First things first; a petite celebration…I have been shivering and suffering for weeks with sub-par heating because, apparently in this age of touchscreen/ultralight/superthin technology, I forgot the old fashioned way to make a device work…low and behold, a swift kick to the radiator and hey presto! Magic red light! Sigh, if I had only known this before I could’ve saved myself multiple glasses of red wine used to ‘warm myself up’ before bed.
In any case, chilly or not, another fortnight (une quinzaine in French, which actually means 15…?) has passed with plenty of bonheur and bon appétit. I have found my groove in this provincial life – markets, baking, formule à midi lunches, gym classes and crêpe cooking practice. Apply liberally and repeat.
We had a lovely blue-sky weekend for Michael’s visit and went for a drive to le Puits de Bontemps, which is an impressive artisan well in the countryside. Along the way we saw the Dolmen de Limeyrat, a Neolithic/megalithic tomb, a dog-horse, and the charming village of Cubjac. The weekend was a gastronomic success; we feasted on crêpes (new obsession is making the perfect crêpe!), crafted a meal inspired by our market produce and splurged on the fancy menu at my favourite cat-friendly restaurant, Lou Chabrol.
A little bit of snow followed a week of rather cold receptions in some of my classes. I almost cry into my wine whenever the other assistants tell classroom tales of mock debates, games of trivial pursuit and exam practice papers: my students are more likely to paint their nails in class while blatantly refusing to speak any English and/or sexually harassing me and others while spurting expletives. It’s gotten to the point where I accept “Look the beautiful girls” as a satisfactory and well-structured response to “What is your hobby”.
Everyone is sick of me prattling on about the film Red Dog but I decided to show it to my class of challenging boys in the hope of extracting an emotional reaction that doesn’t border on aggression It’s no wonder I happily volunteered to do an extra class with the little kids at the middle school where the teacher bribes good behaviour from his students by threatening to cancel my classes! Mignons!*
Despite the teaching, I always tell myself the children are just a means to an end…my end…being in France. Another year older and more in need of a detox, I was so happy to be able to enjoy a second birthday in a French speaking country. I was treated to beautiful roses, surprise presents from home, wine, limoncello, a dessert buffet and an evening with Hugh Jackman at Les Miserables (in version originale!). Lucky girl!
With the return of 10°C+ temperatures this weekend, a little group of us decided to journey to the Atlantic coast to visit the famed Dune du Pyla…the largest sand dune in Europe at around 100 metres above sea level. Well we climbed, we fooled around, we ate cake, we drank cider and we returned to Périgueux, 12 hours after leaving, sandy, sunburnt and satisfied 😉
Until next time… xx
*yes I realise I just used the word cute very close to a story about children. I am as baffled as anyone.