Friday, March 20, 2009

Sunny days in the country

I can't believe it's been over a month since I wrote anything of even minor interest on here. I've been following the lovely Lola on her footpath to love, working, to-ing and fro-ing to the country and I have been mightily neglecting my cyber-diary.

Perhaps this is because things are happening that I don't want to broadcast just yet, but also that to be honest, there really isn't a great deal to broadcast.

I'm doing the Paris - Chablis forward / back thing every week now, and when I get on the train on a Wednesday evening at Bercy station I'm realising that it's easier and easier as time goes by. Life in the village is so different from life in the city, especially the cultural hub and hotbed of romanticism and activity that is Paris. Still, it's actually starting to be enjoyable to get away from it all for two days a week and ensconce myself in the upstairs office at the domain, hiding away from the hustle and bustle of city living and adding a few more weeks to my life expectancy by avoiding the omnipresent fumes typical of a working day in the city of lights.

And to add a rather juicy cherry to the cake, yesterday evening G and I actually went to someone's house in the village for a drink! I was disproportionately excited by the prospect of going out for the evening in Chablis, as it is such a rare occurence. The lovely man who painted our house here bumped into G in the street yesterday and asked us over for an apéritif.

I had one of the best evenings I've had in a long time, meeting new people and putting the world to rights as the French love to do with their hearty debates. To add another dash of surprise there was an English guy there too! I couldn't have imagined that there would be another English person of about my age in such a small secluded village. Anyway, it also turns out that there's yet another English person here too, a girl of about my age who loves to sing! Not that I necessarily favour English company over French, but it is a comfort to know that there are fellow citizens around who have made a life for themselves here. If they can do it, so can I!

I came back home feeling really optimistic and readier than I have ever felt to abandon my beloved Paris existence and try out life in the countryside. For the moment nothing is changing, but if events shape themselves differently, it wouldn't be as hard as I had thought to leave my monthly métro pass on the shelf and reach for my wax jacket and wellies!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

25 Things

The lovely Lola recently posted her "25 things" from Facebook, a list of sometimes lesser known facts about herself. This has been doing the rounds on the world's favourite internet community site, so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon as usual and post mine too:

1. I love changing my hair, sometimes curly, sometimes straight. I always get bored with whatever style I keep for too long. It's naturally straight.

2. I hate pets, and dogs in particular. Even 'nice' dogs, yes, even your nice dog.

3. I live a double life - in a renovated pigeon loft in Chablis and a flat in Paris, half the week in one place half the week in the other. No, I haven't moved to Chablis forever yet.

4. My man makes the best wine on the planet.

5. Last year I visited 6 different countries.

6. I try to be ecological at home, but sometimes it doesn't make any difference (see n°5).

7. As I grow up, I'm trying to calm down and do less.

8. I have sung weekly in some sort of geeky choir for the last 21 years of my life.

9. I sang in a rock band for 3 years.

10. I have never, ever, considered myself as a 'cool' person. Quite the opposite.

11. The credit crunch is starting to hit me.

12. I want to have two or three children, one day.

13. I'm scared of balloons, especially a children + dog balloon scenario. Worst nightmare.

14. I'm far too sensitive and get upset about things I have no control over.

15. I hardly ever do email chain forwards or quizzes like this, but here's an exception.

16. I cry easily (adverts, national anthems, people winning races, young children reading, babies smiling, professional problems, singing songs)

17. I think about the future on a daily, if not hourly basis and project myself 5, 10 years into the future. I've always done it, it never works out like you think it will, and it's absolutely useless.

18. I have extended eyelashes thanks to a wonderful spa in Hong Kong.

19. I am practically bilingual in French but still can't remember what is 'le' and what is 'la'.

20. I cry with laughter at Bill Bryson, Stephen Fry and Victoria Wood.

21. I hate paperwork and procedures with a great passion, and love teaching with an equally great passion.

22. I am a qualified SCUBA diver.

23. My favourite food is truffle, the mushroom kind, but I can't afford to eat it more than a couple of times a year.

24. I played the violin and saxophone at school, with great gusto, but now can't tell one end of an instrument from the other.

25. I can't go for a day without checking my Facebook page.