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Category: France

Billionaires, burned buildings and selfish generosity

Billionaires, burned buildings and selfish generosity

Last week, Notre Dame burned down, and a lot of people were sad. Some people were so sad (and so rich) that they decided to donate enormous sums of money toward the restoration of the cathedral, donations which have now surpassed a billion dollars. And now lots of the non-billionaire sad people are angry. It’s not anger at the desire to rebuild Notre Dame. It’s not even – in this specific moment – that there are people out there who…

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When things don’t endure

When things don’t endure

Notre Dame is burning while the whole world watches.  I am not French. I am not a Catholic. But I feel deeply, mournfully saddened by the videos and pictures pouring out of Paris, showing such a beautiful, historic, holy site burning to the ground. What is it that makes this feel like as big a tragedy as last month’s mass shooting? After all, it’s just a building. Other than one injured firefighter, no one has been hurt. And yet, it…

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10 wonderful moments in Europe

10 wonderful moments in Europe

Most of what I’ve written about Brexit has centred around what the UK government is doing and how the process is moving along (or not moving along, as it were). Today, I want to write about some of the best moments I’ve had in Europe over the years, as a quiet reminder of how much such close proximity to other countries, languages and cultures can do for us. I have been visiting Europe since I was a tiny baby, and…

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