walking on broken glass

First off, as I’m writing this I just got a text from my sister-in-law saying Rita Wilson has breast cancer. WTF is going on? I’m no expert but breast cancer seems to me like it’s become or becoming an epidemic. And not to be too depressing because people like to gravitate to the positive but – THERE IS NO CURE. Yes, it is treatable and most go on to live somewhat full lives post treatment of original diagnosis – but the truth is – for 3 out of 10 patients the cancer will return spreading to the brain, lung, liver, bones and other places. It is not a new cancer in those organs, it remains breast cancer that has spread. Metastatic breast cancer (stage 4) has no cure and life expectancy survival rates decrease considerably. I was so ignorant before. I thought, oh breast cancer, that’s an easy one…hahahaha. Look at those gorgeous women walking, running, rallying, hugging…they are amazing and cured. International pink parties. Boy was I dumb. It’s a scary, dark, messy, messed-up, ugly disease, trust me. Ok big breath… count blessings, I’m here and able to live life because of top notch science and a phenomenal health care system. I am grateful for all this, it’s just scary to look at the other side of the non-pink coin.

Have you watched the series called Downton Abbey? If you haven’t you should because it’s really good. It’s not filled with the usual suspects; sex, violence, drugs and crazy plot lines like some of the other shows that we’ve become accustomed to, like Breaking Bad (my favourite, love you Jesse Pinkman!), Orange is the New Black, Dexter, House of Cards and Weeds – just to name a few. Doesn’t the Soprano’s (another of my all-time favourites, which is studied in film school!) seem so old school now? Anyway, Downton Abbey has a refreshing softness to it but at the same time there is no lack of drama. I think I love it also because I am obsessed with behind-the-scenes in real life too, and DA is a British period drama that portrays both the upstairs upper crust and the basement working class – servants. Awesome.

When I was 21 I lived in Paris for four months as an ‘au pair’ aka a nanny, working for a British family, who were delightful. While I was there I visited many of the historic spots. One that sticks out in particular was the Palace of Versailles. If you are not familiar with it then shame on you because that’s where Kimye had their wedding rehearsal dinner last spring with fireworks, ok, like omg! Kidding, obviously. Versailles is where Marie-Antoinette lived and many kings, queens and blah blah blah, but what I remember vividly was Marie-Antoinette (who was super bad ass for her time) gave birth to the future king or queen, not sure?! The gold railing was specifically constructed so that the other family members could witness the birth, therefore ensuring the baby wasn’t switched out, and the line of succession wasn’t tampered with – basically, so that they could have VIP front row seating to watch the true heir to the throne fly out of her lady bits. Wild, eh? If that were me I would have contemplated suicide. Imagine your father or father-in-law staring at your privates? NO, thank you. Her room was apparently decorated according to the seasons, which has remained ‘spring’. All this to say, when I walked through the palace and saw all of its grandeur and opulence what I really was interested in was seeing the servant’s quarters. Unfortunately, this was not open for public viewing and I’m not sure it is now. So getting back to the behind-the-scenes that is what intrigues me the most. It may be because it’s so hidden and exclusive. What I’m trying to say is, the ‘Grands Appartements’, lavish showplaces filled with murals, paintings, sculptures, velvet draperies, Savonnerie carpets, gilded bronze, and last but NOT least the Hall of Mirrors are very cool but I just wish they would show you the entire thing, hence, Downton Abbey gives us a glimpse of both worlds, which are equally mystifying. MA also had a separate building on the grounds where she lived called ‘Petit Trianon’. A place where she could escape the suffocation of family, etiquette and aristocratic life. This building was not available to view at the time I was there….boo.

Marie Antoinette - petit appartement de la reine

One more thing about Versailles before you fall asleep of boredom, there is a couple in Florida who tried to build a replica and they even made a documentary about it called ‘The Queen of Versailles’ which you can watch on Netflix. It’s actually really interesting and gives insight into the bubble bursting in the USA in 2008 I think. I remember watching the movie cringing but also loving it at the same time.

I may have something pretty cool to visit soon in Ottawa that most people don’t get to see or don’t care. I will write about it once I’ve visited. I will keep you posted….don’t get too excited, it is not 24 Sussex Drive.

I’m still in recovery mode from surgery last week. My boobs look like they went to a UFC event and got knocked out…not my favourite shade of yellow – but it’s fine and not painful. The incisions and sutures feel weird and tingle. Perhaps this is part of the healing process. Nothing major to report, still a walk in the park except now I’ve switch the hot dog for a chocolate dipped cone. In other words, I’m good.

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