Tuesday, November 30, 2010

French, or Mexican ?

Time : 8:39 pm

Location : the couch

Weather : warm, but rainy :(

Today felt so long.

I did not sleep well last night because I had a tummy ache.

Leading to me not being able to fully wake up this morning, and plus, I still had a tummy ache.

I had zero energy until well past ten when I finally dragged myself out for a run. I was tired, but it definitely helped get me going. I soon left the house again to go for a walk. I really like walking, but unfourtunately, it started to rain on me.

I made lentils today. Sure I made them a couple hours early, but I had nothing to do and I really wanted to try it out.

Come supper time it turned out that I made them wrong. I used the pressure cooker, like I was supposed to, but I steamed them instead of boiling them. No big deal, I just boiled them for ten minutes then they were good enough to go. Now I know how to make lentils. And they are so delicious. I want to know why we don’t eat them much at home.

I feel as if lentils are a French food. Not really though, they make me think more of Mexico and of corn. The reason I kind of feel like they’re a French dish is because while I was cooking them, one of the renovation guys asked me what I was making, then made a comment about French cooking. It was more implying I was cooking French. Awesome.

I would like you all to know that I am a master of driving standard. I can drive in reverse, stop on hills (and start again without stalling) and do anything I need to. 100% Master, am I of the stick. Gotta love Yoda. I would also like you to know that it did not take me two weeks to get the hang of it. I pretty much had it after a couple days of practice, I just kept forgetting to say so.

Something that you don’t see in Canada, or at least where I live, are policemen at the elementary school. Every day. Yes, they are there every day after school to make sure that nobody steals the children. Which is nice I guess. However, none of the kids walk home alone anyways, all of their parents come.

I would also like to note that I am the youngest person there and stick out like a sore thumb. Mainly because I’m not wearing a parka.

I did not take any photos today sadly.

And I have nothing left to comment about.

Short short short entry!


8:50 pm

Monday, November 29, 2010

"where are you going?", "I dont know" .

Mt. Saint-Victoire
Time : 10:35 pm

Location : I claim this chair.

Weather : about 5 C. It was super nice out though today!!

Mmmmmmm today was so wonderful!!


I really wanted to try my hand at making some crepes, so I did. I found the simplest recipe on the internet (to assure that we had all the ingredients) and tried it out. 1 cup of flour, 1 cup milk, 1 egg, I eyeballed the vanilla, (hence them being tasty) and threw in some sugar. The recipe said nothing about sugar or vanilla, but I know they’re tasty!! Haha

The Bounty
So, my crepes didn’t turn out. Well they did, just more like pancakes than crepes. About the time I finished flipping the last one onto my tinfoiled stack, the reno guys had finished early for the day (some kind of complications or something??) and so we all left. Them in their truck, I went by foot.

This tree should be in one of
my backyards

I walked out of town the way that I run by. I headed up into the hill where I also run. This is all on the same route. I saw the lovely Mt. Saint-Victoire and many beautiful sights as you will see by the photos.

While walking I pondered a lot. Mainly reminisced of other past adventures I have been on in recent years. It was very nice. I was very happy walking and thinking to myself how lucky we are that the world is so beautiful.

Lunch Time

I made it to Narnia about an hour later (I was taking my time). Narnia is the name I have given that one particular spot of interest where there just so happens to be a Luynes town limits sign. Right in that area there is a T intersection and a small bridge so that the train can pass underneath. Being not European and thinking that train tracks are barely used, I thought about climbing down and crossing to sit on the opposite side.

Thankfully due to poor foot wear (flats) and treacherous terrain, I stayed on this side of the tracks. I made camp off the road where I was able to kind of swing my legs off of a kind of ledge. Not ten minutes later the first of nearly half a dozen trains went by in the following 15-20 minutes. It was around Noon to be fair.

I proceeded to chow down on my wonderful picnic I packed. It included some coffee (of course), the “crepes”, Nutella to go with, and a homemade fruit salad I cut up for something fresh. It was so delicious. I very much enjoyed it.

I sat there for about an hour and a half. I munched, wrote, gazed.

I felt like I was in ODS again, kind of. I had my backpack (and noted that other than a notebook and writing utensils, a waterbottle (not filled with water), a sit upon and sunglasses, I was missing next to all my Daily Essentials) and had headed off on my own little adventure, just like a Solo. I got there, did my little set up camp thing, once I chose my location and then I ate and thought. The thinking part is very key. I don’t think we realised it, but we learned to really think and get in tune with ourselves when we would go on those solos. At least I did. I enjoyed this moment(s) today quite a bit, if you can’t already tell.

 On the trek back, which somehow took almost the same amount of time even if I had drank all the coffee and really had to pee, I thought about a chapter in Sophie’s World that I had read.
Countryside.. while kind of still
being in town..

The chapter reflected on the idea that children and philosophers see the world differently than adults. The difference being that children and philosophers are (and allow) themselves to constantly look at the world a new and be amazed in all it’s beauty, wonders and world-ness (I lack a better word, or word at all). Whereas adults (no specification on when Adulthood is reached) are no longer as amazed by the wonders since they have already seen them.

Some of you know that in the morning times, while sitting at the breakfast table, I sometimes spurt incredible quotes of out no where. I don’t know if this is because I am still half asleep, or it is my truly brilliant mind just doing it’s thing. Anyway, this little view from Sophie’s World made me remember one of my quotes :

Today’s vision is blinded by the everyday.

Cool eh? I thought so.

When I got back I did some cleaning and home stuff. I had that nice fiery sensation on my skin that you get from being outdoors for hours, just knowing you’re full of freshness, and I itched for another walk. Not having much time before I had to fetch Lou, I made a quick jaunt to the post office, for the obvious reason, and returned, then left.

Actually an intense down hill

We got to theatre class, I hung out in the “lobby” and read more of Sophie’s World. A man pointed to the book and said “That’s hard.” I don’t know if he was referring to the contents of the book or to the fact that I had it paired with a French English Dictionary (I like to learn ok?). Either way, I agreed.

Sky was playin games

Getting home was well, kind of interesting. I made the same mistake as last week and went down the wrong highway. Luckily I knew what I was doing (funny idea; making a mistake but knowing what you’re doing) and got us back on track. All I need to do is learn the way home that doesn’t take half an hour.

