GREAT week!!!

 

much love, Danielle

 

9/28/20, Four Seasons

Posted on September 28, 2020

 

Hi Everyone,

 

How are you holding up? Whether locked down in the state or country where people live, I’m beginning to hear people’s wings drooping a little. I don’t think any of us expected the pandemic to go on for this long, or what it would feel like. From friends and family in New York, I’m hearing that it’s “okay, but weird” and not the New York they know. Some places where life seems almost normal with restaurants doing a booming business, and other areas where the city seems dead and the streets are deserted. Big companies haven’t opened their offices yet, like Random House my publisher, their office buildings are deserted, smaller companies (like my agent) are starting to open and people are returning to work, which is encouraging. I think the two things that make people feel ‘normal’ again are being able to go back to work in their familiar surroundings and function more normally, and being able to see people socially again. One thing I have learned from this whole experience is how much people need to see and be with other people in order to feel happy and well balanced. Those who have been isolated, especially for extensive periods of time, like San Francisco which remains still heavily confined (with toxic air quality from the recent fires), people sound morbidly depressed when I talk to them. You can only isolate people for so long, and then other/psychological issues begin to take hold, which seem almost as damaging as the virus. Long term isolation (7 months now in San Francisco) and deprivation ultimately seems to cause depression, understandably, and other problems. The numbers (of sick, deaths, etc.)are impressively low in San Francisco, but at what price glory, if the entire population is depressed from being deprived and isolated. I haven’t spoken to a single person there whose spirits weren’t at the bottom of the barrel. It’s sad to hear, and favoring the numbers and statistics at the price of the population’s morale and emotional wellbeing seems a high price to pay for those statistics. People speak only of how shut down the city is, stores boarded up, business not getting back on its feet, and the homeless roaming everywhere, looking as depressed as those who have been confined at home for too long. And things aren’t back to normal in LA either, according to friends and relatives there. Normalcy is hard to achieve anywhere these days, around the world.

 

In Europe, ever since the abandon of those who went on vacation all over Europe this summer, crowded together on the beaches, didn’t wear masks, spent their nights in bars and illegally opened discos, have caused the numbers to soar, in France, Spain, the numbers are up in England, Germany, Austria. Some countries are starting to confine certain areas, and the general population is beginning to worry that there will be a general lockdown confinement again. Moderate measures are being re-instated, with the threat of worse to come if people don’t get serious again and the numbers don’t come down. In France, and probably the rest of Europe, the young (from adolescents to 25) steadfastly refuse to wear masks and social distance, and are putting themselves and everyone else at risk, and refuse to listen to the warnings. It’s frustrating to see them in big groups on the streets, hugging and kissing, laughing with their arms around each other, and not a mask in sight. No one seems to be able to get them to listen, to their parents, or the government, in any country, while the numbers continue to rise daily.

 

The uncertainties of the situation are giving everyone anxiety. About jobs, their health, their families, the economy. It’s hard to guess where the safest place is to be now, with ups and downs, and how to get there. I miss my kids fiercely. Restrictions are being put on the European borders again, with quarantines being enforced, and there is no sign at all of the US borders opening, or any reciprocity of open borders between the US and other countries. Americans are still barred from travelling to other countries, except for Croatia, Brazil, and some African countries. We just have to hang in until things return to normal again, or start to get better.

 

In France, summer stopped abruptly and turned to instant winter, with chilly days, cold nights, and weeks of gloomy rainy weather. It suddenly made me realize that this is now my Fourth season in the midst of Covid. It began last winter, we deconfined in Spring, went through a hot summer (with too much self-indulgence in France, we are paying the price for now), and now here it is Autumn, our fourth season of Covid. I just celebrated the my fourth child’s birthday on Face time, virtually, when I had never missed a single one of their birthdays before, with another one due in the next few weeks, and I celebrated my own birthday on Face Time with them this summer. I can’t wait to celebrate birthdays again for real with hugs and kisses, opening gifts and blowing out the candles together. That will be a happy day.

 

Let’s hope that things start to improve again soon, without any more spikes in the numbers, despite gloomy predictions I hope won’t prove to be true. We deserve some good news. And let’s hope that people stay serious about this, so the numbers come down, and we have something to celebrate!!

