Today is Bastille Day. This morning, Ma sang the first verse (the only one she knows the words to) of La Marseillaise to me (she is a big fan of the French national anthem, which bloodthirsty as the words are, is much better than ours) and I am overcome with the urge to re-read Hillary Mantel’s A Place of Greater Safety and Simon Schama’s Citizens. I will resist that urge because I have more than enough reading to be getting on with but if you haven’t, I recommend them both!
It’s weird how things happen. In Mount Vernon, there is, in pride of place, is one of the keys to the Bastille sent by LaFayette to George Washington. I can’t agree with the tour guide that it’s like having the key to Buckingham Palace but I do love the irony that the French Crown’s support of the American Revolution, in order to thwart the English Crown, led to the fall of the French monarchy. Someone should have thought that through!
Anyway apart from the French celebrating their nationhood, today there are other things going on. NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is going to fly by Pluto, it’s 4.67 billion miles away from Earth, it will take 16 months for all the data at photos to get back here. That’s pretty amazing. NASA has this great thing where they will work out the time where you are when it’s as bright as noon on Pluto.
Despite all this ‘triumph of the human spirit’ type stuff being celebrated today, I’m tired. I had a day off yesterday and it’s done me no good because now I’d like another day off. There truly is no pleasing me!