The rest of the evening went on as usual; play, bath, (this is for Lou), supper, clean up, chill (aka do my photos and Blog, and email, and chat, oh boyyyyy) and go to bed.

Time to add photos and get sleep.

These legs are tired.


11:02 pm

I don't think these homes have changed
for centuries

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Jerusalem Artichokes.

Time : 9:30pm

Location : that wonderful chair.

Weather : inside it’s a little hazy due to me burning some nuggets..

I don’t know why people like sleeping in. it always makes me feel yucky. I slept in until 10am this morning (oh my!). And it made me feel yucky. To be fair though, nobody else in the house was up much earlier. I had made a perfectly timed entrance to breakfast.

Following, I worked more on The Project. No worries, this is not the same kind of Project as in Linkin Park. (please comment if you get that joke, I thought it was fairly witty)

I’m fairly pleased with this project but I am running out of material to work with. I need to go on more adventures. It better be nice tomorrow. I’ve got an idea. 
Julius Cesar
First time not on my plate

Laurence was still here, so we had a wonderful brunch again. Oysters are growing on me. Did you know, that raw oysters are even more delicious if you put a little bit of squeezed lemon juice on it before you slurp it down?! Try it!! Also, ever hear of a Jerusalem Artichoke? Neither had I. Or Marie-Anne. But she found it in the market so she bought some and cooked ‘em up just like mashed potatoes. They were way better than mashed potatoes. I found a new favourite mashed vegetable.

After lunch we headed out to a museum. We drove about an hour to Arles where we took in la Musee departemental Arles antique. Which translates into the Arles departmental antique museum. An odd name I’d say.

Arles is situated right on the Rhone river. This was a prime location for the Romans to set up civilizations over time and many artefacts have been found in the river as well as in the Mediterranean Sea into which it flows. The whole museum is dedicated to artefacts found over the last 20 years. The museum is not very old itself, being only 15 years old (1995), which I believe is a “young” museum.

There was a statue (just the head) of Julius Cesar found in the Rhone not too long ago and thus there was a little exposition about it. I didn’t think that the exposition had anything to do with him other than there was his head in one spot. I was amazed at how well it was preserved, for being found in the river especially!!

Something that we take for granted as Canadians is the fact that all our museums are bilingual; French and English. Museum language is sometimes hard to decipher as it is, but masked in another language I kind of felt like I was missing out on some things. Mainly when I had to ask Marie-Anne what a “casserole” is. Turns out it is a pan or a pot. French 1, Me 0.

We got back after 6pm and I just hung around the house, worked on some of the Project again. And tried to finish making the soup that Marie-Anne had started. Well, actually, all I had to do was stir it, but I did not know that. The vegetables that were in the process of being steamed into mush just needed to be stirred with the egg beater type machine she has, then the soup would have been actual soup. I tried mashing it up and could not for the life of me get it to the right consistency. So I left it for an hour or so, thinking the vegetables needed to be cooked more. Lou came home from her Dad’s and I started to worry that the soup was not ready. Finally I remembered the machine and two minutes later supper was served. Big deal eh? Haha

That was my day.

Hopefully I can stay up and watch a bit of the Rider game. Fingers crossed for a win!


Saturday, November 27, 2010


Time : 9:54 pm

Location : Kitchen Counter

Weather : Raining frogs, but not cold frogs.

I thoroughly enjoyed today. It was a most excellent day in the simplest way.

I got to sleep in a bit today. I could have slept well into the afternoon if I wanted to, and if it was possible for me.

I got up feelin’ pretty good. Enjoyed my breakfast nice and slow and took my time getting myself together. One of those just enjoying ‘being around’ mornings, ya know? Somewhere in between breakfast and getting ready all my energy just left. I finished getting ready, and went on to watch one of my favourite movies; Edward Scissorhands.

Quick comment: Tim Burton is probably my favourite director. Granted he is the only the director that I can say I like, because I just do. If you threw out another’s name and said “What do you think of his/her work?” I’d hafta say, “Who?”.

Long comment: Did you know that DVDs are not a universal affaire? I do now. I went to play my DVD in the DVD player, and it said something about check region code. I had no idea what meant, but I am also really bad at getting DVD players to work for some reason. So I tried another disk of mine, still no positive result. I used my laptop. Later I asked Marie-Anne what that meant, and well, apparently the world has been cut in half for DVDs (and probably other things too). She said that most DVDs from America (I’m assuming this regards all of North America and not just the States) will not play in the players here. Weird eh? And slightly inconvenient.

Marie-Anne’s friend, Laurence, is over for the weekend so she made us a lovely lunch. Lunch seems to be The Meal here. I can now say that I LOVE and have eaten Swordfish. At least I think that was what it was. Either way, very delicious. It tasted a little salty, and was very tender, nice and flaky. Excellent. I recommend you try it ever if you get the chance.

While sitting enjoying lunch, I just so happened to be gazing out of the window and I saw something wonderful: snow: tiny flakes were flowing in the wind. They melted as they hit the ground, but sure enough, there it was. My first snowfall here. Too bad it did not last and was soon replaced with a light sprinkle of rain, that also did not last.

Of course by the time we finished lunch it was well into the afternoon. I promptly headed out to Aix as I had planned once everything was cleaned up.

I think there was some kind of winter carnival going on in the downtown. There were all kinds of children’s rides on the sidewalks and squares were full of small performances and tents full of worldly crafts and goods for sale. One of the main streets had become a Christmas market (which is a bunch of generic shacks all done up and selling their Christmas doodads on the sidewalk). Along with all the wonderful food booths of cotton candy, candy apples, roasted nuts, popcorn, chocolate covered Belgian waffles, churros and many other things that were very ordinary for carnival events, and other things that I am getting the vibe are very French.

I loved walking around, taking it all in. There were so many people around all having a great time and everyone created a delightful atmosphere. I browsed through shops as well, enjoying looking at everything. I am getting very good at being a tourist.

The streets, wet from the rain, made all the night lights, Christmas lights and traffic lights reflect and created a gorgeous scene as the sun set.

