lundi, février 27, 2006


Well I'm back from my weekend road trip to Brittany! I'm a bit tired but wanted to write a bit before I forgot, the longer I procrastinate the less likely I am to put all that I want into a post... So, this was the first time that I'd really visited the region and it was fantastic! Granted the weather was not always the best, but what can you expect in February? Anyway Mystery Guest and I made the best of things and saw tons of stuff dispite the biting wind!

First stop was Dinard for a brief picnic lunch where we experienced a bit of culture shock as all the signs were in Breton. Would have thought we had gone to another country!

Then we continued along the coast to St Brieuc where a visit to the tourist office paid off as we found an adorable farmhouse B&B with right-out-of-the-cows fresh milk in the hot cocoa for breakfast!

The next morning we hit the road early to visit the Castle la Roche Jagu (my Mystery Guest might have ancestors related to this monument so it was a must see!) The high ceilings and sweeping views of the river below convinced me that I need to look up castles of my own! Jealous I was! ;)

We continued along the coast to see the Pink Granite coastline but the impressive wind - 'duck cold' - was too much for us so we opted for a crepe lunch instead.

The trip ended with another B&B in Paimpont where we lucked out with beautiful weather on our last day which was perfect for hiking through the forest to see Merlin's tomb, the lake of the Fairy Viviane and the Giant's tomb among other sites.

Traveling always makes me think how you can take things as they come, make the best out of it and have a great time. Or you can get stuck on something negative and ruin the vacation. Falling in the mud, the wind or traffic could ruin your day or you could laugh at funny town names, sing along to bad 80's music in the car and enjoy a good crepe and come home with wonderful memories. Good traveling companions are few and far between, I am very lucky!

On the round table... I assume its the original, don't you think??? ;)

jeudi, février 23, 2006

theater production

Well Tuesday's production of A Streetcar Named Desire went fairly well in the end. Here is my class of Master 1 : English Lit. As you can see its a biiiiig class! I guess not many people are clammering to get into this department...

We did 2 different scenes, I was in Streetcar with Quentin (far right in the black wife-beater) and Vanessa (bottom right) and the others did a scene from The Bog of Cats by Marina Carr.

Remy (upper left) brought his digital camera so we have photographic evidence! I'm going to try and get some more pictures (I think there is one of me in my 'bath') and even video to post. I actually had a great time doing this little skit and getting to know my classmates a bit better.

I haven't done much so far on my vacation, Monday I caught a nasty cold so I've mostly been staying inside watching movies, knitting and taking care of myself. I think I can breathe enough today so I might go for a little swim, its been a while.

Bonnes Vacances!

dimanche, février 19, 2006


Like I said in my previous post I had to go practice a scene from A Streetcar Named Desire for my Masters class on Tuesday. There are 3 of us in the group and we met at Vanessa's apartment. When I arrived the other guy in the group had already arrived and there was also the roommate, her boyfriend and Vanessa's boyfriend.

Turns out I was the only one who had memorized my lines (I don't have thaaat many and its in English! easy!) so we sat around talking over a bottle of wine and little toasts with cheese.

I had the best time sitting around chatting about anything and everything and I never felt like the foreigner, like people were slowing down for me etc. I even cracked a joke!!! No, but seriously I have so many English-speaking friends sometimes I wonder if I could survive without that group. I've often told myself that my friends are my friends because I enjoy their company not just because they are English speakers.

Tonight confirmed that.

I felt so comfortable. I think if my safety-net of this English community were taken away from me I'd be just fine.

Here I am now, gossiping with other friends from my course over MSN just as I would with friends from home.

I have to admit, it feels good.

After 3 years it feels damn good.

beach, dvds, knitting and baking

I decided that even though I have a million and a half things to do, I need a break! So this weekend I dedicated to relaxing!

Saturday I slept in and then made myself a yummy breakfast before taking a little trip to the beach. It is amazing how just standing there listening to the waves can clear your mind, just a meditation... it was great. I realized something, things like that are all about quality and not quantity. I only stayed at the beach for 1 hour, took the first bus home but it was exactly what I needed.

I came back into town and after a quick chat with Natalie at Dolly's (and some scones for an afternoon tea) I came home and watched Shrek while fixing (and finishing) a neckwarmer that I had started a while back.

What do you think?

Then I met up with a friend to meet her new boyfriend (!!!) and then made a yummy stir-fry dinner with Natalie and Anne-Celine. Yum yum.

Today was another great day, I met up with my friend Shannan for a coffee at the market where the nice apple-dude chatted me up and gave me free pears when my friend Virginie called to say she was in town until early afternoon. So I did another tour of the market with her and her friend before heading over to the swimming pool.

