Posts Tagged ‘Italian’

Wednesday 8th December.

Awoke to another grey, chilly day, but not cold.  Friends write and say they hear how cold it is in Paris: not in my neck of the woods.

Things feel rather sad at the moment.  After a lot of catching up blogging yesterday today it is catching up round the apartment and locally.  Husband is coming over for a long weekend, arriving Saturday, so I want to have all my sorting out and tidying done before then so we can enjoy ourselves.  Today is putting away the ironing, putting out the paper rubbish, sorting through my receipts, making notes on what I have spent, piling up books and DVDs ready for packing, packing up my paints,  replacing furniture as I found it rather than how I have rearranged it, writing a note to my landlady and then going out to buy a few presents that I have noted mentally as I have been going round.  If  I have the energy I hope to get to Izrael to take some indoor photos but I am feeling shattered.  Don’t know why.  Perhaps it is that ‘end of things’ syndrome, the dream has been lived and is coming to a close.

By late morning the weather had changed!!   Lunchtime found us with snow falling, slowly, no wind, silently, just drifting down from the sky, and lying.  It had a relentless feel to it!  View from the flat:

Finally, I decided I must go out and brave the weather since I want to buy Blanche her book for tomorrow morning.  But we have now had several inches, four inches in three hours to be exact.

So off out with the snow still falling and lying.   Cars stuck everywhere, nothing much moving on the side roads and only buses and lorries on the main roads.  Abandoned vehicles on most intersections.

I decided to walk through the Place des Vosges to get to St. Antoine since I thought it might look lovely in the snow, and I was right.  Photographers were out in force: one man, a Brazilian,  said he has lived here for 25 years and never seen snow in the Place des Vosges like this.

I stayed, marvelling, and taking photos as long as I could but finally I got just too cold and had to continue on my way.  It was also getting quite treacherous underfoot:

I crunched my way across St. Antoine and into the Maitre Fromager: there were several ladies ahead of me so I waited, we all smiled at each other, and it turned out they were three Italian matrons who wanted to know where I came from.  It was embarrassing, they could speak French and English, so much for my progress then.

When my turn came I asked for a small dry Goat’s cheese like I had had before and for a soft  one rather like Brie:

Admittedly, it looks rather like a white cow pat and it made the fridge smell as if something had died in it, for days, but it tasted delicious!

The Italian ladies were disturbed to find that they had left their umbrella outside and it had vanished:  at least, after some cogitations that is where they thought they had left it.

I did not have mine with me, relying instead on my trusty, woolly beret from Monoprix otherwise they could have had it: they only cost 5 euros and are for sale everywhere today!

So. on to the Red Wheelbarrow to buy Blanche’s book.  I was tossing up between Terry Pratchett’s book ‘Wyrd Sisters’, about ascerbic old Granny Weatherwax the witch who ‘borrowed’ animals minds to go out and about, or Douglas Adams’ ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’.  In fact I was not sure whether Blanche would find much of the humour or irony accessible but to me they are such iconic books and very typical of a certain type of British humour which I love: I asked Penelope’s advice.  She did not have Terry Pratchett so that sorted that out and looking again at the beginning of the HHGTTG she thought it would be OK for Blanche.

So that was bought and gift wrapped very kindly by Penelope.  Another friend of hers came in and we had a long conversation on the differing aspects of French and British pedagogy.   She was interested in my use of mental ‘hooks’ and said they did not do that here, it is learning by rote and writing to a particular format.  So many ideas per paragraph etc.  She mentioned that they are looking for teachers here to teach English, would I be interested??  Perhaps I could disseminate my teaching style.  I somehow do not think a foreigner coming into Education and trying to change things would go down well!!

Then over the road into the African shop to buy some presents, and, deciding enough is enough, with wet feet and cold hands, I headed back through the ice and slush to home.   Izrael will have to wait.   Everything looked quite magical in the dark with the occasional pretty streetlamp but it was lethal underfoot.

A quick stop in my favourite Patisserie for an Opera: there was a young man in there clearly known well by the staff, who was complaining about the prices for croissants on Rue St. Antoine.  They were 10 centimes more expensive over there!!  Then he did not have the right money in this shop for what he had just bought, seeming to be complaining about their prices too.   Since he was only down a few centimes I offered him the cash.  He looked surprised, said it was not the money it was the principle and thanked me but said no.  The ladies behind the counter were killing themselves.  He asked them where I came from, and I answered for myself.  A rather strange conversation really and I wondered whether I was missing some particular point, but all seemed well and there was a great deal of thanking and ‘bonsoiring’ all round when I left.

An evening in the warm on the computer with emails and blogging: a note from the ebay seller to say she had posted the parcel.  Will the chocolatiere get here in time or be held up by the snow?  Will husband make it through?  Will I get home?

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