I met up with Marie-Anne and Laurence at Le Cezanne to watch Les Petits Mouchoirs (Little Tissues, literally.). Since it is a French movie, and I doubt anyone reading this blog is going to see it anytime soon, I’ll give a quick run down. So, if you are planning on seeing it, spoiler alert begins here. Next paragraph will be safe for your eyes. So, it was about eight friends, all around the same age, middle aged, some with spouses, some not, some happy, some not, some changing between the two. A tragic event right before their annual summer getaway gravely injured one of the eight, making them seven on the trip. Drama ensues as past demons and memories are awakened and well, seven (plus three kids) people living together for weeks can cause a bit of stress. Everyone’s stories intertwining made it full of twists and turns. It was a fairly long, about t tow and a half hours but it did not feel long, which is a good thing.

I recommend seeing it.

After the movie we parted only to rejoin at home. The drive home was rainy and it is still rainy now.

Marie-Anne and Laurence went out for supper, and I stayed here. Content. It’s really wet and I’m wiped. All the wondrous sight seeing tired me out. Oh, and I was planning on littering this entry with more photos than pictures, but sure enough, my camera battery was dead. I did not even get one picture. Maybe I will go back tomorrow just to walk around and take photos. I think it is the last day for the carnival too.

Well, that was my day.

And to brighten some people’s day, I was unsuccessful with buying a Pink Floyd CD. Haha, I just can’t seem to find one here, which of course only makes me want one more.

That’s that way she goes, the way she goes.

Bonne nuit!


'Arry Pottere

Entry for November 26th 2010. Due to blog mal-functioning it was posted in the morning instead of the night.

Time : 11:45 pm

Location : my desk

Weather : really nice out, no wind, nice temperature. Perfect.

Today was fairly relaxing.

I went for my run pretty early, I was out the door by 8:50 am. It was a little cold, but I warmed up quickly. On the plus side, I might have to wear my insulated running tights if it somehow manages to get any colder in the mornings.

The rest of my day was really lax. I got all my stuff around the house done, checked up on some touristy things to do in Aix.

I found a copy of When Harry Met Sally in the living room and was feeling really tired so I popped it in and snuggled in with a cup of tea. It was really good. I found it rather sad actually. Of course by the end it was happy, but just the whole movie seemed sad. Good storyline though. I’d recommend it. Also, I think Billy Crystal played Miracle Max in the Princess Bride. They have the exact same voice.

Apart from taking Lou her bag of sleepover things to school at 4:30pm, that was pretty much most of my day for that portion of the day. I did walk around town as per usual. Unfortunately nothing interesting happened or was bothering my sinuses.

Once the evening came on I headed off to Aix to go see Harry Potter 7. I was 100% certain of the route, I go to the theatre and everything was alright. Only thing was, I was still in my car. The street that was full of parking spaces when we went to a movie a week or so ago was now full to the brim. I somehow forgot that we went on a Tuesday and this was a Friday. It took me quite some time to find a parking spot. I ended up parking underground. There is this HUGE underground parkade that is 5 levels underground. I’ve never been so far underground in a vehicle. I don’t think I have at least.

Luckily there was barely a line up at the ticket booth, and to even help the matter more, some guy opened a register right when I got there so I only had to wait for one person to buy a ticket then I was in the cinema. Excellent timing.

I won’t say much about the actual movie to avoid a spoiler. But I will say that I really enjoyed it. If you know me, I really get into movies. I was sitting on my hands, hands covering my eyes so I couldn’t see, hands covering my whole face (I don’t know why..), hands over my ears! I was on the edge of my seat, flinging myself back in relief and laughing at myself for being frightened of something not frightening at all. The woman beside me, who was with her little children, spent more time looking over at me to make sure I was ok than at her own kids.

Something I had not thought of was Harry Potter is supposed to be full of all these different accents. English, Irish, Scottish, other places. It is actually a very worldly film, if you think about all the characters. That was lost in the French translation of it. (Yes the movie was in French). Harry and Ron sounded like they came from the same place, as did Hermione. Which was kind of too bad, but really, what are you going to do? I never considered that the different accents would be lost in the translation.

I made it home A-OK. No wrong turns, not missing exits. A-OK.

Thus, here I am, typing my lil’ day away.

And done and away it is.

Good Night!

12:05 AM

Thursday, November 25, 2010

somebody buy me a map

Time : 9:29 PM

Location : my very own desk in my very own room.

Weather : raining again... no snow :(

Today was very, very promising.

(Ok, we need to note, that I take Lou to school everyday except weekends and Wednesday. Just remember W., I don't like starting the same way everyday; Once Lou was at school . . . )

So, I was going to yoga today. That was the big thing of my day. Finally starting to get something going on other than around here.

I puttered around the house, cleaning and what not until I had to leave. I knew the route perfectly because it was the way to Monday night theatre classes. No way was I going to mess this one up. Now, somebody please tell me how I missed The Exit.

You may have noticed that I capitalized The and Exit. It is because it is The Exit. The Last Exit for many, many kilometres. So many kilometres in fact that I would up in the next town (and somehow not the one I went to on Monday when I got semi-lost coming home form theatre, going in the same direction). So many kilometres that I wound up driving around for an hour and half trying to navigate in an area that is still so foreign and confusing. I really miss living on a grid. I am never going to London.

can you feel my pain?
I was so lost, that I thought I was in another town. So lost that I thought I was in numerous other towns. So lost that I did even know that I was actually right where I wanted to be; in Aix-en-Provence. Most likely 2 minutes away from my destination, but I was too lost to know.

Please don't worry, I am not writing this from an internet cafe somewhere down town in I don't know which town. I made it home.

I was frazzled. Well, not really. But I really, really wanted to go to yoga. And this place looked so promising. Now I have to research more places.

I was discussing French man holes with a certain someone and they thought they were speed bumps. I thought otherwise since I know what French speed bumps look like. They are huge and have their own speed limit to boot. Turns out I was wrong about the non-man-hole-speed-bumps. They are indeed speed bumps. I walked by some today, the ones I always walk by, drive over and run on, and photograph, and I noticed right beside them a couple of man holes. Now this leads me to wonder if that speed bump with its own speed limit is indeed a speed bump. So many things to discover here!

It rained again today.

I really wish it would just drop a couple degrees so it can snow. And then maybe a couple more degrees so the snow stays. I feel like this is asking too much.

Also, I can not remember if I commented on it yesterday, but really, people here need to learn when to wear a parka and when not to. 2C at 8am in the morning is not cold enough to wear a parka. A second jacket, yes. As in a blazer or light coat. But nothing more. Scarves are acceptable. If you question it, it is too much. Rule of thumb learned from band class regarding if your clothing has too much white. Hopefully nobody here is as inclined to denial and band geeks are.

