Thursday, 17 September 2009

Wet Wednesday

It rained most of yesterday, which is good. We need a couple of days of rain, then a couple of days of sunny weather. If that happens, then the winemakers will be happy, and that means we are all happy.

But not only the winemakers: a couple of days of rain followed by sun should help our peaches no end, and add the finishing touches to the rest of our tomatoes, aubergine, chillies and peppers. It won't do our melons or courgettes any harm either, and we may even get a last burst of beans.

We spent most of the day just flopping around the house, because we had a big day on Tuesday what with one thing and another, and like most of the world we have our pre-winter snuffles happening. It's a pity we don't have our chimney and fireplace installed yet, because it would be a perfect day to nestle in front of a nice fire with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book.

Our first sunrise as French residents:
Deux Caps aire de service, 12 May 2009
We have been here for 18 weeks, which amazes me. In a way it feels like we have been here no time at all because we keep finding and doing new things, and yet we have settled into a routine that feels comfortable, if not terribly productive a lot of the time. We still need to sort out our heating and plumbing and electrics, because at the moment we are still getting by, rather than living in real style. Because we have the computer working and lights and power points in all the rooms we are quite comfortable for the moment, and this removes the imperative to get stuff done in a hurry and allows us - maybe unwisely - to take on new projects like the garden, the car, ideas about making a living, making friends, sightseeing...

The speaking French bit is a worry for me, but Susan continually amazes with the way she handles stuff. I listen and understand more than I can communicate back to people, which is frustrating. I use a lot of hand gestures and pointing where Susan uses words (and grammar!), and I must admit I am not good at answering the phone. I will answer but then hand it on to Susan because all I hear is noises, not words, and even if I have understood I often don't have the vocabulary to respond appropriately. This makes me a nightmare for telemarketers, but that is their problem, not mine. I do try to speak French at the appropriate time, and will try my best, especially at garages and hardware stores, even though I don't do those places terribly well in English either.

We hope Célestine will help us improved my language skills, because people want to talk about her when they see us out and about. Luckily the other car is the most common and anonymous car in the whole of France, so if we're having a non French day, we can hide.

No peeking now!


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