Bonjour from France! I woke up to a very chilly morning today. We are at least treated to a bit of sunshine - hooray!
Next week will be last week on my current job assignment. This is something I've wanted to report here for a while, but always came up short with time. I've been working in La Défense, the main business district of Paris (though it is not in Paris intra muros, but just West of Neuilly-sur-Seine, on the communes of Puteaux and Courbevoie).
When I was a child, I thought that the name "La Défense" was after elephant tusks (tusk=défense) because of the way the skyscrapers stick out on the landscape. Well, not at all! The district was named after a statue, made in 1893 by Louis-Ernest Barrias, named "La Défense de Paris" and commemorating the soldiers who defended Paris during the Franco-Prussian war (1870). The statue was initially on the middle of a roundabout, which has long ago disappeared to make way for the piazza and buildings.
But where is the statue now? I had worked in the district for 2 months, walked up and down the plaza several times without ever seeing it. I inquired of colleagues, looked up Google maps,... without finding a clear answer. It was said that the statue had been moved several times, but it was not where they said it had been placed most recently. I could see and find information on lots of modern art that is on display in La Défense, but not the statue that gives it its name.
And finally, I found it! And it is just opposite the building where I've been working. I could not see it because they're building a hideous restaurant just beside it:
You'll admit it is not particularly well showcased. I photographed it from behind wire mesh. Impossible to get near because of barriers around the construction site. But I'm satisfied: now I know where to look and see it every day. So, this was my little story I wanted to share... (you can see a better picture here, without wire mesh or metal barriers)
On the home front - all quiet... Daughter #2 is back from Russia and has now overcome the depressed phase she went through after coming back (she really enjoyed her trip!!). All are back to school.
On the WikiTree front: I am still licking my wounds after being suddenly left alone to run the France project. This is the first time it happens - there had always been either a co-leader or coordinators - and I spend a lot of time mulling over all sorts of questions about the future of the project. Not my happiest moment on WikiTree. On the positive side, I joined the England Orphan Trail. I've reached Stage 2 without too much trouble, and I'm enjoying it.
More genealogy: my sister-in-law asked me to research her paternal ancestry. She has a double-barrelled name and hopes I'll find out, exactly, when it became double and why. She says this is to be her Christmas present. This is an exciting challenge; I hope I'll be up to the task.