On to the topic of my runs through the hill. I went into the hill (it is just one hill, not many) today, and seeing as I was some how running faster than the previous time, I went farther along the road than before. I came upon something quite odd. Here in France there are signs to tell you when you have entered and left a town/city. All it is is a sign with the name of the town on it (entering) or the same, but with a red bar through the name (exiting) They're quite handy. Anyway, I came across a sign that said LUYNES. A very small sign perked an enormous amount of curiosity. Here I was, far into what I thought was the country (a much inhabited country side might I add) and all of a sudden I was back home! Nonsense! Nonsense not at all actually. I followed it and I wound up back home in five minutes. I was disappointed. I now had to run almost ten minutes out of town and then back so that I would have fulfilled my running desire. It was the weirdest thing.

It kinda of made me think of the Chronicles of Narnia for some reason..

Speaking of books, I am still reading Sophie's World (en francais). I read about a chapter at a time while I try to get Lou to do her homework. It is a nice jog for my mind. Gets it going a bit. I like it. Maybe in a couple days I will be able to make a Comment on it. haha

speed bump with speed limit
And while out for my daily walk, yes, I enjoy fresh air, the air was not all that fresh. In fact, right from the time I left the house I felt as if my lungs were not breathing clean air, and my eyes felt as if the world had gone a bit hazy. I am a very sensitive creature you know. I'll skip to the part where I discover the cause of such a disturbance. Turns out it was an old man burning leaves and what not from his fall gardening. I can't believe he got away with it.

That is all I have to report for today.

I am very much enjoying this new room and having my clothes not in a suitcase anymore. Enjoyment is to the max.

I think I will buy a Pink Floyd CD tomorrow. I need some good music to listen to in the car seeing as I end up spending so much time there.

Peace out world.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I traded Canada geese for magpies.

Time : 10:02 pm

Weather : lovely 6 C, outside. Not inside.

Location : Last time in this bed.

There was no school today. Which meant that my day was not nicely divided as it usually is. That is okay though, change is good.

I did have a major scare though. Lou and I were just playing picnic on the floor before gymnastics and I began to mentally prepare myself for the drive. I had driven the route before, but I just wanted to reassure myself. I managed to do just the opposite. I could not for the life of me remember the route. And to make things worse, I began to over work my brain and it started meddling other routes together. An example of what happened inside my brain is: a ball of yarn, nicely wound and neat, thrown around by a cat, now a lump of knots and mess, and discouraging just to look at.

In spite of a spaghetti brain, we hopped in the vehicle (I don’t think it is really a car..) and headed off. I let my senses guide me. So I closed my eyes and let my echo-location skills lead me in the right direction. We made it safe and sound. Although, after a second of echo-locating my route, I opened my eyes. Haha

Sadly I did not get to go for my run today. There were too many little things I had to get done while Lou was at gymnastics that I had no time left. Tomorrow though, tomorrow.

Quick poll; is frying chicken nuggets in butter healthier than cooking oil? I am pretty sure it, and tastier too. Well, apparently I am wrong. Guess who told me. She ate the nuggets anyways. Then made some more, and pretty much deep fried them. That is all.

I had found a children’s cinema event that is once a month and was hoping to go to that with Lou today. Too bad she did not want to go. She did not want to go to another movie either, or out for a walk. Or to make apple crisp. I think I shouldn’t ask anymore and just decide this is what is going to happen. I want apple crisp so badly right now. I wonder if they have rolled oats here in France..

The brown sugar is different. Ours is nice and moist (unless it is from our cupboard at home, then it is a hard ball, haha just jokes family) where as here its all small crystals. I feel like that would not work for apple crisp.

Highlight of the afternoon; moving all my stuff from Pierre’s old room to Alexandra’s old room. I like it better in there. I put all my stuff away in wardrobes and filled the shelves with my belongings. Although it was a very light task, I really enjoyed it. It felt good to put my stuff ‘away’.

Something exciting happened while Lou and I were hanging out in my room. A bird perched on the window sill. It looked here and there, and into the house. It hopped to and fro and pecked on the window. We went up to look at it, and it did not fly away. In fact it pecked again. So, through the window, we played with a bird. It looked like a magpie.
Caw Caw

During my run on Monday, I startled a flock of them from in a field/park. Instead of Canada geese, we have magpies. What a wonderful trade.

I ate a cannellini for the first time today. I was too excited. I’ve tried to make them for supper for the past three nights and it just did not work out. Finally, I tasted the dish. It was okay. Well, actually, it was alright. I just felt like I was eating a really poorly made lasagne.

For such a long day not much happened. This entry feels really short. And I can not find anything to comment on.

Sorry folks.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

feelin a lil topographical.

Time : 9:51 pm

Location : kitchen counter

Weather : Probably still windy at a nice 7 degrees.

I quite enjoyed today. Not as much as yesterday, but what can ya do?

I set right off to the bank today before I did anything other than drop Lou off. I need to get a bank account here. Something that I’ve noticed, that if a business’s doors aren’t already opened, you have to be buzzed in. The bank and dentist are like that. Odd eh?

I had no luck at the bank for the day, but I have an appointment on Friday. Which is good because after I talked to the woman I realized I should consult with Marie-Anne about friendly banks.

The very friendly cleaning woman came today since it was a Tuesday. We chatted a bit while she cleaned. Then I headed out for my run in the hills that I had wanted to do yesterday.

I had a very good run. I ran uphill for what seemed like forever and was kind of discouraging. I really don’t like running hills, but I also do. Its weird. Anyways, I ran forever going up. I think it took me 10 minutes to run out of town and up the hill to the top. That’s a lot of up hill. The rest was very beautiful. A rolling hill top that had me looking out into what I think is an ancient river valley that headed out to sea. And to the other side, I could see out to other hills and finally the mountain Saint Victoire. It was very beautiful. Some day when I have nothing to do and want to walk for a couple hours I’ll return and photograph.

When I thought about that ancient river valley, my thoughts once again turned towards ODS times when my group studied the Saskatchewan River Valley’s make up. We looked at many topographical maps and were able to see where other rivers had once flowed. I would really like to get my hands on one for this region. I can only imagine how interesting it would be..

