Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Rodez by dawn

Although I'm often in Rodez around dawn, I'm usually rushing across the Bourran viaduct to get to work after dropping my daughter off at her high school.

Last Sunday, though, I had the unusual opportunity -- yes, I'll call it an opportunity -- to be in Rodez before 7:00 am on a Sunday morning.

It's a very quiet place at that time, and the cathedral looms even when it isn't illuminated:

A surprising number of cars were out and about, perhaps because at least three buses were scooping up passengers for outings, including my daughter's to see an opera in Toulouse.

Only two businesses had opened their doors: one of the town's larger bakeries and a tobacco/press stand.

Not a single café was serving yet -- of course how many Ruthénois really want to be seen in public at 6:45 am on a Sunday morning?

The city was timidly opening an eye; some say it never entirely wakes up on Sunday. Perhaps it deserves a day of rest.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wordless Wednesday 2

(Photo courtesy of Thierry Jouanneteau)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ten Reasonably Random Things About Me

I've been having some interesting comment exchanges with My Inner French Girl, and she has tagged me for the much-circulated "Ten Random Things About Myself" meme. I generally don't post much personal material on La France Profonde, but the timing of this meme will also allow me to give you a better look at my new winter thumbnail!

1. I'm not a very random person. That's why I immediately organized this list around three main themes: French stuff, food stuff and really random stuff.

2. My first trip to France was to do a semester overseas in Tours. We got a two-week break in November. Most of my friends took off to sunny climates, but I found one taker to go to Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

3. The worst mistake I've ever made in French was to announce that I had cooked something "à poil" instead of "à la poêle." No translation will be provided!

4. After driving for 14 years in the USA with a perfect record, I failed the driving part of my first French driving test...but passed the written.

5. I was the very first person at my current workplace to "brownbag" it for lunch, and I took some flak for it. Now many of my colleagues, both French and anglophone, eat lunch at work. The times they are a changing...even in La France Profonde.

6. I know how to make confit de canard and terrine de foie gras, but don't know how to put them up. They're awfully good "fresh" anyway.

7. The only drinks I truly enjoy are water, coffee, wine and beer.

8. I used to be a college radio DJ at KZSU. This means I had some type of radio license and actually knew how to turn on and shut down a whole radio station.

9. My husband, two daughters and I have all of our birthdays in a two-week period in June. Mine is last, so it usually goes by the wayside.

10. I have gone by a nickname all of my life because my parents made the conscious decision to "officially" give me a regal name but "call me" Betty. It has held. And by the way, in France it's my "Saint's Name Day," or however you translate that. So since I know not much will happen on my birthday, maybe someone will remember ma fête!

Now for the fun part: tagging. It wasn't really clear how many bloggers to tag, so I'm going to go with three...and will be surprised if any of them come up with a list:

The Empathic Rationalist to see if he can blog about something other than politics and philosophy.

Paul from Jeannot's Weblog, in the hopes he won't write a list in computer programming language.

Brandon and Jessica Haskell, ESL teachers in South Korea, whom I found in a totally random way -- you see I can be random if I want to. I opened up Blogger and watched the "recent posts" float by, clicking on everything that looked potentially interesting. It took me 13 minutes to find an appropriate candidate. There is a lot of junk out there!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Musical Memories

I just wrote an especially fun post about musical memories on And So Forth, my "just-for-fun" blog.

I realized afterwards that no French songs made the list...strange.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Yves Thuriès and Le Salon du Chocolat 2006

I've always wanted a pink chocolate shoe. And it was one of the many fabulous creations that tempted me at last year's Salon du Chocolat, which was the first event of its kind to be held in Rodez.

This year's edition will be held on Saturday November 24th and it should be a good chance to stock up on end-of-the-year gifts -- chocolates are a traditional cadeau in France, especially among colleagues and business acquaintances.

You will no doubt be able to admire some original creations, such as this saucisson au chocolat:

Don't worry, no pork was included!

Last year, I also got a chance to listen to one of the area's most famous chocolatiers, Yves Thuriès. Thuriès is also famous for his two restaurants in Cordes, Le Grand Ecuyer and Bistrot Tonin'ty, as well as his decidedly upscale cooking magazine.

Who knows how he does it all? Thuriès now has chocolate shops all over France, including one in Rodez -- which I believe is used in the photo on his "Points de vente" page. He has also expanded his chocolate business to England, Canada and Japan.

If this post hasn't satisfied your chocolate photo fix, spend a little time on the Thuriès chocolate site...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Monday, November 05, 2007

Scathing satire

I guess this is supposed to be oh-so-funny, but I must say I think it is just plain nasty!

And no, I'm not British -- but I know a lot of my readers are.

Since the original post, I've learned from the very knowledgeable My Inner French Girl that the article is an extract from a book that has actually been written by a fake "translator" -- British herself (read the comment below.)

I suppose that makes it a little funnier -- I know the British love biting humor/humour.

What do you think?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sleeping under a thin sheet

September and October were lovely in Aveyron, but November has come in with frosty mornings and chilly evenings.

I wonder if Notre Dame's bell tower is warm enough at night, sleeping under this thin sheet?