Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays to one and all

Despite a desire to get back into the swing of blogging, Christmas activities are calling.

I'm just leaving this short post to wish you all a wonderful holiday season!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Missed Opportunity

This salmon being smoked at the Hanover Christmas market reminded me of my Pacific Northwest Heritage -- and she felt the same way.

Christina, of Mausi, and I have a lot in common. We're both from the PNW, she from Vancouver, B.C. and me from Olympia, WA. We've both lived in Europe, married to Europeans, since 1990. And we're both involved in ESL teaching.

I've followed her blog off and on, and she mine. But when I went to Hanover in early December for a conference followed by a weekend "just for me," I neglected to write anything about it on this blog. And after a very short post about the Hanover trip, I got this comment from Christina:

As in Hanover, Germany?? Dang, we could have had coffee!

And the worst thing is, we really could have, because I had all Saturday to myself!

Regrets, regrets...but maybe a message to myself to get back into the blogosphere somehow.

In the meantime, I'll refer you to this wonderful post by Christina about the Hanover Christmas market, or Weihnachtsmarkt, and the general festive atmosphere in Germany at this time of year...because who knows if I'll have time to do a big post about my trip!

I am, however, going to make an effort to get back to blogging on FP. I miss it and I miss you all.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A timid return for a Word-light Wednesday (74)

Cool lights, big city. Hanover charmed me and I want to go back...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The walls come tumbling down

(Flickr image courtesy of Courosa)

My mind is elsewhere these days. Any readers of my blog (formerly blogs) have certainly noticed a slowdown, and may be wondering if it will all come to a screeching halt soon. I used to write three blogs: one is on hold indefinitely, another has been put to pasture for good, and this one is, well, limping along.

If I used to comment on your blogs, well, that isn't happening so much anymore either. Yet I'm online at least as much as I used to be -- it's just that my Internet time is increasingly being spent on activities related to teaching.

Teaching. That's what I've always done for a living, by the way. And it's something that has been carefully kept out of my blogging life. You have only to look at my Blogger profile: "I've been living, working, cooking and raising a family in France for 19 years."

I've covered the "living" part on this blog for nearly 4 years, with a little bit about my family thrown in now and then. I covered the cooking part for almost as long on Cuisine Quotidienne.

But working? I made the conscious decision to keep that out of blogging.

I think that is going to change soon. (Fear not -- if I start a teaching blog, it will be on a different site!)

Of course I would never write one of those "this is what's going on at my job" blogs, the type that gets one fired. But since getting involved in Twitter, I have plunged into the world of teaching philosophy, methods for teaching English as a foreign language, and have discovered fabulous websites and blogs by teachers who are not counting their work hours.

I want to be part of all that -- again. I realize that while teaching here in France, I have built very French-style walls around my work life and home life. And it's been for the best of all possible causes: being available for my daughters. But they are increasingly doing their own thing, and with that void, my passion for teaching has returned big-time.

It was never really lost, it was just left at work when I went out the door in the evening.

Now it's with me all the time, the way it used to be in my pre-family days when I was teaching in an American high school.

My mind is elsewere these days -- and it feels great.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Betty and Loulou's adventures, Part 3

A new, cozy and colorful salon de thé called "La Toile Cirée

(2014 Post-script: La Toile Cirée is now closed)

Until the day before she came, I was ever so excited about Loulou's visit to Rodez, planned for the 10th and 11th of November.

Then Rodez went weather-crazy, as it is known to do.

I had to go into town on Monday the 9th: the wind was whipping, it was pouring sheets of rain, and it was just oh-so-barely over freezing. I also found out that Chez Marie, the cheese merchant/restaurant that Loulou really wanted to try out, was going to be closed for those two days.

"This is a terrible idea," I started to think. "She's going to hate Rodez" -- who doesn't when the weather gets so dreadful? "She's going to freeze to death."

Well, she did freeze, although not to death, but my other dire predictions did not come true.

The weather was downright chilly, true, but we were able to warm up over hot chocolate at a new salon de thé that I had never been to. And Loulou liked Rodez, calling it "sophisticated" (!) and well kept-up.