Once I got home and all cleaned up, I headed out to Carrefour, one of the bigger grocery stores, like Wal-Mart, to get some items for myself. I haven’t been able to find any glue sticks in this house. And I wanted some pencil crayons.

By the time I got home, I took my time browsing around, I did not have much time. Marie-Anne said I was to make supper today and I was excited about making something grand. I keep forgetting what we have in the fridge as well as it is probably not going to help me make up my mind on what to make. I was left undecided.

Once I got Lou from school, we hung out around home waiting for Marie-Anne to return and take us to her dentist appointment. I killed some time by making a cucumber salad. I knew that Lou was not going to like how ‘saucy’ it is, but really, cucumber salad is supposed to be ‘saucy’ and sure enough she didn’t, once we ate it. Also, we don’t have any White Vinegar. Instead I used some other kind. And there was a difference. I was sniffing all the vinegars to see which one was the closest and Lou promptly directed me to the closest one. I don’t know why I trusted her. There was no way she knew what I was talking about. Anyway, it was the wrong vinegar. And very strong too. Not a good mix. Once supper came around she barely ate it. I made sure to eat two helpings right in front of her. Staring her in the eye with every bite and relishing the saucy-ness. I’m kidding about the lest sentence.

I made sure to pay oodles of attention to the route to the dentist so I could get back myself (Marie-Anne had to go back to work). Turns out it was just a straight route. No twisty turns and changing of highways. I was happy.

I resorted to some pasta as another dish for supper. Lou doesn’t eat a lot and they needed to be used up. Easy and quick. Perfect for supper after 8 pm.

And that was about it.

Oh, commentary time!! Probably more interesting than my actual day haha

- Kids with backpacks with wheels. They are all the rage. I really really really dislike them. They’re loud and completely ruin the idea of a BACKpack.

- I found out how people cook here. They either eyeball every ingredient, or they weigh it on a scale. I think measuring spoons and cups are way more efficient. Then again, everyone here is laid back.

- Cahiers; they are all supplied with really comfy looking chairs and sit. I could not imagine sitting on my bum for hours on end cashiering. The good part about standing up is that you can pace and step from side to side and change how you’re standing. Sitting and only lead to slouching that only leads to further back problems. I am not in favour.

- It is 7 C and people are wearing parkas. I may have been an icicle at 10 C, but I was sick. Now I am a heater thanks to my running. Comment : People look funny in puffy coats when I know its plus temperatures.

Commentary and entry finito.

No photos today. Sorry y’all!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Found the coffee maker.

Time : 9:41 pm

Location : My desk, oddly enough

Weather : Probably hovering a couple degrees above zero, and I am, oddly enough, not chilled to the bone. Acclimatisation?

Unlike yesterday, today was fulfilling.

The Single Rose
I got Lou off to school and I finished watching the Finale for season 1 of Glee. For those of you who don’t know what Glee is, it is a musical TV show about a Glee club and all the drama that occurs within the club and from the exterior as well. It is very interesting and, if you know me, I love musicals. It is a match made in heaven. I was half way through the Finale last night when my minutes on the internet site ran, leaving me hanging off a cliff. I had to finish today.

Very content, I went for a run. I ran to the post office and around my new route then headed out of town on a road that I drive daily and Marie-Anne recommended to run on, during the day. I had actually wanted to head up into the hills a bit on an adjacent road, but I was interested in following this path at the moment. I really enjoy going for a run with a field full of fog on my left and sheep bawing at me from some where in the hill on my right. You know I bawed back.

I did some research on driving here and permits needed. Nothing overly interesting so I’ll leave it at that.

I found the coffee maker. We can all stop worrying about my lack of real coffee here. Tea and espresso are no replacements for a good cup o’ joe in the mornin’. So, the coffee maker only made 3 full cups of coffee. And I used a tea filter instead of a coffee filter. I didn’t even know there were tea filters.. And I used espresso instead of coffee grounds. But it turned out. I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a cup of coffee so much. I was feeling very content again.

Olives + Birdfeeder =
Lunch time >:)
Then I went for a nice 20 minute walk. And I pondered. I came up with a lot of good stuff to write about today, commentary and what not, but I can not seem to recall any of it.

I found a copy of La Monde de Sophie in the toilet room today. If you’ve ever read Sophie’s World, but they’re the same book. One of those days in ODS when we were trapped in a room for hours on end, with no exposure to the outdoors sending our minds all loopy, and we were discussing the Tragedy of the Commons, I believe Sophie’s World came up in the very philosophical discussions we were having. I have been meaning to read it ever since. Now seems like the perfect time to broaden my philosophical horizons. Which is fairly unusual for me, I think. I don’t take myself for the philosophical type.

I made a water-color painting today. It is of one of the photos I took the day we went to the Mediterranean. It turned out ok. I’ve never been overly skilled at painting, or anything artsy, but I think the job I did will do. The great thing about water-color is you can always fix it later if you are so inclined.

While researching, I Googled (Microsoft Word really needs to add Google and all of it’s verbs, I’m tired of seeing red misspelling marks on my drafts) the route to Lou’s theatre class. Seeing as it was Monday, she had theatre class after school.

An explanation of the afterschool time is no longer needed. It is the after-theatre time that got interesting.

So I Googled the way there. Not the way back. Thankfully I had a map of Aix with me and the way back was pretty much exactly the same, just different side of the highway. Simple. Well yeah. Unless you’re me and somehow take the wrong exit, end up going down the highway in the opposite direction for 10 minutes (without an exit), drive through numerous unfamiliar towns, get back to Aix somehow, mostly by luck, and then take the longest way back home possible. What should have taken me 15 minutes took me 45. Atleast it made for a semi-interesting story. Marie-Anne found it amusing too. And now I know which exit to take. Everyone wins.
The Coffee Maker.

Marie-Anne soon returned home and we had a delicious supper. And now here I am. Exercising my fingers on the keyboard.

Speaking of which, tomorrow I think I will exercise my fingers on the piano. There’s some Beatles sheet music lying around that is itching to be tinkered with.

We’ll see.

Today was indeed fulfilling.

Report for today finalized.

10:04 pm

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Time : 9:14pm

Weather : once again damp, approximately 10 degrees

Location : back against the wall, sitting on my bed

Today was promising.

I woke up at 8 AM and got myself all ready to go to the airport with everyone and bid farewell to Alissa. Only to find nobody getting ready until well after 9 AM. I thought we were leaving at 10..

