We went to Avignon yesterday — impoverish, neglected, often disgusting Avignon. The one place in France where I actually said to myself, “You couldn’t pay me to live here,” even though they have a world-famous theater festival there for three weeks in July. We saw The Palace of the Popes, which was largely a collection of ugly stone rooms. The audio guide narration frequently intoned with some variation of: “Do you see the great, ugly, boring walls? Well…imagine…them full of tapestries, paintings and other artwork.” Imagine. I really couldn’t. Not over and over. But I did love when a cat got into the palace. She ran about eagerly after something in the ceilings. As I petted her, her bright green eyes trailed upwards and I discovered she was chasing a bird fluttering about in the beams. I pointed this out and everyone around us found this highly entertaining. Kitty didn’t have to imagine a damned thing to enjoy the palace.

I managed to take some interesting shots from the palace turrets of Avignon the city that must languish on the hard drive until I have time to upload them to Flickr.

We had friends over on Saturday and went on an incredible hike in the Tholonet. I somehow misunderstood where we were going and forgot to bring my camera, which was a really terrible shame. Hopefully we’ll go back soon for a romantic climb.

The best reading this weekend were two excerpts from Christopher Hitchens book, God is Not Great. “Was Muhammad Epileptic?” and “Mormonism: A Racket Becomes a Religion.” I recommend reading the Mormonism excerpt first. The parallels he draws between Islam and Mormonism are really something.

Meanwhile, I have a huge amount of writing to do. I must run now and do it.

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