David Enzel

Le Petit-Fils du Général de Gaulle S’Exprime

Un entretien avec Pierre de Gaulle, petit-fils du général de Gaulle sur Sud Radio: Il croit que la France de Charles de Gaulle n’existe plus. Je ne sais pas s’il a raison mais c’est tout à fait intéressant.

WordPress: Old School Way of Making a Website?

Øyvind (Ø…I know…Norwegian…just call me Owen):

You should not have to worry about servers, development environments, deployments, and outdated code anymore if you’re building a basic website. Seriously. There are way better services to build and host your website. Webflow is my platform of choice. Or you could go with Squarespace for low budget simple sites. Other no-code platforms to mention are Wix and Weebly. Some times, like in this article, Wix is rated above Squarespace. But for a simple website, I think it has a bit too much freedom and options.

Coming from a background in both development and design, I have been through everything from personally developing an elaborate PHP based CMS (including e-commerce) at the beginning of the century, to being blessed with the amazing tools we as designers and developers have today. Somewhere in the middle of this journey, WordPress was a solid candidate for the typical small business website. But not anymore in my opinion.

This article got me thinking. In my mind, WordPress is the default option. But does that make sense in 2023? For example, this website, which is hosted on Micro.blog, is built on Hugo. It’s really fast but doesn’t have all the features available on WordPress. But in my mind, it’s a good tradeoff. And in my opinion, most Squarespace sites look way better than most WordPress sites and require much less effort to build and maintain. I’ve never tried Webflow so I cannot comment on it. But I now wonder if WordPress is old technology living on custom and momentum.

I have a site on Squarespace. I like it because I was able to create a site I actually like. Its purpose is to write about and share images. I tried the same project on WordPress and it was way more effort and I did not like the result. And along the way, I was looking at theme after theme and plugin after plugin. It was no fun.1 From what I’ve read, Webflow is more powerful than either WordPress or Squarespace and yields faster websites than either WordPress or Squarespace. But I have yet to try Webflow.

  1. I am sure with more time and effort I could have created a site I like on WordPress but given the alternatives I did not see the point. ↩︎

Blogging to Connect with Others Directly

Kev Quirk engages with his readers via an email button at the end of each post. I like that because there is substance to the dialogue. You can’t get that by hitting a like button or through anonymous comments. Kev explains:

I enjoy writing content on here, and I love engaging with people who read my content. So it’s win/win. If something crops up within my email conversations with readers, that I think is worth sharing, I will always ask the person if they’re happy for me to share, then post an update. So other readers get the benefit of those conversations too.

Robert Clary (1926-2022)

The Washington Post:

Robert Clary, a French-born survivor of Nazi concentration camps during World War II who played a feisty prisoner of war in the improbable 1960s sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes,” died Nov. 16 [, 2022] at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 96.


Mr. Clary was the last surviving original star of the sitcom that included Bob Crane, Richard Dawson, Larry Hovis and Ivan Dixon as the prisoners. Werner Klemperer and John Banner, who played their captors, were European Jews who fled Nazi persecution before the war.

Mr. Clary remained publicly silent about his own wartime experience until 1980 when, Mr. Clary said, he was provoked to speak out by those who denied or diminished the orchestrated effort by Nazi Germany to exterminate Jews. Twelve of his immediate family members — his parents and 10 siblings — were killed under the Nazis . . .

Clary was liberated from Buchenwald on April 11, 1945. Clary was the only family member to survive.

Hogan’s Heroes ran for 168 episodes (six seasons) from 1965-1971, on the CBS network. It was the longest broadcast run for an American television series inspired by WWII.

Although the show was completely unrealistic, I loved it. It made me laugh then and does so now.

Pont Alexandre III, Paris

Pont Alexandre III, Paris

The Pont Alexandre III is a deck arch bridge that spans the Seine in Paris. It connects the Champs-Élysées quarter with those of the Invalides and Eiffel Tower. The bridge is widely regarded as the most ornate, extravagant bridge in the city. It has been classified as a French monument historique since 1975.

The Beaux-Arts style bridge, with its exuberant Art Nouveau lamps, cherubs, nymphs and winged horses at either end, was built between 1896 and 1900. It is named after Tsar Alexander III, who had concluded the Franco-Russian Alliance in 1892. His son Nicholas II laid the foundation stone in October 1896. The style of the bridge reflects that of the Grand Palais, to which it leads on the right bank.

The next bridge upstream on the Seine is Pont de la Concorde and the next bridge downstream is Pont des Invalides, which is the lowest bridge crossing the Seine.

The Pont Alexandre III is one of 37 bridges in Paris that cross the river Seine.

In the 1985 James Bond movie A View to Kill, Bond jumps from the Pont Alexandre III into a boat to catch a mysterious killer.