(Shadows in the Rodez cathedral; photo courtesy of Loulou)

Rodez does have its dark, gloomy side, as we discovered in the shadows of Notre Dame de Rodez. And I learned that it is mossy. Being from the Pacific Northwest, I had never noticed the moss, but Loulou pointed it out to me. Yep, it's there.

She even claims that cattle she had seen as she was driving up had moss growing on them, but my husband and I are still waiting for photographic proof on that one!

Speaking of photos, I suffered two camera malfunctions, one on each day, so I don't have much to show for her visit -- but take a look at her blog for a lovely shot of Le Trou de Bozouls, which is ten minutes from where we live.

Loulou, thanks for braving the elements and making the your way to Aveyron!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Wordless Wednesday 71

(Photo courtesy of DAPHNE Jouanneteau)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Use of a Flickr photo for online guide -- what do you think?

My "selected" photo of Fort Worden State Park

The funny thing is, I'm not that crazy about this photo anyway: I certainly could have done without all of the cars in the foreground!

But nevertheless, this photo somehow got noticed by an online map/guide system called Schmap. And a few weeks ago, I got an email notification that one of my Flickr photos had been chosen as a finalist for inclusion in "the newly released ninth edition of our Schmap Seattle Guide."

The email clearly asked for my permission to eventually use the photo in the guide; the terms were clearly explained. Without much thought, and fully knowing that Schmap was a professional venture, I answered positively.

Well, today I found out that my photo "has been selected for inclusion" in the guide, and it is visible here online, and I can even see here what it looks like on Schmap's iPhone version.

And now I must admit I feel a little funny about the whole thing.

Don't get me wrong: Schmap was totally up-front and did everything right. Despite the slightly inflated language, they never presented their venture as some sort of veiled contest; everything was explicitly laid out in due form, and I did indeed give them permission to use my photo.

But should I have?

The question is not "my photo" as such. My thought is not that "maybe they should have paid me for it" -- I'm far from a professional photographer. But I am wondering if maybe they should have paid someone else for it -- or for something better.

What do you think? With so many photos floating around on Flickr, is this just the wave of the future and no big deal? Or by surrendering my rights to this modest photo, did I somehow contribute to undermining the work of professional photographers?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

General update, sans photo

I don't have much inspiration for a photo-related post this weekend, so I thought I would just do a quick update on some of my news.

1. My globe-trotting daughter got in, at the last minute, on a one-week school exchange trip to Ireland. French schools are big on orgnizing trips to other European countries, and my girls have taken a total of five so far: Scotland, England, Ireland, Spain and Germany. She had a great time but today is homework catch-up day, which is the downside of going on a trip where the whole class is not involved.

2. I was in Paris for work on Tuesday and Wednesday and since I had the rare occasion to spend the night, I took the chance to finally meet up with Leesa from News from France! We were definitely not in blogging mode as we took no pictures of food or each other -- I didn't even have my camera with me as it meant extra weight to drag around in Paris. But we had a great evening together and I thank Leesa and Alex for their hospitality.

3. I may be blogging here less, but I am as active as ever online. Spurred on by some summer reading, I am doing a lot more work on my English classes and discovering all sorts of new materials and even a whole new way to teach that I am experimenting with, at least partially.

4. This year I finally signed up as a student at the Rodez Ecole de Musique, and I am taking harpsichord lessons. It is a fun new challenge but is also keeping me busy, busy, busy.

5. Finally, I don't want to go into any medical detail on this, but my dear father has been very ill and hospitalized and/or in acute care since about the beginning of September -- shortly after we left the USA. We have hopes he can come home in a few weeks. The general upshot is progress, but very slow progress. Please give him a thought.

So you can see, readers, that life is very full at the moment. I know I haven't been faithfully commenting on a lot of your blogs, but I very much appreciate those of you who take the time to comment here.

Bon dimanche à tous!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A new angle on Rodez

Rodez se réveille

Even though I drove my eldest daughter to her high school on the outskirts of Rodez every morning for two years, and I've driven myself to my job in Rodez's new business district for many more, I've never really gotten a feel for downtown Rodez in the early morning.

I love how the few open shops stand out as the sun rises

Now that my eldest daughter has an apartment in the hyper-centre, and my youngest goes to a high school that is also right in town, I'm led at times to come into town quite early, around 7:15 or so.

