Saturday, March 29, 2008

L'adresse pendant Juin

Rose and I have received our confirmation de logement for June.  We will be welcomed chez Mme LaBergue - 12 avenue Alain Gerbault in Toulouse.  Mme LaBergue and her little dog, too, live about 2 miles from the AllianceFrancaise and the Capitole.  A lovely walk for Rose and I twice a day.  

Chez LaBergue is on the other side of the river from the gracious hotel formerly occupied by Rose and L'homme de Rose.  

Using Google Maps, I have gazed upon the roofs of avenue Alain Gerbault. I note that there are lots of trees on the street. A good sign. Another good sign is that it was 21 degrees centigrade in Toulouse today.  That's about 70 F.

Must go do some French, now, because I have forgotten everything I ever knew about the language.

I have a cold

The Portuguese poet, Fernando Pessoa, says it better than me:

I have a terrible cold,
And everyone knows how terrible colds
Alter the whole system of the universe,
Set us against life,
And make even metaphysics sneeze.
I have wasted the whole day blowing my nose.
My head is aching vaguely.
Sad condition for a minor poet!
Today I am really and truly a minor poet.
What I was in the old days was a wish; it's gone

Goodbye forever, queen of the fairies!
Your wings were made of sun, and I am walking here.
I shan't get well unless I go and lie down on my bed.
I never was well except lying down on the Universe.

Excuse un peu... What a terrible cold!... it's physical!
I need truth and aspirin.   ... Fernando Pessoa

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Morning

The COG and I are sitting at opposite ends of the dining room table,  working on our laptops.  The sun is shining on my back. The Dog of COG is snoring at my feet.  Birds are singing madly in the background.

The Son of COG came in a minute ago to tease us about the way we are silently book-ending the table with our Mac laptops.  The COG told him we were IM'ing each other instead of talking.

Not true, but funny.

We are planning an Easter meal of roast lamb, with roasted mediterranean vegetables - tomatoes, peppers, eggplant.  For dessert, home-made ricotta with fruit and honey.  The home-made ricotta is yummy. Possibly because it is whole milk and cream, unlike the part-skim kind I buy.    

As she cut my hair last week, my hairdresser told me that the youngest of her three children (who is between 2 and 3) is very excited about Easter this year.  She keeps asking her mom to talk about the Easter Bunny and urges her to just  'go get'im' (IOW go get him - meaning the Easter bunny) so they can have jelly beans NOW.  My hairdresser was worried that the older kids would find all the jelly beans so quickly there wouldn't be any left for the little one to find.  I told her that when we were kids the rooms got divided horizontally - taller kids searched high, smaller ones search low, below the height of the chair arms and sofa back. That way little ones could be sure of finding jelly beans within their reach. With the extra advantage of making the lower ones easier to find and the higher ones more challenging. 

After I left, I wondered whether that was true.  It sprang to my lips instantly as I said it, but I don't actually remember whether we did it. It makes sense and it's just the sort of thing we might have done, but whether we actually did it...... I just don't know. 

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Chill on the Hill and a Fog in the Bog

I've been looking for something other than the weather to write about. New haircut ( a sort of a platinum haired Louise Brooks style); cooking elaborate vegetarian Indian meals (are all vegetables and spices with little oil, therefore, low calorie); home made ricotta (have recipe, am making for Easter breakfast). There, now  you know everything. 

Yesterday, I discovered something interesting. I've become a New Englander.  I've lived her for nearly 30 years as a midwesterner, but now, suddenly, I'm a New Englander.  How do I know? Because everyone here is talking about the weather and in exactly the same way as me. It's a New England Thing - Winter is lasting too long. Where is Spring? How different 35 degrees feels when it's sunny/or gloomy. Isn't the sky heavy and grey? The birds have started to sing in the morning, but it's still too cold to open the windows. etc.

No matter where I go, no matter how well I know the people I'm with - old friends or perfect strangers - it's the weather we talk about.  I have so integrated the vocabulary and the style of the weather complaints, that I thought it was just me.  But it's not. 

Yesterday, as I was walking across a parking lot huddling into my coat against the cold wind, a stranger - likewise huddled into his jacket - called out to me, 'There's a chill on the hill and a fog in the bog.' 

We both laughed and moved on.  See what I mean?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Wintry Mix

Woke to Wintry Mix this morning. Rain by midday. I'm moving to the tropics.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Ok. Some Springtime at last. We have crocuses blooming in our yard. And yesterday (which was the anniversary of the COG's father's birth) was sunny. It made all the difference.

Today, was unremittingly gloomy, of course, but it had other pleasures which I'll blog about later.

Weather Induced Misery

I've been thinking about what I posted last week,

"Daily temperature 35 degrees, no sunshine, result misery".

We've had a week of unremitting gloom. It has rained quite a bit - there were flood warnings over the weekend and the National Guard was handing out sandbags. But all the anticipation came to naught. I'm so so so ready for winter to go away. Spring is late this year. Usually by now we've heard the little peepers singing in the swamp.

I've been following the weather in other parts of the country and I know that Minnesota is colder than here. I've tried to keep a sense of proportion, therefore, because however horrid it is here, it's colder there.

But it makes no difference. I've decided that there is only a certain amount of weather-induced misery that any one person can feel. Once you reach that outer limit (assuming the absence of war, famine, natural disaster, poverty, death, and insect swarms) it really makes no difference whether it's a little colder, hotter, wetter etc.

And I have reached that outer limit. I am at the Peak of Weather-Induced Misery. All my loved ones are well. I am busy and engaged with interesting tasks. Life is good. But I need some Springtime Now.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Bride Dreams of Faraway Places.

The Bride and her sister Rose are going to France for the month of June, to take a French immersion course. This has been talked about for months, but now, they have enrolled in the class, and, yesterday, they actually booked their tickets.

At the end of the month, the Husbands will join them for A Walking Tour, probably from Collioure (in France) to Cadaques (in Spain). It's a fairly easy walk on cliffs along the Mediterranean descending, now and then, to swimmable little beach coves. The last day seems a bit more strenuous, but with the reward of beautiful views at the end.

Collioure is a beautiful place. The picture here was taken by the Bride a couple of years ago. It was snapped while she and the COG having lunch in a restaurant overlooking the town.

If you're a Patrick O'Brian fan, you'll want to know that on the walk from Collioure to Cadaques one passes very close to the castle which would have been owned by Stephen Maturin, had he (and the castle) not been fictional.

Today, in cold and sunless New England, this seems very, very far away.