Throughout November, the city workers were stringing white lights absolutely everywhere in centre-ville in preparation for December.
J’adore le pain. Pain is the French word for bread. Like most French words you only pronounce half the letters (pah, then add a nasal ng - like pong with a cold). Yesterday, we visited “La Maison du Pain” - the house of bread. We could find a new boulangerie (bakery) every day for months if we tried. Literally. Boulangeries are everywhere.
Back to school or “rentrée” has officially begun. Angers is bustling with the return of the local residents and its additional 45,000 students. Bus service is more frequent and the transit service is once again using the very long “bendy” buses.
John and I also became students this September. We are embarking upon our French language study in earnest by taking the City of Angers’ intensive French class.
It seems the heatwaves are finished with us for the summer (unless September has a surprise wave) and we are finally able to enjoy the beauty of France. We dusted off the bikes and took an evening ride that brought us to tears.
But first, a recap…
When we prepared for our move to France, we chose to eliminate almost all of our possessions. The process was literally mind-numbing. We had to decide whether to keep, sell, consign, donate, recycle, give, or pitch.
Life has been crazy busy here over the last month!
“Les vacances” has begun. This is the summer vacation for students and MANY people use this as their holiday time. The French work to live, not live to work (joie de vivre). Family and leisure time is très important! It lasts from July 8 through August 15. We were told things would be very quiet here during this period, but the city still seems pretty lively.
Sometimes it is very hard to narrow down a topic for the blog. There is so much happening and I try to have a theme for the post to keep it short and interesting. I’m sure there will come a time when I have nothing to share. Today’s theme is banking.
Did you ever visit Disney in the 70s? Do you remember getting the little booklet of tickets for rides? The tickets ranged from A-E with about five A tickets for calm, less popular rides and two E tickets for the most popular, exciting rides.
Today eTickets are electronic and they will get you places (boarding passes for example), but they do not guarantee the thrills and excitement of a Disney E ticket.
I was a student on the first Earth Day. It was a movement born in part as a response to Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring. Carson noticed a reduction of birdsong in the springtime. Pesticide use provided a direct threat to birds and many other species and we needed to act immediately to halt the threat. It resonated with me to my core and I have lived my life consciously trying to care for Mother Earth. I tried to live small, buy sustainable or used products or do without.
North Carolina is killing me.
All our worldly possessions. We actually did it!
Have you ever watched Amazon Prime’s “Patriot”? It is a darkly funny, slow spy story. John Tavner, the story’s hero, often finds himself in scary, tortuous situations. When asked how he does it, he says, “I just go halfway and one more step.” His point being, from that point forward, it is less painful than going back.
Today, we have reached halfway and one more step.
December 5th we arrived home and fell into bed at 8 pm. At 3 am, our eyes popped open and our brains began spinning…so much to do and so little time! We haven’t stopped moving or started sleeping since then.
We created self-imposed deadlines of:
Declutter, prep the house in December,
List in January,
Sell in February,
Visa in March,
France in April.
The more you plan, the harder God laughs.