It's a different Rodez, one with many free parking spaces, subtile shades of light -- and residents! Living outside of town, I usually thought of downtown more as a place to shop and not so much a place to live.

Sure, I saw that above every shop were apartments, but the notion of people living up there was abstract -- after all, when I was in town these town center inhabitants always mixed in with the crowd.

Now I see them scurrying about: employees rushing to catch the shuttle bus to go to work in Bourran, where I work, and schoolkids hulking their huge backpacks through the pedestrian district. On Mondays and Fridays, when the internes (boarders) arrive and leave, a number of students are also dragging suitcases.

Looking up from where I park on early-morning apartment runs

This year is a different life, and Rodez has become a different world to me.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cooking Blues

Mini fondants au chocolat cooked in my blue ramequins

No, this is not another half-whine, half-mourn about how sick of cooking I am. This is actually a response to a tag. Well, let's say a tag I invited myself into because I've been such a lame blogger that the tagger, my dear friend Loulou thought of tagging me but figured I'd be too uninspired to carry through!

Now there's a challenge that would revive any blogger...

The original tag from Croque-Camille
was "find seven blue objects in your house and do a little show and tell." Loulou took this one step beyond in her lovely post and showed all sorts of blues in and around her village.

If I lived where she does, I might do that too. But here in Aveyron, things are a little greyer, or pinker, or just plain colorless. However, blue is my favorite color and I figured I could find seven objects just from my kitchen...and revive some food photos at the same time.

My, there are four blue objects in this photo alone:

  1. A mug from who knows where, containing a type of individually-served Mexican rice salad from the days when I was doing imaginative cooking
  2. A plate from a set that my husband picked up at the local Leclerc supermarket
  3. A napkin that goes with a tablecloth set I bought in Avignon -- these are generally reserved for company, so maybe I brought them out to offset:
  4. The unmatched utensils, including a blue teaspoon that goes back many years!

I've got at least two blue things here, maybe even three if you count that my shirt as reflected in my blue stove looks blue. I picked up the colander at a supermarket too -- one can find a lot of nice kitchen objects in French hypermarchés.

I could go on and on, as about half of the things in my kitchen are blue.

What about you? Where do you have "the blues?" Feel free to play...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Adieu, Cuisine Quotidienne


There are two activities I am really sick of right now: cooking and laundry.

Now I never ran a blog about laundry, so that poses no online-life issues. But I did write a cooking blog for nearly four years -- and over the summer, I realized I just had to let it go.

My terse, virtually commentless farewell post on the site itself bears witness to how out of steam I am on the subject. But what I didn't say there is that the problem isn't really blogging -- although I am going through a dry spot there too -- the problem is cooking.

I will have been living in France for twenty years come next April, and as another expat friend with a similar background said to me a few months back: "Let's face it -- we've done one heck of a lot of cooking."

I've mastered the basics of French cuisine; I've thrown dinner parties that took me a day of planning and shopping followed by another day of cooking; I've prepared meal plans and shopping lists to correspond to particular recipes; I've worried too much about what my husband and family would all like to have on their plates.

Been there and done that now.

I don't know about my friend, but cooking-wise, I'm burnt out.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

All I want is a room with a view

(Not the best light, but I couldn't wait to post this picture...)

And now we have one. Okay, my eldest daughter has one -- and more than a room. She is gradually moving into a darling, old, one-bedroom apartment right in the center of Rodez.

A year ago, we weren't expecting her to end up in Rodez for university. But various factors led to that decision, and we all couldn't be more pleased. Eldest daughter is thrilled to be going to a small university, because she has heard plenty of horror stories about Toulouse Le Mirail, which is the closest university besides Rodez that offered her chosen major.

The apartment is a bonus, in a way, but when faced with buying third car, having her do a 34 km commute every day, and her having nowhere to go during her big breaks in her schedule, the downtown living quarters appeared as an obvious choice. Besides, maybe it's my American background, but I like the idea of students gaining some independence.

My youngest daughter, back from the USA, has of course bought into the concept heart and soul. Her high school is less than a five-minute walk from the place, so she will stay there a few nights a week when transport, or the notoriously late French school days, pose a problem for us.

(Downtown Rodez abounds in funky, hidden courtyards. We get to look out on this one.)

