dimanche, septembre 27, 2009


Picture of the day. (no, I didn't drive it)

samedi, septembre 26, 2009

vroom vroom

Last night Mystery Guest and I celebrated the fact that I finally passed the dreaded code... step 1 of getting my French license! Today I went over to the auto-ecole to drop off my paper saying I passed and to see about getting a date to take the driving exam.

It works a little differently - heck - totally differently if you're talking about the license process! But the driver's ed teacher wants me to do an hour or two more before the exam to make sure I'm ready. The cool thing is that they will pick you up from the train station to do your driving practice. So the week before I'll be doing 2 night drives, hope the sun will still be up! Hate driving at night... boo just realized that...

Then I asked when the first testing date would be, October 27th. My. Birthday. LOL! How 16 do I feel right now? Good thing is that if on the driving practice he thinks I'm not quite ready it will just push back the date by 1 week, but what a great birthday present that would be! When she said that I was reminded of this scene...

Let's hope I won't be that blond!

I've been looking for cars online now, leboncoin here I come! Any suggestions? I'm looking for something not more than 5,000e obviously with not too many km and diesel would be nice but not necessary. I see all the French brands but have no clue where to start...

vendredi, septembre 25, 2009

that's all i have to say about that...

Code de la Route: T- 1 hour

Arrived safely in St Lô after hanging out for my connecting train in a random little station with no 3G, or Edge, or cell service at all!!! But brought my laptop & did the code DVD 5 or 6 times. Feeling ok but it is just such a stressful exam with SO much riding on it... Breathe... Got a sandwich and am trying to relax in the sun in front of the DDE for my last hour...

Oh the drama!

Sent from my iPhone

mercredi, septembre 23, 2009

journees du patrimoine

This is probably the first year that I've gone out and done stuff for the Journees du Patrimoine (this year the 19th and 20th of September). Mystery Guest and I went into town to check out the Musee du Cidre and eau de vie. Sadly neither of those offered free taste tests! But they were really interesting and well done museums with lots of local history and KSam would like it cause you see what it would have been like to live in V-town back in the day! The best part was an old cider barrel carved into a bed (see picture) that this guy did in the early 1800's - he said he was inspired by Biblical verses but it was muuuuuch kinkier than it says in the Bible!

It was fun to go into museums and not pay, no long lines out here either. Just a nice afternoon with the MG-man! :-)

lundi, septembre 21, 2009


Blackberry cake. Reminds me of a coffee cake but not, of a cobbler but not really either.

dimanche, septembre 20, 2009

da roof!

Starting to look like a house eh??? Half of the roof is done and the roofer has put the 3 skylights (which open). One is for the loft part and the other two on the sides are in bedrooms. There's still the other side which needs to be done and then we'll have to work on the outside of the house itself - putting up plastic against the plywood and finally the siding and windows! Once all that is done it will be waterproof and looking finished! (from the outside, is still pretty much a gutted mess on the inside...)
So it's all rolling along for now, I think the roof is sexy! The tiles are actually that, tile, made out of terra cotta. But I love the black, red roofs just aren't very Norman!

Work is good but it's really the grind, nothing exciting to post about these days. Twisto, boulot, dodo...

(Twisto is the bus/tram system in Caen).

samedi, septembre 19, 2009

dimanche, septembre 13, 2009

elderberry syrup

After reading about Elderberry syrup on this Garlic Breath (from These Days in a French Life) and on David's fantastic blog I got inspired as I started to see these bunches of black gems weighing down tree boughs in the countryside. Both of these blogs were talking about making elderberry syrup a good month before our Norman berries were ripe... I tried to scope out where I could go foraging... Yesterday the sun was out and after tinkering with my new/old sewing machine (mine broke about 6 months ago and I only just got around to sending it back - still under warrenty - thanks Lidl!) I decided I needed to get out of the house.

Armed with scissors, a plastic bag and my podcasts I took a long walk all around V-town. I tried going down side streets where I thought I might find some trees... only blackberries. Nope, not today, save those for another time, I was after Elderberries.

I found a big tree in an abanndoned lot and managed to bend some of those hard to reach ripe berries down to picking level. I got a whole bag full and on my walk home found another tree, but these ones were wayyy to far out of reach.

