Odds and Ends . . .

In early January, right about the time that I’d decided to try to repair all the diet damage done during Sam and Bill’s visit, I saw a tray of appetizing looking pastries at the boulangerie–la Galette  des  Rois.  I resisted, but it was quite a challenge because I began to see them everywhere–the Saturday market, the Intermarché, other boulangeries.  Filled with frangiapane  (just knowing that almost broke me) they mark Epiphany and are baked with a lucky charm.  Whoever bites into it  is king, or queen, for the day.  Anyway, I kept resisting until two days ago when a friend brought over a galette and a bottle of cider.  Enough with resisting, I said.  It was delicious.  I also got the charm.

When things are quiet as they are now, it’s easy to put off writing a new post while I wait for something sufficiently significant to write about.  But even as I cast  around for a topic, life seems busy enough that I  feel the need to plan uninterrupted days at the desk. I’ve been looking for a new apartment to move into  when I return from the States.  Thanks to a couple of fabulous Facebook pages,  Ladies in Languedoc (LIL) and Long Duck Ladies (a play on the name Languedoc) I think I’ve found something.  I haven’t finalized the details yet, so will write more about it later.

These two groups and expat sites such as Survive France have been invaluable resources.  I bought my car through Survive France and posts on LIL and Long Duck Ladies produced an immediate response.  I’d been a bit apprehensive about using an immoblier, a real estate agent, since most apartments are unfurnished which means nothing–no stove, or refrigerator, often no kitchen cabinets.  While I’ve accumulated a few things since I arrived–small rugs, cushions, dishes–I wasn’t quite ready to look at furnishing an entire apartment. The alternative, using one of the sites that caters to vacationers and academics was an option– I’d used http://www.rentaplaceinfrance.com  http://www.sabbaticalhomes.com to find my current place and the Dordogne apartment where I stayed when I first arrived in France — but nothing turned up that felt quite right.  So I’m relieved that the search went well and I can look forward to moving into new digs in September.  I was also able, through the Facebook sites, to find a garage to store the car and households odds and ends while I’m gone.

Obviously, people have travelled and lived abroad for centuries without Facebook, Skype and on-line boards, but  these things have been invaluable to me.  In fact if I were to offer three words of advice to someone contemplating an experience similar to mine, they would be:  good internet connection.

Sometimes  occasions, will strike me as incredibly French–language notwithstanding. I was   at a café in Clermont l’Herault last week, a concert of sorts.  The singer is also a model for the life drawing classes a friend of mine offers. Was it the ochre colored walls? The  people? The wine?  Je ne sais pas, mais il semblé tres Francaise.

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