And another great thing: Mom has unlimited access to the place! So now I finally get to use a little pied-à-terre in town. I won't be there constantly or anything, but at times it is going to be very practical.

A new chapter is opening up in our lives, and it's coming at a good time. I feel like I need a little change of routine -- and it's so fun to be a part of Rodez's inner sanctums.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Good-bye to this

As every year, it takes me a little time to settle in to life in Aveyron after a summer in the Pacific Northwest.

Olympia, in all its calm yet funky glory, had never looked more charming to me than it did this summer. Was it the resolutely warm weather, or just the mood I was in?

Perhaps knowing that my daughter had spent a whole school year there made me look at my home town with a fresh eye. I wrote this post about leaving her behind there exactly one year ago, and it does seem like all year long, I had Olympia on my mind.

Now it's la rentrée, and time for new experiences here in Aveyron. My youngest will start a new, French high school; my eldest will start la faculté here in Rodez. My husband and I both have plenty of work lined up, and hope to do a little better on the social side than last year.

Good-bye for now, Olympia.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I'm home, she's home, we're all home

At some point, in the wee hours and far too shortly before we left Olympia, my youngest daughter's accumulated "stuff" was looking like this.

It was just as well I was asleep.

But we made it home, our full allowance of 8 suitcases in tow:

Departure from my parents' garage

28 hours later, this accumulation of sweatpants, T-shirts and other accoutrements of American teenage life was neatly packed in our utility trailer that had been stored in Toulouse:

And, most importantly, she's home:

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Signing off for the summer

It was difficult to find an image for this final post of the year. (Don't worry, I think in school years!) So what more fitting photo than my place of work, which I said my summer good-bye to on Friday?

On Monday I'll be staying in a hotel in Toulouse to catch an early flight to Frankfurt, then Seattle. It will be the first time since 1990 that I will have made the trip alone. But she is already there, and she is staying behind with papa for a few weeks before the four of us will be reunited in the USA in late July.

I usually manage to do some blog posting over the summer, at least here where anything can happen -- although nothing has been happening of late. But I think I'm going to take advantage of my summer respite to rethink my blogging, although I may write a few retrospectives on Cuisine Quotidienne, which is breathing its last.

Come September, I will likely be writing only one blog -- certainly this one.

In the meantime, I hope to catch up with you and do some blog reading...and I'll certainly remain active on my Twitter page.

A great summer to all! Bon été!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday 66...

...with a good reason for being one day late!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Joyeux anniversaire, ma chérie

As you know, I don't post a lot of personal pictures on this blog. But I did want to celebrate my eldest's 18th birthday with you.

Today is the big day, but we started the festivities yesterday evening with a mini family celebration -- having a drink at a lovely new wine bar/restaurant that is located right behind the Rodez cathedral.

The eighteenth birthday is a big deal here in France. There is no concept of "sweet sixteen," and 18 is the year when kids officially become "majeurs," or adults, and can do about anything -- vote, drive, and work without restrictions.

It also often corresponds to the year kids take the Baccalaureate exam, and this is the case for my daughter. That's also why her major fête d'anniversaire won't be until July the 3rd. There's just too much studying to do for now!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Colors of Colmar

This year it was my turn to go to the national convention of the organization I work for, and I couldn't be more delighted that it was held in Colmar, Alsace.

I only found out about the possibility of going two weeks ago, and I must admit that at first glance the travel plans were daunting. Flying from Rodez to Paris, then Paris to Strasbourg, then take a taxi or public transporation into the Strasbourg train station, then take a train to Colmar? All of that sounded pretty complicated, and would have left quite the carbon footprint behind.

I opted for two night trains for the Paris-Rodez leg, and did the whole trip by train. Luckily there was one night in a hotel involved in between, even though I love night trains and sleep soundly on them.

Unfortunately, my photos didn't turn out very well, as they were taken quickly with my small camera as I rushed off on foot to and from the convention. So I won't post any more here -- I just wish I had been able to truly capture the city's vibrant colors. They amazed me at every turn.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I just get home, and then I leave again...

"I just get home, and then I leave again,
It's long ago and far away..."

("Departure Bay," Elvis Costello and Diana Krall)

Tomorrow I turn the calendar to June -- and panic strikes. Where did the school year go? What happened to all of those home projects I had promised I would get done this year, to the vows to see friends more often, to my New Year's Resolutions, to my eldest daughter's last year of high school?