Apparently elderberries are really good for you, if cooked and if you avoid the green berries/leaves/bark which apparently contain cyanide! Go figure. I read up a lot, making sure I wasn't picking some random berry that would kill me in my sleep and when I was sure I got ones that looked exactly like the real thing I set to work. Piece of cake, I boiled the berries with some water, a squirt of lemon juice and a little sugar for a good 45 minutes letting them stew a bit. Then I let the mixture cool a bit, ladled it into an old t-shirt and wrung the berries dry. I got a good bit of juice out of them. Then I added 1/2 their weight in sugar and boiled it a bit longer. When it cooled it was thicker but still not a really thick syrup. I'm curious to try it in some of the ways suggested, in yogurt, over ice cream, in water. Apparently it really boosts your immune system, good for winter and this dreaded Grippe A...

samedi, septembre 12, 2009

raise the roof!

Things are going well. Work is good, I was ready for it to be Friday yesterday but it was a good week, there are a lot of little things to learn. Lots of details and forgetting one means things get messed up in a chain reaction - so I'm trying not to! But it is a very nice change from teaching. So nice to come home and have my evening to myself, no classes to plan, no grading... I also get to enjoy my train ride, knitting socks :-) I love it when I get strange looks from people, not only young people but some grandmas give me the funniest look! But speaking of trains I saw the weirdest thing yesterday, a 16 year old girl (and not the nerd, but the cheerleader if you will..) was sitting on the train sucking her thumb! Duuuude...

And for a little house update FIL and a friend of Mystery Guest's finished getting the roof ready - right on time! The roofer came the next day to start! Luckly the weather's been holding out so it looks like he shouldn't have too much trouble to get it done :-) Here's a picture of FIL's work, beautiful eh?
And here after the roofer started. They say it takes about 2 weeks. It will be so nice to be able to close the house up and not worry about the weather while we're working on it.
That's about all for now :-) off to do much less interesting stuff.... grocery shopping, cleaning up a bit... maybe vegg a bit too!

dimanche, septembre 06, 2009

brief update


There's my update! ;-)

No but seriously this weekend flew by... lots to update but I'm sleepy and got to get up early to go to work tomorrow. Decided to stick with the bank, after re-reading my contract the pay is actually better than I had thought... there are different bonuses (13th month etc), plus I just can't beat the atmosphere for the time being.

But in order to get paid I have to have an account with them, so I opened one up yesterday in V-town. My banker here was soooo sweet! Probably my age and a few minutes into the conversation said, well since we're colleagues do you mind if we "tu" eachother? So sweet. Plus I get all sorts of discounts on my account, cheaper bank card, monthly payments etc. So that rocks my socks.

Then today we got up bright and early to go work on the house. The pressure's on, the roofer comes on Wednesday! After huge storms last week the sun was out and it was hot this afternoon. Much better than the wind and rain. Hopefully Mystery Guest & Co. will get most of it done tomorrow (while I'm at work...) so the roofer can do his think starting Wednesday! Then the pictures will really start to change!

So that's about all I can muster for right now, I feel that until I get used to the new job and schedule posts around here are going to be a little sparce, but I'll try to do a little iPhone blogging while on the train too ;-)

vendredi, septembre 04, 2009

Twist of fate...

They always say that when it rains it pours... So maybe this would be
when it's hot it's HOT!
My first day as an office girl went swimmingly (more on that later)
but as I was finishing up today I got an email from the private
business school where I interviewed at back in June... At the time
they only offered me 3 hours a week, not a lot (but not horrible when
they pay 50€ an hour) I tuned them down not wanting to be locked into
a piddly 3 hour contract and forced to turn down something better
because of it.. Today he offers me 12 a week, maybe more.
Quick with the calculator that's twice what the bank pays! But as they
told me there is next to 0 hope of getting a fullyime job with the
school in the future whereas the bank tends to... And all of the
school vacations are unpaid as well, making for some sad months.
Anyway he wants an answer asap but I would feel horrible backing out
of the bank (haven't signed my contact yet). And I would assume they
wouldn't be keen on hiring me back in a years time!

Isn't it so true? You jobhunt for months - nothing - the 2 offers back
to back...

Oh and my train home is 40min late... Boo. Thank god for my iPhone & 3G!

Sent from my iPhone

Le Moulin - aka the best creperie ever!!

mercredi, septembre 02, 2009

Workin' girl

Well it's day number 2 at my new job, can't remember if I mentioned
before that it's at a bank, but it is :-)
Let me tell you it is a huge change going from teaching in a classroom
to working at an office! But the atmosphere is great, very friendly.
So signing off for now...

Sent from my iPhone