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Published: October 19th 2008
I haven't decided which major city I'm closest to.
Two out of three hosts I've stayed with have threatened to kidnap/stake my foot to the floor, so that I couldn't leave. I think that's a compliment. And while the third was less violent, he did invite me to come work the reception desk at the annual wine festival in Sitges Beach next year.
One morning, Jayne asked if I wanted to toast up a muffin for breakfast, and I imagined cutting a blueberry muffin in half, and cramming it in the toaster. Which actually sounded good, so I agreed. Lo and behold, nary a blueberry in sight, but an English muffin!!! I was so delighted, the English merely call them muffins, because they are English already! Like how French fries are simply "frites
" in France, and American football is just "football" to us. Silly Americans.
I'm definitely getting insight into British culture more than French at this house. There's a remarkable amount of British folk who have moved here to renovate a farmhouse, and they have all found each other, and meet often, having British-lady get-togethers. This week, Jayne hosted a Coffee Morning, where all her friends come to her gite,
Finlay/America's Next Top Model
He seriously picked this pose with no prompting
and she makes tea and coffee and cakes. And everyone hangs out and chats, and then there's lunch. I spent most of my time at Coffee Morning talking to the one French lady there. It was pretty fun, we actually were able to talk about the other ladies without their knowing, since few of them seem interested in learning French.
I've had some interesting British food though, I ate boudain noir
at lunch today, also known as "blood pudding". I don't think it gets more British than that. It was...good. I think I'd rather eat snails. I've also had fish pie, corned beef hash (the real kind), and some egg sandwich, called something weird and british, which was just an egg sandwich. I've gained back all the weight I lost walking on the hefty British food.
I'm supposed to get two day off per week, which tends to be the weekends, but that doesn't always happen. Jayne and I have been installing some drywall to insulate a stone-walled room. Really the only reason she went through with the project was because I claimed I've done drywall before. Jayne's friend and I had quite an adventure buying the materials in the
hardware store; we were in the most machinsmo edifice in an extremely patriarchal culture, and barely spoke the language. I also brought a pink sparkly pen to take notes with, which I'm sure didn't help. We managed to finish the job today, and I'm quite pleased. We did a (literally) bang up job.
So I worked through the weekend, but we did manage to take a lovely day trip yesterday to Fosse Arthour, which is a little park with a lake. I have pictures, they just take so long to upload. I even managed to get a little bouldering in, which I haven't done in a while. Jayne's husband comes home on the weekends, so the whole family was there, which was nice.
It turns out that the fourteen-year-old fits into the same demographic of child that I used to teach in San Diego. Which makes things interesting, as sometimes my Miss Marsh side comes out, and I get a bit disciplinarian. Jayne told me in the beginning that she wants some help getting the kids to pick up after themselves etc, but maybe I do get a bit heavy-handed. I have too strong morals, I can't just sit by
and let people get away with being bad. It's a curse.
I've decided to go to Lille, I think. I have a connection there, and Ireland is getting too complicated/expensive. Too bad...I'll have to come back to do the UK I guess!
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