mentally tired, that is
24.06.2011 - 29.06.2011 18 °C
The days are long but getting shorter after June 21 solstice. Today it rained, was cloudy all day and i don't think made it over 20 degrees. Bye bye heat.
This week so far i have been lucky though. Antonin has been at his Grandparents and dealing with one is much easier. The 'new' situation is still unclear - N & F have been going into the office this week but said Friday will be the last day. The kids are both on holiday after Friday so hopefully that means its not down to me to entertain them.
Anyway i take a break in about three weeks when my friends visit France, I am so looking forward to getting on that train south.
I have had another series of, well unusual days. You when more than one thing happens that makes you wonder about coincidences and such? Friday I decided to go to the market and then swimming (btw at the once 'indoor' pool that suddenly became an 'outdoor' one. Now i must consider how warm it is before i go swimming) in Chalon, arriving just before the market finished and hurrying straight to the laitier stall to get goats milk. The guy there (Denis) must have remembered me from 2 weeks ago because he straight away spoke his not too bad english, then before i got around to asking about where his farm was and if it was possible to visit, he gave me his card and explained i could come and get the milk as soon as it was bottled, and even visit for when the goats are being milked. Fantastic, odd, but exactly what i was going to ask him. Seeing first hand the process for making cheese and yoghurt in a small artisan setting is one thing i was hoping to achieve.
So i go swimming for an extra long time then soak up the heat in the steam room - i'm alone. Then a guy enters. Our eyes meet.
Ok i won't keep up the suspense, we chatted and he's not french but moroccan. Which isn't necessarily a good thing, or bad. But french would have been better. He seemed nice enough but wasn't finding the people as friendly as i was so i assume he's not making friends with the locals.
Then after my swim i wandered back into the square to look for somewhere for lunch and happened across Denis the Laitier again, who was eating alone and insisted i join him. So i had someone to talk to for lunch, practise some french with and find out more about what it is to be an 'Artisan Laitier' in Burgundy. (You see i've become quite interested in dairy, especially yoghurt and fromage since i've been looking into why unpasturised cows milk is simply illegal and unobtainable in Australia but not other countries). And everyone is interested in how and why an Australian is hanging around the area.
Sunday: I had decided at the last minute not to go with the family to the First Communion of Amarine's friend Chloe, narrowly avoiding another church service and all day not-very-exciting lunch). Instead i went into Chalon to do something touristy, like visit the museum charting the town's history.
I don't go until nearly 12 again when stores and everything but restaurants shut. By pure chance I see the Fair Trade store open - i suppose the equivalent of our Oxfam Shop - which has only just begun to open on a Sunday. I get chatting to the guy running it and he ends up giving me loads of info about how to find out about progress in Sustainability practices in the area and a place that needs volunteers (hmm perhaps... later). This will be a good source of info in future and i might finally find where to buy a bleeding stainless steel water bottle that's been manufactured in an environmentally friendly fashion.
After that I again go looking for somewhere to try for lunch. I pass and assess the menus of a few places then settle on 'The Clown Gourmand' with prawns greek style on its menu to tempt me. (Turned out to be an awsome place btw. Really nice and interesting food). I speak a little to a local couple and write postcards to fill the time. Then right before i ask for the bill an English couple behind me turn around and the wife Lillian says "i hope you don't mind but i heard you're English - or at least speaking english." (of course i immediately say i'm not english but australian!).
So we get chatting (and she also rarely finds a vegetable on a menu in France and then not one that isn't overcooked beyond recognition!). Turns out she moved to a village just a stone's throw from Laives 8 years ago to buy and run the bar. She closed it just the other day because she can't manage it on her own. I hadn't overheard, but she and her best-friend/ex-husband and spent the entire lunch discussing options for her like advertising to UK Universities for students to live in her self-contained studio with a small wage to help in the bar and improve the little bit of French language they have. Basically exactly someone like me. Bizarre. So i'm not about to become a bar-wench in another small french village but there you go. She's keeping the bar closed for now anyway so doesn't need anyone til probably next year but we swapped numbers anyway and i have someone to visit and have a good old English afternoon tea with shall i feel the need.
I have to say, as happy and adjusted as i am in Burgundy, i always relish coming across friendly English people (coming across any Anglos is rare), especially if they live here so i can compare experiences and get tips and advice!
These things could mean nothing, or could mean something. I suppose i'll see. At least it's a but reassuring i'm doing the right thing.
My 3 books arrived from the Book Depository online store which i am over the moon about. I hadn't realised how much i missed reading novels, and magazines just don't demand enough thought and attention. Plus a book/cd for teaching yourself french. I am getting loads of benefit from being around it obviously but i know i'm missing basics and needed a guide with things to work through.
Tonight i don't know why i'm tired. We even finished dinner well before 9pm. I think i must stop and reassess and prioritise my goals to achieve here. I've had this 'always tomorrow' attitude for the whole 3 months and before i know it a year will have passed and i'll still have a list of unfulfilled wishes.