I guess it was only Alissa, Marie-Anne and Elisabeth who were going. I kind of wanted to go, just to get out of the house and what not. But Lola’s mom was running late with something and didn’t end up coming to get her until right when Marie-Anne returned anyways.

The house seems a little empty with out Alissa. But what can ya do about it? Exactly.

The rest of my day was not overly fulfilling. I wanted to go for a run, but obviously couldn’t do that until Marie-Anne returned. Then it was lunch. And I can’t run right after lunch, so I was going to wait a couple hours. Otherwise I’d make myself sick. And then it started to rain. Then thunder and lightening came too.

Needless to say, my day petered away.

I did start a project though. I can’t divulge he details just yet. It is a secretive project that requires my extreme skills in one department that only people in my English classes have witnessed. You all should be very excited. But not too excited, because I am still unsure as to how it will turn out. And I wouldn’t want you to be disappointed.

So my missed commenting on the Post yesterday;

As in Canada, the Post is a public service here as well, for now. Apparently there has been talk, and a bit more than just talk of the Post becoming a private affaire. I couldn’t imagine what that would do to postal services. They would no longer have to have it in every small town, many towns would thus lose the service and be extremely inconvenienced. Here you get the post delivered right to your house. None of these post boxes, like the mass amounts of them that make a little square in some neighbourhoods. So, if you happened to live in a inconveniencing spot to the service, you would now be the inconvenienced one. I also couldn’t imagine how much that would slow down the postal service. Then there would be more than one private company and I do not even want to imagine what kind of mess that would make. If I ever get a say in it here, I am fully against it. I don’t know who would be for it. Probably someone with a lot of money that wants more of it, and has the funds to start such a project.

All I can say is that my project is a lot less harmful. Or I should say, inconveniencing.

That is al for the daily report.

I look forward to tomorrow when my report will hopefully be pages long, full of all the interesting things I did.

Today was rather banal.

That sounds slightly French, because it is, but it is English. You know I Googled it.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Il tombe les cordes.

Time : 10:07 pm
Weather : Rainy. Very very rainy.
Location : switching between bedroom and living room and kitchen. Don’t know why.

Today was kind of glum.
Not overly, but just a little.
I rose feeling great and energetic. I went for a lovely half an hour run. I found a skate park and a weird jungle gym. I would have taken a photo of it but I was already loaded down with my mittens in hand. It was a little rainy, but not enough to send me back inside. Refreshing would be a word of choice.
Back inside I refreshed some more with a shower and some lovely toast and Nutella. You gotta love Nutella. I think it tastes better here. Probably more fresh. Haha.
Pierre surprised Lou and I when he randomly showed up then left with his bike. About an hour later he returned with Marie-Anne.
After lunch Lou, Marie-Anne and I headed to the largest shopping area in all of Southern France. I say area because it was a huge jumble of numerous shopping centers, box stores, a circus, a number of eating establishments and some rec centers. Lou needed shoes and clothes, I did not, but what else was I going to do today? Alissa was still really sick and I barely saw her again.
Walking around from store to store I did not see anything I wished to buy. Which was probably for the best. I did buy a chocolate bar though. My first French chocolate bar; Lion Bar. It was ok. Kinda made me think of an Oh! Henry without the peanuts. And I guess the caramel was more of a nougat. Tasty.
Once we left the last mall, we headed off into the torrential rains to get Lou’s friend, Lola, for a sleepover. The rain was incredible. On the highways where people usually drive 130 in the 110 zone, they were going 40. It was ridiculous. And the parking lots were a mess. I really want to experience snow here. I bet it would be all the chaos they say it is. People and their non-Saskatchewan driving skills.
That leads me to note that I haven’t came across any gravel roads. They’re all paved or bare dirt if it is a small road. Which I find kind of interesting seeing there is so much rock around here.
The rest of the evening was relatively calm. I’d say the biggest upsets were when I had to shuffle Lou and Lola upstairs to start bedding down. Then not five minutes later when Lou came back and demanded that I make Lola’s bed (even though they told me not 5 minutes ago that I was not obliged to come upstairs). Needless to say I am really looking forward to 10:30 when I turn out the lights.
If you are wondering what "Il tombe les cordes" means, it is a French expression for it is heavily raining. Kind of like "it is raining cats and dogs". Not at all similar, but meaning the same thing. Thanks to four years of Mme Collard teaching us french expressions, it has finally paid off. Also, "Quand les poules auront les dents", when chickens have teeth, is the same as "when pigs fly". Funny how these things work.
That was my day.
I took no photos. Too wet to photograph.
Good night!

Friday, November 19, 2010

had to ask for directions today..

like downtown Aix

Time : 9:50 pm

Location : my fave chair

Weather : better than Saskatoon’s haha. Around 10 degrees outside

Once we got Lou off to school, Alissa and I headed to Elisabeth’s to set off to Marseilles.

So pretty

It took us roughly half an hour to actually get into Marseilles. Like any large city, the city has started a ways before you actually know it. Coming in the way we did, Marseilles did not look like much. Many decrepit building littered the area, covered in graffiti with broken windows and fallen in roofs. You may be surprised to know that it’s population is a little over 800 000 but once you really look at how densely people live there, it becomes less surprising.

What also took roughly half an hour was finding a parking spot, or a parking that we could access. Finally we found some kind of parkade really close to the Old Port, which was really convenient. We walked in and out of shops that were on and off of one of the main streets in the downtown. It was a lot of fun.
slightly decrepit

When I had visited Paris a year or so ago, there were gypsies. People camped all along the highways and in parks. Pretty much anywhere they could, leaving a huge mess behind them. I thought we had came across another gypsy camp, in downtown Marseilles. I was mistaken.

If you remember anything about French history from history class, you’ll know that France loves to revolt. Now in modern times, they love to strike. I don’t know how long ago, fairly recent I believe, France decided to move their retiring ago up from 63 to 67 to match the rest of Europe. Guess how that went over. Not very well. People went on strike like crazy. Young and old. The electricity went out, internet, buses stopped, trains stopped, even the Social Security aka Police went on strike. Pure chaos. Now, these people were not gypsies. They are people who are either still on strike, or have no home left due to the strike, or were driven to poverty because they went on strike. Any mix match will be an answer. Crazy eh. People choosing street life over retiring 4 years later.

Brioche (center)

I did see some gypsies though. Don’t you worry.