I just got home and am making apple sauce (with those yummy market apples) to put into applesauce muffins all while watching The Neverending Story and blogging. I'm not sure if my vacation could get off to a better start! :)

Edit: Here are the beautiful muffins I made! I had to meet some classmates to practice a scene from Streetcar Named Desire (ou bien un tramway nomme desir si vous voulez...) for our theater class on Tuesday. I brought muffins to bring a bit of energy and they were a big hit :)

vendredi, février 17, 2006

vacaaaation baby!

YES! Finally I'm DONE!

I'm on vacation from work for the next 2 weeks, count 'em - TWO! :-)

I'm mostly going to be sticking around town getting work done and most importantly - sleeping. But have plans to take off to Tours and Brittany, nothing set in stone yet though.

So I'm one happy bunny over here. Just thought I'd share that.

jeudi, février 16, 2006

loooong day ahead

Ahoy matey!! I've got one LONNNNG day ahead of me!

Came to my oh-so-far-away school for class at 8am. Had class from 8-9 and then 9-10.

We worked on "Goodbye my lover" which pathetically enough totally depressed me but cracked me up when 30 electronics students busted it out to me in the courtyard during recess!

and now I have nada, nil, niet, nothing until 4:30pm!!!

Maybe I'll go out and explore this town that I've never seen. Usually I go straight to the school and home again, who knows maybe the downtown is cute?!?


Someone wound my body clock up the wrong way... I was proud of myself for going to bed early last night as Thursday is my early day.

I woke up to a nightmare at 4:15 this morning! This when my alarm is supposed to go off at 5:30...! So of course I couldn't fall back asleep. Totally awake now but have a feeling I'm going to crash later this afternoon...

Grrrrr, someone wind me up the right way please!

mardi, février 14, 2006

happy valentine's day!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Its been a pretty good day, beautiful and warm weather for a change! (good thing cause my coat is still looking sad...)

I taught the little kids today and explained that Valentine's Day in America is of course for couples but just as importantly for friends and family. We made the little Valentines cards that my mom sent, made some others with the little poem on them:

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Sugar is sweet

And so are you!**

and then tried some of the heart candy that mom had sent as well. The kids had a good time and loved making cards for their boyfriends and girlfriends (at 5 years old people! it starts young!). It was fun sharing something different about the same holiday and the kids were so cute. I had one little kindergartener tell me that after mommies and daddies get married they have babies, buuuut sometimes they can have babies before they get married! The shock!

Oh and good news! I got my first grade of the year, on the big presentation I gave in November! I'm pretty happy with my 15/20, its a good grade, I'd say about a B or B+ on the American scale and its good as the class average was 16.

**I couldn't help thinking in my head:

But the roses are wilted

The violets are dead

The sugar is lumpy

And so is your head!

Anyone remember that one??? ;)

lundi, février 13, 2006


Its all made up for, the whole coat story from earlier tonight (seems to be drying slowly but might be save-able).

I had decided to wash my sheets when I did my laundry. Mind you its not an easy feat, my bed is actually a loft. And a loft you cannot sit up in so I, erm, tend to not wash my sheets as often as I should...

But hey, I'm not dirty! I always go to bed all squeaky clean!

So in any case I just finished wrestling my sheets back into place, stuffing my duvet into its clean cover and will jump into bed asap!

Ahhhhh the delights of crisp, clean sheets... someone's gonna sleep good tonight! Sweeeet dreams!


Whaaaa!!! Brouhou! I decided since the weather warmed up this week it'd be a good opportunity to wash my wonderful winter coat. My pride and joy since the January sales of 2004 when I decided that yes indeed I could be the Michelin Man.

So I carefully read the instructions, wash at maximum 30C, shake back into shape and let air dry.

So I did.

I put the washing machine on at 30C and went to tutor my Russian.

I came back and its SOPPING WET! I can feel the feathers inside and they feel like gooey oatmeal - yuck! I told the lady who works at the laundrymat but she said that that cycle never spins fully dry and I should have have put it on another cycle. Duh! Of course that makes sense! Grrrr....

It is now spread out on my drying rack and I can hear the pitter patter of, no not footsteps, but drops falling into the bowls I've placed on my floor.

So. Sad. Sniff.

dimanche, février 12, 2006

weekend recap

I had a great but busy weekend. On Friday I had 30 minutes after class to throw together an over-night bag and then I went back up to the high school where I teach. I met up with a teacher that works there and he drove me back to his house in neighboring Bayeux.