Tatjana Patitz (1966-2023)


Tatjana Patitz, the quietest and perhaps the most intense of the original supermodels, has died. She was 56. A representative for the family stated that the cause of death was metastatic breast cancer.


[T] here was a certain element of mystery to Patitz’s beauty, something in the gentle oval of her face and the shape of her eyes that spoke of self-possession and passion. “Tatjana was always the European symbol of chic, like Romy Schneider-meets-Monica Vitti,” remembered Anna Wintour, chief content officer of Condé Nast and global editorial director of Vogue. “She was far less visible than her peers—more mysterious, more grown-up, more unattainable—and that had its own appeal.”

May her memory be a blessing.

The Guardian

Blogging: ‘A Space of My Own’

Vincent Ritter explaining why he blogs:

This site acts as portal to my past and present self that one day I can look back on, on my steps forward and also missteps along the way. Life isn’t a straight road, so it’s nice to have a space of my own to share and reflect on.

Personal Websites Provide Creative Freedom

Matthias Ott, a web designer from Stuttgart, on the value of personal websites:

Your personal website is a place that provides immense creative freedom and control. It’s a place to write, create, and share whatever you like, without the need to ask for anyone’s permission. It is also the perfect place to explore and try new things, like different types of posts, different styles, and new web technologies. It is your playground, your platform, your personal corner on the Web.

Israel: Immigration from Russia and Ukraine Rises

The Times of Israel reports:

The past year saw the largest amount of Jewish immigration to Israel, or aliyah, in over two decades, with nearly 75,000 people making the move in 2022. Over three-quarters of these came from Russia and nearly 20% came from Ukraine, representing a roughly fivefold increase from the previous year . . .


In 2022, 3,500 people immigrated to Israel from North America, down from 4,400 the year before. The number of immigrants from France also dropped from 3,500 in 2021 to just over 2,000 in 2022.

Personal Independent Blogs are Important

Lars Mensel getting behind personal blogs because it allows people to stay in control of their own data:

Many—if not most—of the online platforms and networks I’ve ever used on the internet have stopped existing or withered away, something that is strangely commonplace on the web. And yet we hardly stop to think that everything we share might simply get lost over time.

A Native Mac App for Fastmail

A native Mac app for Fastmail called FMail2 is now available. The developer is Arie van Boxel, a native of the Netherlands, who now lives in the French countryside. The app will open email links in FMail2, which is nice. The app is free but you can buy Arie a coffee if you like the app.

I am a long-time happy user of Fastmail and knew nothing about this app. I learned about it thanks to this post.

Blogging Just for Yourself

Greg Morris:

I have been blogging for more than a decade, at first trying to make something of myself and become a full-time technology journalist, but now just for myself and to keep in touch with people. I enjoy sharing my thoughts, updating posts on what me and my family are up to, and joining in on conversations.

I do not have a huge presence online anymore because I do not feel the need to join every social network going. 

Timothy Snyder: ‘We speak about the news all day, but pay almost no one to get out and report it.’

Yale history professor Timothy Snyder warns that the lack of true investigative reporting poses a danger for democracies:

The problem is not that media are not alert. The problem is that the correct media are ceasing to exist. Talk shows can only talk about what someone else investigates.  The internet can repeat, but it cannot report.  We speak about the news all day, but pay almost no one to get out and report it.  This rewards people who lie as a way of life. Every political career demands investigation at its beginnings, and most American counties lack a daily newspaper.  That is where we are, and it has to change.

Rolling Stone oublie Céline Dion et le Quebec n’est pas content

Le Monde:

Sacrilège national ! L’absence de Céline Dion du palmarès des « 200 plus grands chanteurs de tous les temps », publié le 1er janvier par le magazine américain Rolling Stone, a provoqué l’émoi de ses fans dans le monde entier. Interpellée par un internaute jugeant que cette omission était « un crime contre l’humanité » – « je téléphone à la police », ajoutait-il –, la police française s’est même fendue d’une réponse humoristique sur Twitter : « Avec regret, nous vous informons que la police, qui compte énormément de fans dans ses rangs, ne vous sera d’aucun recours sur ce dossier. » Mais c’est au Québec, sa patrie, que l’indignation a été la plus vive.

Deep Truth

It is the hallmark of any deep truth that its negation is also a deep truth.

Max Delbrück

Quoted in: Sarotte, M. E.. Not One Inch (The Henry L. Stimson Lectures Series) (p. 1). Yale University Press. Kindle Edition.

Original Quotation from Delbrück, Mind from Matter?, 167. Delbrück won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1969.