Time has happened. And, as usual, I'm facing June with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Excitement because it's a fun time of year in France -- lots of social events, concerts, generally nice weather, late light. All the ingredients are there to make it a kicking time.

But at the end of this whirl of gaiety is a plane ticket for the USA, July 7th to August 20th. Of course that's wonderful news. I'll be seeing my family, and, most importantly, I'll be seeing my youngest daughter for the first time in over 10 months, which will be a great joy.

Yet, so much remains to be done. My oldest daughter is taking her Baccalaureate exam, her driving exam, and looking for an apartment in Rodez for her studies next year. Correction: I will be looking for the apartment.

At this time of year, I start to feel like I'm being squeezed through an hourglass.

The song lyrics above used to remind me of going "home" to Olympia, but this year, they could just as well apply to coming "home" to Aveyron. It seems like I just got back, and it's time to leave again.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wordless Wednesday 63

(Photo courtesy of Thierry Jouanneteau.)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tooting my own horn

Angela in Europe recently bestowed the above blogging award to me. I might quarrel a bit with the deformation of the word "awesome," but I'll take any award I can get at this time of flagging participation in the blogosphere!

In fact, I could perhaps even pontificate about the word itself, which my USA daughter probably now utters in every other sentence, peppered with at least two "like"s. But be that as it may.

These are the rules, which I obviously will not follow to the letter, or even to the sentence:

List 7 Things That Make You Awe-Summm!
Pass It On To 7 Bloggers Who Are Awe-Summm!
Be Sure To Tag Your Awe-Summm Bloggers To Let Them Know!
Then Link Back To The Queen That Tagged You

There's certainly no shortage of exclamation points in those directions! Let's go!

Angela interpreted the first point as referring to blogging only, but since I have been a pretty lame blogger of late, I'm taking it to be just about ME (or HER, in her case.) I'm feeling good so I should be able to find 7 things that make me awe...some, although I would have trouble doing as much about my blog!

1. I have two absolutely fabulous daughters, and I can safely say that their teenage years have been a joy.

2. I adjusted well to life in France -- in the pre-Internet age when I didn't have many fellow expats to vent and gripe to.

3. I turned away from any number of extremely lucrative career paths in order to follow my professional vocation, and I'm still following it.

4. I do some professional writing practically every weekday evening. I don't talk much about it here, but it's quite a feat of organization.

5. I know quite a bit about a lot of different types of music, although my tastes are too eclectic to be an expert in any one genre.

6. I get angry in French only.

7. I stay in touch with a lot of people from my past, and did even before the digital age.

I'm not going to tag anybody, but if you don't know what to blog about this week, try writing some positive things about yourself. My experience in France has been that not that many other people are going to say these things to you!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wordless Wednesday 62

(Photo courtesy of Thierry Jouanneteau)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Unbearable Lightness of Tweeting

I am getting so used to writing in spurts that getting up a real blog post seems like a major operation. Devolution or evolution? We'll see.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Spring, finally, in many senses

(All photos courtesy of Thierry Jouanneteau)

After wailing and moaning about our awful spring weather, both on this blog and any other available online platforms, I am happy to announce to you that spring appears to have finally arrived in Aveyron. So I'm done complaining now. Thanks for listening.

Of course, it's officially been spring here, like everywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere, long it's depressing, so let's not go back there. But in a meteorological sense, this is the week when I stopped wearing a coat to work, when we started to sleep with the windows open, and when the yard became a nice place to spend time, rather than a pit of weed-infested despair.

I've noticed, however, that in a botanical sense, spring always seems to come late to our village and somehow even later to our house. Lilacs and iris have been blooming like crazy all over our neighbors' yards, but ours have just come out.

And trees definitely take their time around here too. The photo below was taken in our village last year on May 1st, and you can see that the leaves are not quite out on a lot of the trees. As I write, some of the trees in our yard are just filling out, too.

In a psychological sense, I think perhaps I don't get my spring burst of energy until the days start to get significantly longer. It isn't getting dark now until past 9:00pm, and suddenly I need less sleep and am able to stay up later. That in itself makes life cheerier.

And in a professional sense, I am finished with grading papers and my classload is quite a bit lighter.

