My definition of cool

We are surrounded by cool people we sometimes wish we were (or were more like). We see them on TV, on Youtube, in magazines, within our cercle of friends and bloggers… everywhere! I’ve always wanted to be one of the cool kids. Instead I was marginalized and severely bullied for most of my early years… That only stopped when I finally started horseback ridding. When I finally found my own tribe. I later found other tribes I felt at home with. The foodies first, the photography and video geeks now…


But now that I’m older, I feel I have finally found a good definition for what a cool person is. There are, in my opinion, three prerequisites (tell me in your comments if you have more):

  1. Passionate people are cool. I have always been fascinated by passionate people. Let me rephrase: fascinated by the passion IN people. By those of us who have a dream. Sometimes even more than the few (lucky ones?) who achieve them. It seems to me that passionate people are the ones who end up being our anchors and role models. The lights in our lives really. I’m only talking about “normal” people here! Terrorists are passionate people too…  Overly passionate people tend to become assholes. The line isn’t very thin though… Religion and politics COMBINED with poor education and peer pressure tend to make the line thinner and easy to cross…
  2. Kind, calm and generous people are cool. It seems that people are getting more and more stressed these days. The media is bombarding us with trash and scary “facts” everyday. As a result, people get confused and the black and white way of thinking seems like the only one left. Where have our grey areas gone?? Confusion and the absolute lack of morality in the media drive people to “think” and behave like animals. Empathy and common decency tend to become like super powers now that they have become such rare qualities. For the first time in over 70 years, extreme groups and wannabe dictators are on the rise. Diplomacy and kindness seem to be tools/behaviors of the past. Those of us who resist the temptation to hate or see one group as the good guys and the other as the bad guys remain calm and genuinely capable of generosity and kindness and rational thinking. These people are cool!
  3. People who know themselves are cool: What is different is cool, and the only way to be truly different is to be oneself. Some people think they are cool because they belong to a group or another: the “I love expensive brands” group (the Kardashians have ruined the Bentley brand forever!), the “pro or against gluten” group, the “I don’t give a damn” group, the “i dress the way I want” group (you know the ones who dress like millions of other punks and think they’re being original)… These people are the opposite of cool. They are the opposite of interesting. In general, people who think they ARE cool ARE NOT! Really cool people are those who dare to be themselves and to stand out when the world wants to scare them and put them in a box. I think… NOW, RECOGNIZING ONE’S OWN UNIQUENESS AND EMBRACING IT without being driven by ego, IS SUPER COOL. SHOWING OTHER PEOPLE HOW UNIQUE AND SPECIAL THEY ARE IS SO BEYOND COOL THAT IT IS ALMOST TOO COOL TO BEAR… OK, now I’m high on cheap philosophy and I’ve written the word “cool” way too many times. My head hurts!

In an effort to be cool (for once), I have indeed dared to post my first Youtube video (as I promised last week). I hope you’ll go watch it. I must warn you though: it is very cheesy. I hope that you enjoy it anyway AND I hope you’ll share the hell out of it if you do. If I am not 100% happy with the result, I am very proud of myself for once. I am proud of the fact that I escaped from my beloved comfort zone and learned new skills along the way. I think that both people who are curious AND curious people are cool. There! Add that to the list :0)


Here are a few people I find are really cool. If your name is Annie Leibovitz, please know that you almost made the list and please please don’t sue me for copyrights violation…

63 Comments Add yours

  1. Dina says:

    Smashing video, Stephane! 🙂

  2. koolkollege says:

    My definition of cool is speaking French

  3. gypsygurl64 says:

    Lovely! I was bullied when I was a kid because I was chubby and never fit in with the “cool” kids. I grew up and realized I was really the cool kid. 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      The bullies are all working the line at Mcdonalds now… Karma’s a bitch 😎

  4. I think many people who I think are cool don’t have any idea that they are cool which is the cool part about it.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Ha ha! So often the case 😉

  5. Claire says:

    I loved it – wonderful. As we have some cherries on our trees I think I will try and make the clafoutis before the birds eat them all 🙂

