Thursday, May 15, 2008

Speaking too soon

Well, as my lovely Aunty J pointed out to me at my lovely niece Chloe's christening last week, "You don't keep your blog updated anymore!"

She is of course right, and hopefully will be happy to see this my first post in over a month.

I spoke, as we often do, too soon, and now my business has sprouted wings and is off like a shot. I've had four quite major projects to complete and everything is going rather swimmingly. I've almost made back the salary cut I took when I started working part-time, so it's actually a pretty satisfactory state of affairs.

The only problem I have now is trying to juggle the two things. If I get a translation project on a Monday to be handed in on a Wednesday I end up working in the evenings, because I do my other job at the beginning of the week. It's much more complicated than it is interesting so I'll spare you the details, but suffice to say that I have work and I'm rather pleased about it.

The last two Thursdays (1st and 8th) have been public holidays here in France, so we visited my family last weekend (and for little Chloe's christening), but the weekend before we went to the Ile de Ré and the Bordeaux region.

The Ile de Ré is brilliant for several reasons. The first is that everyone is absolutely charming and friendly to you, the place is totally devoid of Parisian gruffness. A breath of fresh sea air.
Another reason is that you can go anywhere on the island by bicycle, and you can hire a bicycle in practically any village or hamlet on the island. There are bike lanes all over the place with their own signposts and they are all protected from the traffic.

We also went to Sauternes, Pauillac, Pomerol and Saint Emilion. No, not for the scenery or the museums, but to taste the wine there. Bordeaux wine is truly delicious, but the amount of pomp and circumstance given to the fermentation process in some of the big haut-médoc chateaux is just ridiculous. Of course they have to do something to justify the three-figure price tag, but I really struggled to understand how 75cl of fermented grape juice can end up costing the same as a holiday for two in Greece.

The holiday was short but very relaxing, away from the hum of the city, and it was just what we needed.

Now go and read L's recent post about finding weevils in her pasta - she spins a much funnier yarn than I do!