Finally, in a family sense, it's only two months now until I see her, but I do have to help get her through the strenuous Baccalaureate exam. But that will have to be a subject for another post. Let's keep this one upbeat! Especially since things have clouded over since I started writing it...

Sunday, May 03, 2009

My typical morning -- and is there anything French about it?

The best place to find ideas for posts these days seems to be other people's blogs, so when Marjorie of Interior Designs and My Inner French Girl posted about her typical day, I took the bait.

In fact, I think I can go one step beyond and milk three posts from this concept. Of course, her post got me thinking about my typical day, but also whether there was very much French about it. So let's see about that, starting with the morning:

6:00: Alarm rings; I hop out of bed, get the coffee running and do a few quick household tasks.

6:10: Computer time. I check my emails, then log into MSN to chat with my daughter in the USA.

6:40: I wake my other daughter up (this action is often repeated at least twice, but I won't bore you with the details) and get her breakfast table prepared.

6:45-7:25: A chaotic combination of continuing MSN exchanges with USA daughter, getting ready for work, and checking out the day's organizational plan with the other family members. I continue to drag my coffee cup around with me until the last possible minute.

7:25: Leave the house with my daughter, whom I drop off at her lycée on the way to work

7:45: Post some snail mail and/or deliver a few administrative papers for my husband

7:55: Arrive at work and head to my office

8:00: Start my working morning, which could include anywhere from one to four hours of class, or no class at all -- in the latter case, it's just office work and class preparation and correction.

10:15-10:30: If I have a full morning of class, this is break time, which may consist of drinking coffee with a colleague, but also might be spent answering emails, making phone calls, or photocopying for work

10:45: If I don't have a full morning of class, this is coffee break time -- which has inexplicably gotten later and later -- in my school's staff room. I always keep some crème liquide in the work fridge so I can "have it my way." I also try to avoid snarfing down the almost daily spread of cakes and pastries.

After the coffee break: Back to work until lunchtime -- but that will have to wait until next week's post.

Looking over this morning routine, it seems to me quite similar to my former morning routine as a high school teacher in the USA, except for then I got up more like 5am and got to work by 7am. There's definitely no café au lait or croissants in my French morning, unless some of the latter show up in the staff room -- in fact, I just added that photo to keep you reading!

I've kept my "drink several coffees, drag them around the house, occasionally lose the mug" habit from my American life. And leaving myself a little computer time in the morning doesn't seem French at all -- none of my colleagues seem to look at the period before work as a time to get anything done, except, well, getting ready for work.

The fact that I drive my daughter about 10 miles to go to school is, however, while not exactly "typically French," at least a result of the French school transportation system.

School buses are subsidized but not free, and the many stops they make combined with the long French school day (8am-5pm/6pm for my daughter) contributed to our decision to provide our own transportation to school. I wouldn't do it if I didn't work in the same town as my daughter's high school, and it has proven to be a nice time to communicate...and listen to music together!

Tune in next week for my typical afternoon!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Very brief break

I'm "recovering" from a couple of weeks of overwork, and won't be doing my usual post for FP this weekend -- unless this one counts!

Bon dimanche à tous!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Enough already!

(The world from my window, April 20, 2009, 9:00 am)

Bitching and moaning about the weather are not among my priorities for this blog. But the weather-related blues have hit a critical point here in Aveyron.

It's not just me. I've seen my colleagues grit their teeth every morning as they say, "Oui, ça va, à peu près..."

Last night I went to one of my favorite restaurants and since I was the first in my party to arrive, I chatted with the owner for a few minutes about, what else? The lousy, depressing weather. The place has a lovely outdoor terrace that they can't wait to open...someday...

The minimum temperature in Rodez tonight is supposed to be not quite 34° Fahrenheit -- that's one meager degree Celsius, which may well mean freezing here where we live.

This is not simple complaining about April showers that will bring May flowers. Let's look at the facts. We got our first snowfall in late October this year, and it snowed again early this week, not only on the Aubrac plateau, but in some of the outlying areas of Rodez.

I was happy to move here to Aveyron, to an area with "real seasons." But half a year of winter wasn't in my meteorological plans.

Enough already!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday 57

(Click on photo to enlarge -- it's worth it!)