I’m Glad Lulu Isn’t a Cat: H5N1 Virus in Cats
Tuesday February 28th 2006, 3:43 pm
Filed under: health,lulu/dogs/cats,news

From Agence France Presse:

Germany reported the first known case in Europe of H5N1 bird flu infecting a cat, a worrying development as the virus sweeps past hastily erected protective measures in large parts of the world.

The dead cat was found on the Baltic island of Ruegen, where the highly pathogenic form of H5N1 bird flu was detected earlier this month, said Germany’s national veterinary laboratory, the Friedrich Loeffler Institute.

The H5N1 virus has been detected in a leopard, tigers, civet cats and two domestic cats in Thailand.

Read the full article: German cat gets H5N1 bird flu, virus spreads

Lulu Lundi* – Autun, France
Monday February 27th 2006, 1:30 pm
Filed under: art/culture/design,lulu/dogs/cats,travel and places

Lulu can never turn down a walk, so today she’s exploring Autun, France, located in the deparment of Saône-et-Loire in Burgundy with her French grandparents. (enlarge photo)

Established in the 1st century BC by Emperor Auguste, Autun was a city that would eventually overshadow and humiliate its rival (sister) town, Bibracte, which, at the time was known to be the rustic Gaulois capital. Bibracte is a mere 26 kilometers (16.1 miles) from Autun.

Known as one of the main gateways to the Morvan, Autun is another hidden gem, particularly for those interested in Gallo-Roman history (and beyond), and in a city whose architecture incorporates a harmonious fusion of many styles assembled in one place. “Must See’s” include the Cathedrale Saint Lazare constructed in 1119, the Grand Theatre, the 2 “Portes” (Entry Gates), the ramparts, the Rolin Museum, Museum of Natural History (Le musée d’Histoire naturelle), The Gem Museum (La Musée lapidaire), The Janus Temple (Le temple de Janus) and the monument, “La pyramide de Couhard.”

Autun is large enough to fill your days visiting the museums and cathedrals, but it is also a perfect town to take in many different walks or strolls to get a refreshing burst of nature or picturesque flavor of the superb architecture and history.

[link: Autun (in French)]

Lulu Lundi* features our favorite Boston Terrier Lulu somewhere in France every Monday.

Weekend Dog Blogging #23
Sunday February 26th 2006, 12:31 pm
Filed under: lulu/dogs/cats,travel and places

You can find this adorable sheepdog with his mum selling beautiful flowers of all kinds at the weekly flower market in the old town’s Cours Saleya in Nice, France.

He couldn’t be showing a more laid back nature that is typical for the Riviera where life can often involve lazy, hanging around days looking at pretty flowers in the warm sun… At least for dogs!

See the other weekend dog blogging #23 dogs kindly hosted chez sweetnicks They should be posted after 9pm Sunday EST. Thanks, Sweetnicks!

French Pastries 101: La Tarte Tropézienne
Saturday February 25th 2006, 1:32 pm
Filed under: food and drinks,history,tv and movies

It has been a while since I last posted for the “French Pastries 101 Series” so today’s installment will cover, La Tarte Tropézienne. A simple pastry that is actually easy to prepare, it’s a cake with thick pastry cream sandwiched by two layers of brioche, a fluffy, buttery, sweet bread, and lightly dusted with powdered sugar on top. (The Tropézienne pictured had crumbly rock sugar.)

The Tropézienne is actually Polish, having been brought over to France by a Polish baker named Alexandre Micka living in St. Tropez. In 1955 he was hired to cater for a film crew working on a movie by Roger Vadim, starring unknown actors at the time. Each day the baker was requested to make even more of his very popular “tarte.” One of the people working in the film, a 21-year old unknown actress, suggested to the baker that he name the tarte, “la tarte Tropézienne.”

The popularity of the Tropézienne would eventually spread all over France, and the film would go on to launch the international career of the actress: Brigitte Bardot. The movie, Et Dieu… créa la femme (And God Created Woman) would later become a national hit and world-wide cult classic.

[Related: Recipe for la tarte Tropézienne and read more about La Tarte Tropézienne]

See other posts for French Pastries 101

Getting Hosed
Friday February 24th 2006, 10:58 am
Filed under: cultural differences,health,tv and movies

Foodblogger kat in japan mentioned going to a spa the other day and it reminded me of a trip my parents took together. It was one of their favorite trips where they spent an entire month traveling all over Japan staying at only spa inns, soaking in hot baths, getting massages, eating, ultimately relaxing and getting some spiritual and physical healing, with a little bit of sightseeing along the way.

I could use that right about now.

But then again, I’m in France and I just recoil at the thought of going to a spa here. I shouldn’t; I’ve actually never been to a spa in Europe but every time I’ve seen them on TV, they seem to always show something that makes me swear I’d never step foot in a spa here: The ultimate torture device: The HOSE.

Getting blasted by a fire hose in long and narrow tiled hall is not my idea of joy. Why and how that is therapeutic, I’ll never know. Anyway, that is always what I imagine if anyone brings up the subject of station thermale. I cringe. What I do know is why they feature the hose on the media: it makes good television. It’s the money shot, and definitely better than watching someone soak in a jacuzzi.

I think I’d ALMOST rather eat the calf’s face than getting hosed.