We visited a church so that we could get something touristy going on in our day. The one we chose was on La Canebière and was l’Église de l'évangile. Very pretty inside and still in use. I think they all are actually. That was our last stop. Apart from one last walk along the port.

a lil sunny

After a quick stop at Elisabeth’s I headed home myself. The other two were going to Aix. I had driven to Elisabeth’s before, as well as going home. I thought I knew the way. Apparently not. I drove for 15 minutes or so, well aware that I had no idea where I was going all the while hoping that it was the right direction. In those 15 minutes I turned back and asked for directions at an Esso. Only after failing to open the door myself and let the motorcyclist behind me PUSH it open. I don’t know why I pulled.

I made it home safe and sound. Not the way I usually do, but it was direct none the less.
Looking out into Vieux Port
I just noticed the bird.

I was planning on going for a run to kill the time, but my quads were so sore and walking all this morning probably didn’t help the matter. I walked as briskly as I could around town. About 20 minutes of brisk walking and I was out of leg power and places to go.

I gathered Lou from school and we enjoyed our ritual afternoon snack at the kitchen counter. Then hung out until Alissa got home. Alissa still feeling ill, went to take a nap. She is still napping. I do not think I will be seeing her until tomorrow..

bad shot of how dense the population is.
so many houses, apartments, you name it.
Pierre randomly showed up and then left with his bike. Only to return with Marie-Anne about an hour later, with the bike. Marie-Anne made supper as she likes to do on Fridays and we all (minus Alissa who was sleeping) enjoyed a meal.

Everyone ‘did their thing’ once all was cleaned up and petered off to bed one by one.

Now it is my turn.

Once I get the photos for today up and the ones for yesterday (I was having major technical difficulties).

Good night to all. And to all who are 7 hours behind me, enjoy the rest of your afternoon, evening and night to come!

10:21 pm

La Canabiere

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Time : 8:52 pm Early, I know, but hey, Lou’s in bed!

Location : a comfy chair in the living room

Weather : not bad. Steady 11 degrees all day, maybe dropped a few by now

Today Today Today

What did I do today?

Saskatoon compared to Luynes.
Same zoom, you can barely
spot Luynes

Oh yeah, took Lou to school, as per everyday. She didn’t want the freshly squeezed orange juice that I made for her, so I drank it when I got back.

Alissa and I went on to do our daily ritual of our later breakfast. Today we experimented with toasting brioche in the toaster. Our results : Success!! The sugar in brioche (Oh, this brioche was bought. In a bag. Like wonder bread. ) made it nice and crispy and was absolutely delicious with a little bit of butter.

We hung out until she left for her French course in Aix. I could have gone along and walked around Aix, but I had other plans.

I’ve been feeling a lot better lately. I owe it all to the salt water gargles three times a day. I decided to stretch my legs a little and start my running routine that I’ve wanted to but into action for months but had been too busy working day and night (literally) to have the time or energy.

I started out with a lap of the town. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say that before. Not satisfied yet, I did an extra lap here and there along the main roads. I don’t know if it is common for people, maybe just girls, to be running around at lunch time because I got a couple of weird looks. I will have to ask Marie-Anne when she gets home. Those of you who would go to yoga classes with me will be happy to know that I did a little bit of yoga along with my post run stretches. It felt so good to finally get moving. I missed it so much!

Luynes to Lakeview

Oh, and in Saskatoon the campaign the city has to get everyone out and exercising is In Motion. I’m sure you’ve seen the gorgeous orange shirts around town. Well, here it is BOUGE! Which literally means MOVE! Its blunt. It must work.

I spent the rest of the afternoon researching where to get a decent yoga class around here. I can tell you right away, it isn’t in Luynes. I found a couple of options in Aix that even offer free first session or two. I will definitely be taking them up on that haha.

While out on my run I noticed that it took me about the same time to run around the town as it does to run around Lakeview. So, Google being my best friend helped me compare the two. First I started off with comparing Saskatoon to Luynes. In order to get all of Saskatoon on the map, you can barely spot Luynes (I made sure they were on the same zoom). Then I went on to compare to Lakeview and sure enough, they’re roughly the same size. I found it kind of funny that my home neighbourhood is the same size as a town.

Later I picked up Lou from school and we came home for a little snack. I’ve eaten all the fruit in the house yet again. I feel bad but I can’t help my healthy habit.

Lou loves to sing and dance and be dramatic. And apparently she likes singing karaoke. If you know me, I do not like karaoke at all, but I am willing to make sacrifices. Especially when the outcome is a content Lou. So karaoke it was, singing and dramatizing in front of my laptop using Youtube videos as our karaoke machine. It was actually kinda fun.

Brioche in a bag.
Like wonderbread.
But tasty when toasted.

Once the evening set in, well, since evening starts around 5pm now, once it was pretty much night, we made some pizza for supper. Did you know that you can buy pizza in a box? And I’m not talking about the frozen pizzas. In the box was a little jar of sauce and a tube, similar to a Pillsbury croissant container, and inside of it was the pizza dough. I unravelled it as Lou directed, and I just knew something was either going to explode or pop or spill all over me from the way she backed away and was looking at me with that smile, but I did it anyways. Sure enough there was a loud pop, I was scared of course, and the pizza dough slowly fell out of the tube. Then Lou actually unrolled it. I’ve never seen anything of the like before. Then we garnished the pizza, karaoke-ed some more then ate.

European pizza is like a cracker to me. A thick cracker. I’m pretty sure the cracker-cheese-ham-pickle combos at home are more hefty than the pizza here. All we put on the pizza was sauce, a teensy bit of cheese, I didn’t even taste it, and some tomatoes. I would not call that pizza. Well actually I would, but you get the point.

After supper we hung out a little bit with Alissa, she got home just in time for supper, then Lou went to bed.

Satisfying? Yes.

Lou has finally warmed up nicely to me, and I do not mind.

That is all I have to report for today.

Well it smells good.....

Time : 11:42 PM

Location : The bed

Weather : it was merely 9 degrees today, but it felt weather. I am maybe adjusting to the humidity?!!

Today being Wednesday Lou did not have school. Good thing too because my alarm was not properly set and will be going off tomorrow instead of today. Thankfully I woke up accordingly to the time.