‘Getting back to actual blogging’

Christina (CJ) Jones explains her blogging history and why she is resuming her blog in 2023:

My first blog was on Blogger, then transitioned to Livejournal. I owe a lot to Livejournal. It’s where I found my passion in design, friends from different places and understanding a world outside of my small town in North Carolina. My writing was all over the place, mainly middle and high school angst, and I didn’t care what people thought of my when I wrote it. Here’s to tapping into that mindset again.

Jones blogs on Squarespace. It’s a nice looking blog.

Squarespace: Beautiful But Slow

Juha Liikala describes his blogging experience on Squarespace:

Squarespace themes often look beautiful, but my experience with the platform has been a disaster in the past. It’s not only that the code itself (in the themes) feels super bloated. The editor experience was nothing short of a train wreck when I gave it a try last year.

The editor kept hanging all the time while I was editing things. After writing a new post and saving it, the editor crashed (on multiple occasions!) and the content was GONE. I had to write posts in a separate writing app just to make sure I didn’t lose the post after trying to use Squarespace’s own editor.

And don’t even get me started with how slow/sluggish the whole site editing experience felt.

The overall experience of the whole platform was just so bad, I don’t think I’ll be going back there anytime soon.

He settled on WordPress.

I have to say I agree with Juha’s assessment of Squarespace. The platform is not designed for frequent updates. There is no autosave, no support for third party applications and no way to roll back style changes. I think Squarespace sites look beautiful but the platform is not for me. And I really tried to make it work.

Is a Small Audience Enough?

Greek poet George Seferis :

not having a very large audience has something good in it, too. I mean, that it educates you in a certain way: not to consider that great audiences are the most important reward on this earth. I consider that even if I have three people who read me, I mean really read me, it is enough.

Writing: It’s OK to Have a Tiny Audience

Sophia Efthimiatou , head of writer relations at Substack, explains that it’s ok to start writing with a small audience:

You would think known writers with large audiences have it easy here, but the pressure to succeed is felt more among them. The stakes are low if you are not at all known. There is no audience to lose, only one to gain. And gain you will. Perhaps when you start your only subscribers will be your best friend, your lonely neighbor, and your aunt–who can’t even read English. And then, one day, a fourth subscriber will roll in, a total stranger. That person will be there just to read you.

Netanyahu: Israel Gives Jews the Power to Defend Themselves

The founding of Israel did not stop attacks on the Jews. It merely gave the Jews the power to defend themselves against those attacks.

Netanyahu, Benjamin. Bibi: My Story (p. 652). Threshold Editions. Kindle Edition.

Église Saint-Sulpice

The Church of Saint-Sulpice is a Roman Catholic church in Paris, on the east side of Place Saint-Sulpice, in the Latin Quarter of the 6th arrondissement. It is only slightly smaller than Notre-Dame and thus the second-largest church in the city. It is dedicated to Sulpitius the Pious, a seventh century bishop and saint.

The present church is the second building on the site, erected over a Romanesque church originally constructed during the 13th century. Additions were made over the centuries, up to 1631. The current building was founded in 1646 by parish priest Jean-Jacques Olier (1608–1657) who had established the Society of Saint-Sulpice, a clerical congregation, and a seminary attached to the church.

The church is mentioned in Dan Brown’s 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code, an international bestseller that brought crowds of tourists to Saint-Sulpice.

The Marquis de Sade and Charles Baudelaire were baptized in Saint-Sulpice in 1740 and 1821, respectively. The church also saw the marriage of Victor Hugo to Adèle Foucher in 1822.

Source: Wikipedia

Was Churchill Involved in the Bombing That Almost Killed Hitler?

The Mirror reports that recent documents show that Winston Churchill was in on the July 20, 1944 plot (Valkyrie) to kill Adolf Hitler during WWII. According to the newspaper, MI5, the UK security service, dumped piles of top secret wartime files on the internet during the pandemic lockdown:

Britain’s top espionage expert, the former Tory MP Rupert Allason who writes under the name Nigel West, said: “This is of enormous historical importance.”

West has a new book coming out on the subject. It is scheduled for release on February 6, 2023.

George Santos Faces Criminal Investigations

The New York Times reports that George Santos, who falsely claimed, among other things, that he had Jewish grandparents who fled Europe during World War II, now faces criminal investigations:

Federal and local prosecutors are investigating whether Representative-elect George Santos committed any crimes involving his finances and lies about his background on the campaign trail.

The federal investigation, which is being run by the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn, is focused at least in part on his financial dealings, according to a person familiar with the matter. The investigation was said to be in its early stages.

In a separate inquiry, the Nassau County, N.Y., district attorney’s office said it was looking into the “numerous fabrications and inconsistencies associated with Congressman-elect Santos” during his successful 2022 campaign to represent parts of Long Island and Queens.

It was unclear how far the Nassau County inquiry had progressed, but the district attorney, Anne Donnelly, said in a statement that Mr. Santos’s fabrications “are nothing short of stunning.”