 

In the meantime, Fall is here, which is usually an invigorating time of year. We just have to stick with it. I just started a new book, and I’m sending love and prayers to all of you. I’ve run out of Mickey Mouse masks, and am now wearing pink ones with Pandas on them. And after that, I have pale blue ones, with little dogs on them.  Let’s hope things improve radically before I have to wear the ones with the multi colored dinosaurs on them. Have a great week, wherever you are, we’re in this together and we will make it through, hopefully before the start of another season, or we miss too many more birthdays and events of our loved ones. I missed a major family event last week, which was an all-time low for me. Onward, and Upward!!! Hang in!!!

 

So much love to you,   Danielle

 

 

8/17/20, Grateful

Posted on August 17, 2020

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope that all is well with you, and maybe you’re even managing to go on vacation!! I hope so. (I cancelled my vacation this summer because my kids couldn’t come to France with the borders closed. So our traditional every year without fail family vacation had to be cancelled and I’m working this summer instead) In France, EVERYONE takes July or August off (5 weeks by law) for vacation, so just about everyone has gone somewhere for vacation, and even if they didn’t go away this year, most people aren’t working. But people in France, and in Europe, do everything they can to take a vacation in summer. (In the US, we spread out our vacations throughout the year. But in Europe, it’s July or August). And I hope you’re still following the Covid rules if you’re away on vacation.

 

With people moving around in Europe, a lot of movement between France, Italy, Spain, some to Croatia, and people coming from Germany and England, the numbers have gone up again slightly, and we’ve been warned to be careful, wear masks, social distance and stay out of crowded places. Young people have the hardest time following the rules, and flock to the beaches, bars that are open, and night spots. So the government (and their parents) are reminding them to be careful. More young people than older people are catching the virus now, not always severely, but they can infect others, so EVERYONE has to be careful and respect the rules, not just for their own safety, but for others.

 

There was a massive heat wave in Paris for the last week, over 100 degrees every day, with very little air conditioning anywhere, so we were all frying!!! It was blazingly hot, and Lili, Blue and Minnie were NOT happy. I kept dousing them with water. The temperature has gone down a little now, to ‘hot’, from ‘broil’. And I hear it’s as high as 107 degrees now in parts of California. Long hot summer. And hard to wear masks in the heat, but we have to. I stayed home and did a lot of writing. Most of the time, it was just too hot to go out, so I didn’t.

 

Everyone I know is on vacation somewhere else, but two friends came home, so I had dinner with them (outdoors, in restaurants with outdoor dining, which I prefer in summer anyway, and now with social distancing). Most people will start wandering back to Paris in the next two weeks, and go back to work. And I’ve been working all month (all year). It’s been hot and quiet, and lonely at times, but productive.

 

And as has been the case since the beginning of the pandemic, it all boils down to seeing the glass as half full or half empty—-you can either think of all the things that have gone wrong, all the things we are missing (My kids!!!), all the things that have been cancelled and aren’t happening (concerts, sports, and more importantly many weddings)——OR we can see the unexpected blessings that have come from this, the friendships that have deepened, the romances that have started, (I know several people who have met people and started new relationships since the pandemic began. And a lot of people seem to have gotten puppies), we can be grateful we still have our jobs if we do, or some are hopeful that they’ll find better jobs when all this is over….we can be grateful for the roofs over our heads, for the people that we love and who love us, grateful that we and our loved ones are healthy. There is always a LOT to be grateful for, if you take a good look. And I can already see lessons that I’ve learned as a result of the challenges we face in the pandemic, not necessarily lessons I wanted to learn or volunteered for, but lessons that will serve me well in future.

 

If we can find things to be grateful for, the time will go faster, and the end result will be a lot more pleasant. So I’m grateful for my many blessings. And thank YOU for reading my books during these challenging times. I have a new book coming out tomorrow, on Tuesday, “Royal”. I hope you love it, its historical fiction, about a British Royal family in World War II, whose youngest daughter disappears….and secrets that come to light and are revealed twenty years later. I really hope you enjoy the book and it gives you some happy moments.

 

Thank you for everything, my faithful readers and special friends. I am sooooo Grateful for you!! Have a great week!!!

 

love, Danielle