  6. Well done! It’s inspiring me to give it a go. I love your quip on natural selection. So true! I have a couple of questions. First was someone taping for you? What camera did you use? And what did you use to edit? I’m such a newbie on this. And what did you pour into the boiling water for the silver polishing. Not sure if my speakers are wonky but I couldn’t hear it very well. I would love to try this trick. And I subscribed to your channel. My first. 🙂 I was bullied as a child as well. I find those who were the bullies did get too far past school. While the rest of us blossomed.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Sorry for the late answer. I just saw your comment. Yes, you should give it a go. I’m new at the video thing as well and learned everything on Youtube. Just type in “how to make a Youtube video” and go from there. I have a mac, so I use Imovie for the editing. All the shooting is made with my point and shoot and the Iphone for the slow motion shots. The point and shoot is a Sony rx100, but I think any point and shoot will do. Same thing: loads of advice on Youtube about what gear to use. For the silver, it’s rock salt, tin foil and vinegar 😉 I can’t wait to watch your first video. As with anything else, it’s a question of stepping outside of your comfort zone and just do it. Then everything gets better with time and practice. As you’ve seen with my first video, the quality is quite bad at first, but I received great feedback from my friends and I hope the second one (which will be posted later this evening) will be better. They told me the intro was too long for one, and that I said “uhhh” too much. Anyway, the whole process is kind of fun and I can really see myself doing this instead of blogging in the future as I think video is a better medium to connect with people. I’m thinking of experimenting with 360° cams and drones in the future. I just want to see how people like the videos before I invest in gear… So go learn on youtube and start! 😉 Good luck!

      1. Thanks for the tips! I’ll have to play around with it. I’ll have to find an open source software for video editing as we have Linux. There will definitely be a learning curve! But I’m starting to build up the confidence to just go for it. And thanks for the ingredients for the silver polishing. I have some detailed silver that normal polish doesn’t get into. If your budget allows for fun gadgets, go for it. After all if you are doing this you might as well get a kick out of it. 🙂

        1. My French Heaven says:

          You are the devil on my shoulder 😉

          1. If you can’t have fun what is the point? 😉

  7. Barbara Lane says:

    Oh I LOVED the video!! I love everything about it! I don’t think the intro with you is too long at all, not at all. I felt I was there with you and you were speaking directly to me. It was so nice – and I learned so much – about you, about France, about water lilies, about Monet. Thank you! And I will make your clafoutis, which I’ve only had once (with no pits) and adored – so I can only imagine how much better this one will be. I’d say don’t change a thing because you were your darling, gorgeous self, and that comes shining through.

    More please!!


    1. My French Heaven says:

      Your lovely comment couldn’t come in at a better time dear Barbara! I am feeling under the weather and had to push the shooting of the next recipe to tomorrow. You make me feel better and now I cannot wait for tomorrow! Have a lovely day!

  8. Enjoyed your video very much although your introduction to the video was a little too long. I found myself getting anxious to get on to the recipe! Maybe this feeling came from my desire to see how you would use your amazing photography to prepare this delicious recipe! My favorite part, if one might choose a favorite part, was the sprinkling of powdered sugar on the Clatofis from above as if it were a gentle snow in beautiful light! I gladly subscribed!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Stacey! I agree that the intro should be shorter 😉

  9. Wendy says:

    Bravo Stephane!!!!! Your video is a visual feast!!! Loved it!!! You truly have an eye for the beautiful and understand how to capture it! Trust yourself, and follow the joy, share what resonates with you and everything else will fall into place! So thrilled that you took a leap of faith…looking forward to the next video!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      A big leap of faith it was Wendy. But I feel I’ll get the hang of it soon… Have a lovely lovely day Wendy!

      1. Wendy says:

        Yes, you shall friend!!! Enjoy the process!!! 😉

  10. I will be sharing the video on My Kentucky Living. Excellent video. Aheila

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Oh thank you so much Shella! I must say I was quite nervous about the whole thing… Have a lovely day!

  11. what cool videos! I was also the bullied one in school for a long time, smart and had very nerdy interest. I finally broke that chain by finally becoming happy with who I was (of course it didn’t hurt that I finally had enough and landed a Captain Kirk punch on a bully 🙂 )

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Oh I wish I had had your courage. If only I could go back in time…

  12. Eha says:

    To me being ‘cool’ means never even thinking of the term and being secure enough in one’s own persona not to care a ‘hoot’ whatever anyone else may think 🙂 !

    1. My French Heaven says:


  13. Sandra says:

    I love cool. You see it in a person instantly and they make you comfortable in their presence. Maggie Smith is cool. You are super cool. Love this blog.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks cool lady! ☺️

  14. I absolutely LOVED the video and will be sharing it on FaceBook when I get off work. (Yes, I watched your video at work, sneaky Pete me.) I also LOVE that you have Mimi as your featured photo. She is pretty darn cool in my book, and so are you Stéphane! The photography and different angles you used was very impressive. I really like that you brought us along for a countryside tour, too I can’t wait to see what you came up with for the Brits! xoxo

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Oh you make me so happy. There are a few people whose opinion on the video really mattered to me and you were definitely one of them. I am shooting the next recipe today. All this blog/youtube business is making me eat wayyyyy too much 😉

      1. LOL, and I am glad you commented before I went to bed, I almost forgot to share it. I just did! I hope you get some views. Don’t discount that I’ll ever make it to France to visit you, as my daughter REALLY wants to go there.

