Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Quelque chose cette semaine (Something this week) part 3

In which I share a short snippet each week throughout 2015

WEEK #39 (24-30 sept)

I hurt my ankle when I fell off a curb. 'Nuff said.

Je me suis foulé la cheville quand je suis tombé sur un trottoir.

WEEK #38 (17-23 sept)

We travel to Madrid with an overnight stop in San Sebastián. While ma belle-mère plays in an international Pickleball tournament, we see the sights. Especially notable is an amazing dinner with Miriam, a friend we met at the English immersion program last spring, and her husband. Juan-Luis takes us on a hair-raising spin through Madrid before dinner, where we spot this kind sign on city hall.

Palacio de las Comunicaciones in Madrid

WEEK #37 (10-16 sept)

Ma belle-mère's second week in France includes her first trip to Paris. Two out of three days are crystal-clear. The third day we receive a dose of the famous Paris pluie, which provides us an excuse to linger in a cafè for a few hours before we catch our train. We pack a whole lot of memories into notre brève visite. 

Arlene admires the view from the steps of Sacré Cœur

WEEK #36 (3-9 sept)

It's easy to pick a highlight for this past week. Ma belle-mère arrives for a visit: her first trip to France. After a good night's sleep, we head to the Eymet market where she sips café allongé avec son cher fils.

WEEK #35 (27 aout - 2 sept)

Mon amie Viviane and I attended a concert at Église de Lugagnac, an ancient converted church on a hilltop near Saint-Eutrope-de-Born. The performers, Maxime and Krystel Barthélémy, sang French standards during their cabaret style 90-minute set (including two encores). I found out afterwards that Maxime is a famous composer/lyricist who penned many of the songs. I also found out later the couple was married (I thought it was a father/daughter duo). Si sublime!

Composer Maxime Barthélémy and his wife Krystal
perform French standards.

WEEK #34 (20-26 aout)

To celebrate T-Rex's birthday and to entertain our student staying with us to improve his English, we visited Grottes de Lastournelle. Our guide was kind enough to provide a fascinating bilingual tour deep below the surface of the earth.

Grottes de Lastournelle

WEEK #33 (13-19 aout)

We invited our neighbors for aperos: a retired headmaster, his wife and adult son, who are from Picardy and live here in the summers. Usually these French cocktail hours last for .... well ... an hour, and they stayed nearly two (un succès!). We had an enlightening conversation about French politics. They aren't very optimistic about France's future and suspect that the radical right Front National party may continue its rise. Ce qu'une pensée terrifiante! 

Un tableau préparé pour des amis.

WEEK #32 (6-12 aout)

A busy week with house guests, but we did have time for a few bike rides. At one point I felt surrounded by fields of corn. Le maïs is high and almost ready for la récolte. So much corn, but corn-on-the-cob is a rarity here in France, at least the tender sweet type that has been engineered in the U.S. perhaps due to France's restrictions on GMOs. Je peux vivre avec ça.

WEEK #31 (30 juillet - 5 aout)

Crazy weather this week (hot, cold, rain, hot again), but it was perfect for Bastid'art, the annual arts fest that takes place in Miramont. We rode our bikes there on Saturday and returned again on Sunday (twice!). A lack of funding threatened the event's cancellation, which would have been a shame. We particularly enjoyed the band Sugar Bones -- probably the best live music we've heard in France.

Ken catches the eye of Matteo Galbursera,
a comedic performer from Italy, at Bastid'art 2015.

WEEK #30 (23-29 juillet)

We didn't get around to planting vegetables this year. Luckily we have plenty of markets and farms at which we can buy fresh produce. Ken uses soil from our compost in our planter boxes and we were surprised to find a tomato plant in one, a squash in another ... both are "volunteers" from the compost soil. Hope no one pilfers them before harvest.

WEEK #29 (16-22 juillet)

I took this selfie at the summer exhibition, Plus que parfaits...Corps augmentés en scène at the Grand-Théâtre in Bordeaux. Our opera house tour was in French so much was confusing; but I'm sifting through my notes and photos, doing some research and plan to write about it for an upcoming blog post on AngloInfo. (If you've never seen my Lot of Livin' blog, click here.)   

WEEK #28 (9-15 juillet)

Hoping to finally learn how to use my camera to its fullest, I took an excellent photography workshop this week led by Canadian expat Ian Cook. He helped to bring back some of the knowledge that was hiding in the recesses of my brain. I tried out some nouvelles techniques during our village's annual Comice Agricole, where I snapped this photo of une jolie jeune fille enjoying un saut sur le trampoline.

WEEK #27 (2-8 juillet)

Why would I post a picture of a credit card as a highlight of the past week? After three years of complaining and begging, our credit card company FINALLY bent the rules and sent us our new cards containing THE CHIP. (Cap One was in the process of converting and said we'd likely get the new cards by the end of the year anyway, but enough was enough and I refused to hang up until they agreed to send them.) The chip allows us to shop in the many stores which no longer accept non-chip credit cards. We don't have to carry a lot of cash, and we're back to earning points for purchases. We can buy train tickets, too. Best of all: We can now get gasoline anytime: lunchtime, nights and even Sundays, because we no longer have to strategically fill up when an attendant is on duty to take our cash. Ah, the sweet thrill that comes when an American company enters the 21st century.

I've been publishing quelque chose chaque semaine (something each week). See Part 2 here.

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