Thursday, June 24, 2010


Just some random notes since I've been away for a few days, to Paris for the annual "EuroCancer" meeting. This was my first time at this meeting. My boss was invited to give a talk, and since he was busy that day he turned the invite over to me. Genetic Determinism in Breast Cancer. Oooh, big title! Then I saw I would be speaking not at a breast cancer session, but at a Mediterranean cancer session. Ah, that's something I can really talk about for 20 minutes. A chance to present the comparisons we've done between our central-France population and those in Tunisia, Algeria, & Morocco.

Being a "Euro-" meeting, with other speakers from the UK and the USA, I thought that presenting in English would be fine. It is easier for me, because in spite of a certain fluency after 14 years here, I get nervous and tongue-tied in front of an audience. Then the morning of, I see this is a special session for the inauguration of a Francophone pan-Mediterranean club. Ah, francophony. This definitely means they want it in French, but too bad! Too late. I've done all my practicing in English and changing now could be disastrous.

It went fine, at least for me!
You could tell it was a doctors' meeting by the selection of commercial stands hawking their products. All pharmaceutical companies, all bored out of their skulls because nobody wanted their stuff. All anybody wanted from the stands was munchies - for breakfast there were croissants and fruit, all day long espresso and soft drinks, and at lunch we all made the rounds to see who had the best catering. The sushi got my vote. And what I've never seen at a meeting of scientists - champagne. Yep, every third stand was serving up bubbly for lunch. Since my talk was at 2, I resisted the first day.
This WW2 memorial sculpture is right across from the convention center. From a distance the bushes hide the bottom part, and it looks like a big metal hedgehog or something.

It being the solstice and all, there was plenty of light in the evening to go walking about, taking pictures. I was on the hunt for Monsieur Chat. More about that tomorrow.

The sign on the fence around this long, empty park-ish space says 'no ball playing and no bicycles'. No wonder there's nobody around. Let's enjoy this concrete plain, yeah.

Further down the same parkway there are some bits of adventurous landscaping that just didn't quite make it. This bushy arrangement might be better if it were alive.

The convention center is at the corner of the gigantic Bois du Boulogne park, convenient for a lunchtime stroll. People were out in droves, picnicing and hanging around. The family belonging to this stroller is just around the bush; it's the fearless rabbit that caught my attention, right at the edge of the shadow on the lawn. Here we are zoomed in and cropped. Just hanging around. There was a fat black one too, by the fence to the kids' play area, that hopped under a hedge when I approached, but not in a hurry or anything.

1 comment:

Niamh B said...

sounds like a nice break away.

In my fourth year lab there was champagne in the fridge for every birthday... and magnums in the freezer... this was in germany