        1. My French Heaven says:

          I count on it! (The coming, not the sharing☺️)

  15. Sabine says:

    No cheesiness in the video as far as I can see. Instead, a yummy dessert and wonderful scenery and you and beautiful music – the order is purely random ;-). I own that map too, btw, pretending to buy it as a gift for my kids while using it for myself in order to get more familiar with France´s geography and regions (It´s not that long that I´ve lived here )… keep on video-ing!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I actually like the map very much too ☺️☺️

  16. Kathy says:

    I could not agree with you more regarding “cool”. And, I completely enjoyed your video. I think you are enjoyable and easy to listen to. Actually, I think this is all going to be a resounding success for you, and a joy for all of us who would love some quality programming. Best wishes!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much Kathy! So glad you liked it!

  17. sara says:

    You, sir, are incredibly cool, with your flawless taste and eye for beauty. Authenticity and an honest kindness are cool. So is your blog 😊

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are a darling Sara! I hope you like the video too 😉☺️

      1. sara says:

        I just watched it then, and it’s delightful, although it made me want to go to France so bad 😊

        1. My French Heaven says:

          I certainly do hope you will Sara!!! 😉 Glad you liked the video. Next one comes up on Friday 🙂

  18. I absolutely loved your post! So sane in your assessment of the things people deceive themselves about in their efforts to “be cool” and/or to “zealously” follow their passions. There is a thin line, and we live in a world where kindness and consideration are regularly forgotten! I am looking forward to watching your videos when I have a little more time.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks a lot! I hope you enjoy the video 😉☺️

  19. Stephane, you are super cool with your wonderful blog, new YouTube and for writing posts like this. Never afraid to say how it is for you but such a feeling of love and kindness that shines through. The first cool person to come into my head was David Beckham. Fabulous looking – if it wasn’t for those tattoos! But essentially a good man, good family man, wanting to do the best for others; a very positive and exemplary role model in the sometimes troubled world of football. And despite fame and money he seems to be happy in himself and have his feet firmly on the ground – it doesn’t seem to have gone to his head.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Yes, he is a good guy. I still wonder why he married that shallow woman… People say he’s not the smartest cookie in the jar. I don’t care. I really like him…

      1. I’m glad you like him too 🙂

  20. Steve says:

    I enjoyed the video and did not find it “cheesy” at all. If you really want some suggestions, I found that my interest was immediately engaged with the Giverny garden video and music. I would have started the video right there and avoided the preamble. You’ve got to capture the viewer very quickly these days. I liked the post-amble very much, and the lawsuit/natural selection joke. Overall, a fun concept; I would shorten it a little, focus more on beautiful visuals, awesome and easy recipes, and a natural, humorous, post script. But hey…what do I know?

    As for “cool”…i more engaged by authenticity than cool. Authenticity is the absence of facades, integrity of words and actions, self-awareness and self-questioning, openness and receptiveness to ideas without self-evident truth and motivated reasoning, and people with compassion, good humour, and generosity.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks for the feedback Steve. Your comments on the video are right on the money! It was exactly what I thought I should do for the next one. Stay tuned as they say 😊

  21. I’m at the airport, not conducive to watching/listening to videos, so that will have to wait until I get home. But I enjoyed the post and photos.


    1. My French Heaven says:

      The weather is getting better. You’re going to have so much fun!!

      1. On my way home from a four-day visit with our younger daughter and leaving Friday for your country. Looking forward to it and yes, the weather looks so much better. Are the refineries still on strike or is gas available again?

        1. My French Heaven says:

          Don’t ever listen to journalists. Their only aim is to scare you! Everything is fine.

          1. That came from my s-i-l. For a time, there was little or no gas to be had in and around Lure.

          2. My French Heaven says:

            No worries really!

          3. Good, because I love it when we drive all over, stopping at little spots, and having good lunches! 🍷😎

  22. Nadia says:

    Formidable mon ami!!!!
    Le vidéo est super. Une qualité incroyable. Well done. I can’t wait for the second one and to see what you are making for our British friends.
    I am so impressed.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Nadia!!

  23. I think people radiate a cool persona when they are content with their lives and happy within their own skin, when they are calm and relaxed and not running around like headless chickens. To me cool people always seem to be in control.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Ok now You make me want to rewrite the whole post ☺️ I could not agree more!

  24. Stephane, really enjoyed the video and I thought it was very nicely done, also enjoyed this post. There are many “cool” people in this world and you happen to be one. I must try the lovely clafoutis recipe pits and all.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      With the pits in?! My kind of girl! Thanks for watching the video!!! Have a lovely evening!!

      1. When life gives you pits make cherry clafoutis😃

        1. My French Heaven says:


  25. Craving4More says:

    I happen to find YOU amazingly cool! 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      And I find YOU insanely cool my darling Ashley! Some much love sometimes on this blog, I can’t take it 🙂 Hope you are doing well!!!

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