We (Alissa and I) got Lou off to her gymnastics class then returned home for some late breakfast. Then we packed back up to return to Carrefour to exchange one of the tanks of propane for one that is actually propane and not some other gas. The ones we needed were red and when we went yesterday there was only one red one available. However, the guys working in the autoshop part of Carrefoure, which is right by the propane/gas station, told us that the yellow ones were the same gas and that it would all be ok. Neither of us having bought propane there before believed them. And why not? They were wearing uniforms with Carrefoure, they should know what they were talking about. Apparently they did not. Thankfully Marie-Anne knew right away when she saw it last night and nothing bad happened. There was no problem in exchanging the gases. Then we picked up Lou and headed home.

Not sure how it was possible..

After lunch we mixed up some brioche in the bread machine and left it to do its thing. I played a number of games with Lou all afternoon. Apparently she likes the youtube videos of Tete-a-Claques. If you know what I’m talking about, excellent, if not, its really nothing to sweat about.

Once the brioche was done and out of the bread maker, we had a little snack. I can spot right away what a ‘bad loaf’ looks like when it comes out of the bread maker. Nice and light colored on top, very smooth, and most noticeable of all; the lack of height. I knew this was a bad loaf and something had gone horribly wrong. I knew exactly how to remove the bread from the bread maker and how long to wait before removing the paddle. I saved the day and two other pairs of hands from being burnt by a hot loaf. I also had to cut the dense loaf into slices so we could have an afternoon snack. I did not have the heart to tell Lou that it did not turn out and this is not how brioche is supposed to be. I don’t actually know what brioche is supposed to be. But I really don’t think that anything is supposed to look like what that loaf did. But it was tasty!

After another hour or so of play we decided to start preparing supper. No idea what to cook I google for inspiration. My inspiration : fried rice and some kind of cooked carrots. Simple, easy and for sure a hit. What can go wrong?
Fried rice gone wrong.

A lot can go wrong.

For one, we didn’t have a great selection of vegetables for the rice.

Two, the wrong rice. Somehow instead of the rice being each individual rice, it tuned into a pate or something. WRONG RICE. It was like sticky rice. Just not going to happen.

Three, I couldn’t find 3/5 spices I needed for the carrots so I had to improvise. I think it worked out.. I’m not very good with spices..

Four, Nobody here knows what a tablespoon or a teaspoon is. This can’t actually go wrong. But it really slows down the process. Like A LOT.

Five, Again, the rice. You’ll see a photo.

Finally five, when a recipe for carrots says to reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid aka the water used to steam it, then add it to the olive and spice mix to garnish it with, DON’T. We ended up with watered down cooked carrots. Might as well not have bothered with the spices at all!

So, nothing turned out. But it was an excellent use of an hour and a half in the kitchen. Three of us in about a little more than a meter square area, stirring and cutting and washing dishes (oh, there were so many dishes!!). And it’s the camaraderie and love that counts.
"Take a picture of me eating so
they can see how disgusting it is!"

Plus we found some mouldy cheese.

Oh what a day.

Bonne nuit!

12:01 AM

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Il Reste du Jambon?

Time : 1:03 AM entry for 16th November 2010

Location : my bed

Weather : A little chilly, no wind for once

Today started out well. I got Lou to school in one piece, meaning that my driving is improving. Driving standard is in fact not like riding a bike.

7/7 but not 24/7  :(
Alissa and I stopped by Carrefoure (equivalent to Wal-Mart or Superstore) to get some propane for the house. We ran out last night and were unable to make tea on the stove this morning. Somehow OPTIQUICK-ed water just isn’t the same.. So we got the propane at Carrefour and continued to look inside the shopping center. WE looked through a couple stores, and as always, I took note of what was available. Then we actually went in Carrefour and browsed the movies. For those of you that enjoy the hit TV show Skins, I saw a rare copy of Season 2 episodes 1 through 10 for sale at 20 euros aka 30$ CND. Almost bought it, but decided not to seeing as season 1 was way better.

The rest of the afternoon was spent hanging out around the house and doing odd jobs here and there.

Once Alissa left to go to her course in Aix, I went for a leisurely stroll around the town. My main objective was to check out the local shops for once and mail a letter. We will know who the lucky recipient of the first letter is by two weeks from now. A mailed letter was the only success in my gander. Apparently the lunch hour is much longer than an hour in a small a town and it is customary for shops to remain closed until 3 pm, or maybe 4pm, depending. This walk occurred at 2:30 pm.

Like a couch
A slight bash to my driving confidence occurred when I met Alissa at the school to pick up Lou. As we were walking back to the car, Lou says to Alissa “Can you drive? It is much easier for me that way.” I guess my driving is not good enough for Lou. Oh well. Soon enough she’ll no other choice but to endure. And by the way, just because I stalled once or twice this morning does not mean I am a bad driver. I just lack practice wit h a standard.

Lou was not feeling well today. I think she was just tired, so playing with two nannies was too much. One of us was often told to go on their break from the Post Office while the other was the main attention provider. To alleviate Lou of this stress I took it upon myself to go and prepare a little something to spice up our supper. I took most of the odds and ends of the vegetables into a casserole dish to marinate in balsamic vinegar and olive oil for a little while (even though I’m not too sure if you can marinade vegetables.. ??) then popped them in the oven. Later stated by Lou at supper : “Balsamic kills food. “ I noticed her taking a second helping. Mission complete. Child eats their vegetables.

Once everything was cleaned up and I was going to start packing it up for the night, Alissa asked me if I wanted to go to a movie with her and Elizabeth in Aix. We had talked of it yesterday, but it hadn’t been brought up all day so I thought it had fallen through. Ten minutes later we are rushing off to get Elizabeth and view Il Reste Du Jambon?

Elizabeth and Alissa
Upon entering the cinema, somehow I managed to save myself a couple euros and pay student price for the movie instead of full admission even though I lacked a student card of any kind. Next we were offered an incredible deal on popcorn. Something I had never been asked before when getting popcorn : “Sucree ou Salee?” Which translates to “Sweet or Salty?”. I guess it is common to have both kinds of popcorn. I took sweet just to try it out and my verdict is that it is indeed quite tasty.

The movie was funny, but I fell asleep for the last 20 minutes. I was very tired and the seats, as you will see in a photo were more than your average cinema seats. I felt like I was on a cough. I actually thought they were couches until the end when they turned on the lights.

This has been my day. Tata!

1:25 AM