Browsing Posts published in August, 2011

All In A Day’s Walk

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Okay heat waves and harassing hooligans aside I love this town. One of the great things about living in old Europe is how the everyday becomes the sublime. Places that I always took for granted in Canada, banks, libraries, city hall (mostly because they were just, well, boring) take on new meaning here in Semur.

I often start or finish my day here at Mademoiselle Elodie’s House of Pain…

She calls it ‘physiotherapy’ which in French is pronounced ‘sadistic torture’. Oh now I’m just teasing, she saves my life three times a week. After Elodie finishes untwisting the pretzel lady I’m loose enough to promenade home and the first place I see is the local Caisse D’Epargne also known as a bank.

See when the banks look like this they get a certain amount of forgiveness no matter how wacky the process of seeking mortgage approval. A few more steps, the local library…

When I am queen of the world (which let’s face it should be any day now) all libraries will look exactly like this one. In the centre of the courtyard there are benches where I can sit and take it all in which is a good thing because god knows there’s not much point of me hanging about inside, not even in the preschool section. Ah but someday soon I’ll proudly check out my first French book, preferably one with lots of pictures and really big print.

Next I pass through the gates of ‘city hall’…

When I first moved here I noticed every town had a ‘Hotel De Ville’ which of course I thought was France’s answer to Holiday Inn. Not so, this place is the administrative hub of Semur or the ‘mairie’, a veritable extension of La République, where one seeks permission to live in France from Monsieur le Maire himself. The crowd at this place have offered us a level of service that a Howard Johnson’s just couldn’t touch.

Trust me it’s as lovely inside as it is out. What I love about living here is a simple walk to the physio clinic is inspiring and beautiful and makes me feel happy all over. Of course every place in the world has its own beauty and no town is perfect. To be sure there are parts of Semur that are crumbly, shabby and in need of some serious overhauling but I’ve seen my derrière today so who am I to talk?

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The Buck Stops Here

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Or I should say the Euro. While the world markets shake, rattle and roll and the global economy implodes, here in Semur the value of a dollar is as solid as a rock. I mean really what can you get for a dollar these days? A handful of candy? Nope. A coffee? You couldn’t even buy the foam on a latte for that. Sure even everything at these so called ‘dollar’ stores costs $1.99. And okay one Euro is a bit more than a dollar, $1.40 Canadian today to be exact but that’s besides the point.

Almost daily I’ve walked past these magnificent doors and longed to see what treasure was hidden behind them. The other day there appeared out of nowhere a brass plaque announcing daily visits every half hour. Well now, two tickets s’il vous plaît. Continue reading “The Buck Stops Here” »

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