Saturday, April 1, 2023

In Like a Lion, Out Like a…

Lamb? Nope. 

It finally happened. After three years to the day from the Covid lockdown, I tested positive. The weird thing is, John got a cold at the same time (different symptoms) and stayed negative. I then caught his cold and he remained negative for Covid. 

Zero sense of taste or smell was incredibly strange. It was the first time ever in my life I had no interest in food. That didn’t last long, but I am waiting for the dry cough to leave and my energy to return.

France is getting ready for Easter, or Pâques as it is known here. It is a four-day weekend holiday, from Good Friday to Easter Monday. (The next 2-week school vacation begins the following weekend.) Egg hunts and chocolate bunnies and chicks are very popular as are bells.

In France, the eggs and treats are delivered by bells. Church bells do not ring from Good Friday to Easter Sunday. During this time, they sprout wings and fly to Rome, where the Pope blesses them with a ribbon and gifts and when they fly home Saturday night, they drop these treats along the way. Sunday morning, children hunt for the dropped treats. 

It makes way more sense for multiple bells to fly and deliver eggs and chocolate to every child than for one rabbit to make it to every child’s home. (You can read whatever meaning you like into that sentence.)

Lamb will be served on Sunday to represent life…unless you are a lamb. 

Speaking of lambs…back to “In like a lion, out like a lamb.” In France, March is known for bringing wind; like there wasn’t wind in December, January, and February!  “Giboulées de mars” is the term for the sudden wind, hail, deluges and sun breaks that all occur within minutes of each other throughout March.

Yesterday, the last day of March, we were caught in a gust so strong, we couldn’t move. It actually moved us backwards! 

Nothing in life has prepared us for France’s wind. We have asked other immigrants about the wind and not one of them experienced this kind of wind before arriving here. (Canada, US, Australia, UK) 

In winter, the cold was damp and bone-chilling and then the wind came. I do not have a vocabulary rich enough to describe how cold it felt.  I layered every coat and sweater I owned. It was not enough. I was lucky enough to find a full length down coat at a second-hand store. 

We went to a concert at a former abbey/prison, now restored to its full glory. We were handed blankets at the door. During the concert, my mind kept wandering to prison stories from French and English literature set in the 1800s (Les Miserables or something by Dickens) and realized people somehow survived these conditions without windows, heating, or technical fabrics.  

I see the French riding their bikes in the wind and rain and freezing cold, a thick scarf coiled around the neck, older women in pantyhose and heels, young children with mittens and stocking caps all going about their daily lives without regard to the weather.

I think of us Americans and our vehicles with remote starts and heated seats and realize how incredibly soft we have become. I ask myself, “How I will ever become more like the French?” Then, with a stroke of genius that struck as suddenly and strongly as a March rainstorm, I head to Amazon to search for heated bike seats.

The new garden planting in a downtown square.

Results of a grève…no garbage pick up for a few days.

Glamor shot of our surrogate pup.

A warm spring walk along the river’s edge. 
The drought has made for a sandy beach. We need rain.

I want this.

Our neighborhood pond is finally getting some rain.


  1. That wind sounds crazy. It may not seem like it now but I’m a few years you both will be used to the weather, I’m sure

    Love the cat wiper. That’s so cute.

    Thanks for the update. Always love reading your posts.

  2. So beautiful, makes me want to go visit. Wishing y'all the best.

  3. So interesting, Kat, because I remember the cold and the rain, but not the wind. For me the biggest difference between the weather in the Pacific NW and Angers was having to ALWAYS carry (in my daypack), and often use, an umbrella. As you no doubt remember, "umbrellas" are not a thing in the Greater Seattle area, and a sure sign of a tourist, even though it rains tons.

  4. Yikes! I’m shivering just thinking of that wind! It’s a tiny bit like moving from California to the PNW. (In fact, it’s snowing right now, as I sit and type.) anywho, keep those great pics coming! I want one of those kitty wipers too, hee hee!