He and his wife invited me for dinner, they were so nice and welcoming I had a great time. They have 3 boys who were all really sweet and after a nice - but relaxed - dinner we watched the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

I had a great time chatting with this teacher and his wife, they are so interesting having traveled all over the world. In fact they are currently applying to teach in the US next year, in cities where I've been or where I have family so I could talk a bit about that with them. They were also really interested in hearing about the educational system in the States, so I tried to explain as much as possible how things work, teaching style etc...

I think I spoke more French in those 24 hours then in the last month... I mean long complicated conversations, it had been a while! So since Bayeux is quite far I stayed over for the night and then after exploring the little farmers market in the morning I took the train back home at noon.

Last night the girls and I had a taco salad/Much Ado About Nothing evening. It was good fun and nice to relax a bit. Today I think I'll make some cookies to give to the teacher tomorrow as a thank you.

1 more week and then vacation here I come!!!!! Can't wait!!!

vendredi, février 10, 2006

new discovery!

Well I'm here on my lunch break at my other high school and I'm one happy clam! I just discovered a computer that not only lets me check my Yahoo mail (the other computers block it grrrrr) but has MSN already on it!! Perfect for Fridays where I have 2 1-hour breaks! (insert Happy Dance here)

So I'm one happy camper sitting here surfing, catching up on email and chatting away - well would be chatting away but no one is online!! Anyway this is extremely useful knowledge for the future.

Now if only I had something to eat... my stomach is growling away and I won't have any time until 4pm today to eat... what a rough life.

Happy weekend everyone!

mardi, février 07, 2006

seduction à la française

So you know how we say the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach... well I found out that expression doesn't exist in French (which I find a bit odd due to the importance of food here but thats another story)

They do however have a different expression: Charmer une dame par le verbe.

Which I understood as charm a woman with verbs, so I had this mental image of a man whispering sweet verbs in a woman's ear...
je danse
tu danses
il danse
... etc...

How romantic is that? Lets conjugate verbs to seduce a woman, fabulous!!!

Then I learned that verbe is actually an old word for word. So I guess a better translation would end up charm a woman by whispering sweet nothings in her ear... maybe. But in the end it was worth the case of the giggles ;)

Anyway that's alllll folks!!!

dimanche, février 05, 2006


So while making crepe batter yesterday I just about busted a gut when I heard:

"Its really too bad I don't have a whip this is really lumpy."


About 10 minutes later I recovered from my hysterical laughing to reply:

"That would be a whisk"


The little kids I teach had a mini-concert on the playground yesterday morning. It was adorable! They had spent the week learning about "water" - don't ask, I don't really know why... And so they gave a little concert for the parents at 11am.

It was so cute! I dragged along Mystery Guest and when we arrived in the school I was mobbed by the little anklebiters who ran up saying "hello hello"! And then I could see those little fingers pointing at me while whispering to their parents, "C'est la prof d'anglais" like I was some sort of minor celebrity.

As the week was themed on water they sang several songs having to do with rain or water. Most of them I didn't recognize (except the French version of "Raindrops keep fallin' on my head")

But my pride and joy was when they all sang "Singin' in the rain". It was great! Seeing all of them up there (K-5) busting out an American song, if you closed your eyes you could almost imagine it was a group of American kids. We had been working on it for the last few weeks and it really paid off!

So cute :-)

vendredi, février 03, 2006

cat nap

I don't remember the last time I had time to take a nap... but after two very long days of work I got home from swimming today and totally conked out on my lovely clic-clac for an hour....

boy is that great stuff!


jeudi, février 02, 2006


I always dread Thursdays as I'm stuck in a po-dunk town 45 minutes away with big chunks of time between classes (and freakishly old computers that take 20 minutes to load!)

However it's been a good day so far. I taught 2 classes with really fun kids and we talked about Groundhog Day and the superstition that goes behind it. Then I got them to tell me some French superstitions, one I've never heard of (and don't know if its a regional thing) is that you are supposed to put 7 stalks of wheat in your car so you won't have an accident!

Or if you run out of food then you just grind your own flour and bake a loaf of bread on your engine... hehe

Then I was invited to a collegue's house for lunch - some yummy Thai fish curry and she gave me a Chistmas present she's been meaning to bring to school. A really cool fountain pen with a retractable nib! How fun! I've gotten addicted to them and this one is really nice.

So now I've got 2 hours to kill before I can hitch a ride home... might make the most of the free time and work on my translation homework for next week... or I should anyway!

Edit: ended up getting off work early cause of strikes (God bless France!)