They’re Here . . .

Drove down to the Mosson station Friday evening, took the tram to Gare St. Roch well in time to meet the train from Paris. Took the escalator down to meet the train as it rolled in. Didn’t realize how looooong the train would be and, as people streamed out of all the doors, how easy it would be to miss the two I was looking for.  Dashed back up stairs, stood at the top of the escalator scanning faces. Nothing. The crowd thinned, I kept waiting. Went to the information section, had them paged. Checked the time of the next train from Paris–four hours hence. Sat in the almost empty train station and wondered what to do. They hadn’t brought a phone. Imagined awful scenarios.  Got up, wandered around, sat down again.  Got up  and there they were, walking towards me!

Raining as we left the station, Xmas lights reflecting on the pavements.  A tram back to Mosson, then  back to Montpeyroux for wine and mincepies.

les 3 graces, the xmas tree, and l'opera :) Below a couple of Facebook posts from the last week or two.

Bought a Xmas tree last week, they’re sold outside the supermarkets here too. Got around to decorating it today. The delay caused by, what else, my French. The string of lights I’d bought to put on the tree, flashed on and off in a way that drove me crazy. I looked on the light strand for the little colored flasher to pull out, but couldn’t find it. Read the box. Clignotant means flashing–I assume the word just applies to lights, maybe not though. Went back and had a look for some lights sans clignotant. Had a difficult conversation with the store clerk who gave me a box of the non flashing variety–at least I thought that’s what she gave me. Wrong. Every ten seconds the tree lights up like Times Square. I’ve decided to live with it. Haven’t found anything for the top yet, I’m hoping to find something tomorrow. The first picture doesn’t really have a blue veil around the tree, its just the lights clignotanting (made up the last syllable.) Second one taken between flashes.

Exactly the way I imagined France would be. Worked till noon then my phone rang. Rebecca to tell me that everyone was meeting at the cafe for lunch. The focal point of the town during the summer when it hosted rock and roll bands on Friday nights, the cafe has been shuttered since the days got cooler. Now, apparently , it is back in business. Walked down there. Guys (from the vineyards, I think) around the bar, the pool table in use, lots of wine consumed. Drank a glass or two myself. Had a fabulous meal: chicken with mushrooms and melted cheese, lots of potatoes (calories? Who knows?) I loved the feel of it all. Rico, whose English is about on the same level as my French came over to talk to me. We agreed that we’d help each other learn. There was far too much food so I asked for a sac de chien–apparently not something one does in France, but I shall enjoy the meal tomorrow. A good day.

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Stopped work early today to drive over to a neighboring village with a friend. Spent a couple of hours cleaning and sprucing up the house of a young woman–two small children, a husband with cancer–who really needed some help. Very little English spoken, but we accomplished quite a lot. Drove back to Montpeyroux through silhouetted vineyards, a few bonfires here and there. Toasted the holiday season with almond cake and some nice wine, a little French lesson thrown in free, and it occurred to me again how much I enjoy living in France.
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By La vie en France