Martin Walker Mysteries

Om Malik recommended a series of mystery books by Martin Walker. Malik said Martin’s “tales of a provincial policeman in the South of France are like a nice glass of chilled wine.”Eric Asimov, The New York Times wine critic, described Mr. Walker’s books as:

rich in atmosphere and personality, with characters bound by the tenacious strictures of history and memory. And almost without fail, everything stops for lunch. It’s impossible to read a Bruno novel without getting hungry and thirsty.

That sounded like a great break from more serious matters.

Martin is a journalist. He divides his time between Washington DC and the Perigord region in the southeast of France.

Martin’s Bruno, Chief of Police series of novels depicts a village policeman named Benoît “Bruno” Courrèges. Bruno is a gourmet cook and former soldier who was wounded on a peacekeeping mission in the Balkans. Bruno loves his region of France. He’s also a compassionate and moral police officer who has a gun but never wears it.

I started with the audiobook version of the first novel in the series entitled Bruno, Chief of Police. This is historical fiction. I learned a lot about the French resistance during WWII (Le Maquis). The descriptions of life and food in rural France are fun and refreshing. The mystery is good. And there is a touch of romance to boot.

There are 13 audiobooks in the series so I am happy to have 12 more audiobooks to mine.

All the books in the series are narrated by Robert Ian Mackenzie, an English actor who did a fine job narrating the first audiobook in the series.

I’m happy that Malik brought this series to my attention through his fine blog. I needed a nice glass of chilled wine.

Resources for Visitors to Paris

Places to Visit


Paris, France: 10 churches you should visit - Lots of detail and wonderful photos

Église Saint-Sulpice - It is only slightly smaller than Notre-Dame and thus the second-largest church in the city. The church is mentioned in Dan Brown’s 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code.

Le Cordon Bleu Paris proposes a range of short term culinary discoveries for those with a passion for the art of cooking: cooking classes, pastry classes and boulangerie workshops.** **These courses can take the form of demonstrations or practical workshops.

Walking Along the Seine

Hôtel de la Marine

Musée Guimet, Musée national des arts asiatiques

Musée Jacquemart-André

Musée Carnavalet – Histoire de Paris

Musée de la Libération de Paris - musée du Général Leclerc - musée Jean Moulin

Rue des Martyrs

Basilique de Saint-Denis - The final resting place of the kings and queens of France. Built on the grave of Saint Denis, a Bishop of Paris who died in 250 AD, the royal abbey of Saint-Denis was, from the death of King Dagobert in 639 AD until the 19th century, the burial place of 43 kings, 32 queens and 10 servants to the monarchy. The basilica was raised to the rank of cathedral in 1966.

Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme - The largest French museum of Jewish art and history

The American Church in Paris, the first American church established outside of the United States.

Musée Nissim de Camondo: A historic house museum of French decorative arts located in the Hôtel Camondo at 63, rue de Monceau, on the edge of Parc Monceau, in the 8th arrondissement. The nearest Métro stops are Villiers and Monceau on Line 2.

Musée Picasso

The Musée de la Vie romantique (Museum of Romantic Life) stands at the foot of Montmartre hill in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, 16 rue Chaptal, in an 1830 hôtel particulier facing two twin-studios, a greenhouse, a small garden, and a paved courtyard. The Museum displays on the first floor numerous mementos of the romantic literary figure George Sand, including family portraits, household possessions, pieces of jewelry and memorabilia including plaster casts by Clésinger of the writer’s sensuous right arm and Chopin’s delicate left hand, plus a number of her own unique and rare watercolors called “dendrites”. On the second floor, the museum displays Romantic canvases, sculptures and objets d’art. The nearest métro stations are Pigalle, Blanche, Saint-Georges, and Liège.

Des Mots et Des Arts (en français) vous propose de découvrir ses visites guidées de Paris. Pour mieux comprendre l’histoire et les transformations urbaines de la capitale, nos guides vous accompagnent dans votre découverte parisienne.

Eating in Paris

David Lebovitz, Website by an American pastry chef and author who lives in Paris

Paris by Mouth, Paris restaurant reviews and more

Learning About Paris

The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs by Elaine Sciolino, former Paris bureau chief for The New York Times

The Seine: The River that Made Paris by Elaine Sciolino

Join Us in France Podcast

Paris Unlocked

Paris Gone By

Admiring the Trees of Paris, New York Times

Joann Pai - A Little Guide for Those Coming to Paris

The Earful Tower: An Australian-Swedish couple living in Paris share their take on the city

Bonjour Paris - Information for travelers to Paris

Paris with Scott - “Paris, you are . . . the love of my life. And, I want everyone to love you as much as I do.”

And finally some visual inspiration.

Last updated: December 27, 2022