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!)

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Grand Getaway

Beautiful blues everywhere

As the rain beats down on Aveyron, I'm fondly thinking about my somewhat sunny three days spent with a friend and fellow blogger in the Minervois. This major wine-growing area is less than a three-hour drive from here, yet I have never really visited it.

My partner in crime -- notice the Perrier. So don't go thinking we were drinking it up or anything!

An interesting aspect of this type of weekend is that both the guest and the host feel like tourists. I of course was getting to know the region, while my friend got to "play the tourist" and visit some places she had never been, such as the stunning Abbaye de Fontfroide:

Columns fashioned out of local marble in the cloisters of the Abbaye de Fontfroide

I enjoyed checking out Narbonne, a medium-sized town that is the sous-préfecture of the Aude department. I guess it's about as big as Rodez -- but the resemblance ends there:

Colors abound in Narbonne

I also fell in love -- no, nothing that exciting. Let's just say I really took to the village of Bages (also the locale of my last Wordless Wednesday post.)

The charming village of Bages

There's so much I could say --I loved this much-needed getaway: three days filled with intriguing visits, great conversation, delicious food, and nice wines (okay, so we didn't just drink Perrier)

My stay ended after lunch at a wonderful crêperie (La Table Bretonne) near the cathedral in Béziers, a fascinating but somewhat decrepit city that is one of the stranger places I've visited in France:

Creepy shutters above a large, thriving bookstore in Béziers

Béziers has plenty of crumbling architecture and bizarre storefronts -- call it my kind of town!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The one who stayed behind

Ok, that's not France. That's Neil's Yard in London, but, especially, it's a picture of my eldest daughter: the one who is studying like a fiend to pass her Baccalaureate exam, the one who shares the ride into work/school in Rodez every day with me, the one...who is here.

I haven't wanted to post a lot of family photos on this blog, but since I have written a few times about our younger daughter who is living in the USA this year, I thought I should at least introduce you to the one who stayed behind.

She's in Spain right now, on a school chorus trip, and my husband has gone along as a chaperone and orchestra member. So I have had the strange experience of starting my own one-week vacation alone.

I think it is the first time I have been on my own in France for a night since this daughter was born. I've had a quiet day...but that will change soon as I am going off on a little adventure of my own!

I'll keep you posted!