Browsing Posts published in February, 2012

With all the talk of interviews I’m in danger of believing that I’m someone interesting. Just in case that turns out to be true, I’ve spent the last few days practicing how to walk while sticking a bandy leg out of a floor length gown just like Madame Jolie at the Oscars. She’s clever that one. I never would have come up with that on my own and it might be the perfect pose for a book launch at a bar in St. John’s. I tried it out on Neil but he thought I was having some sort of seizure, so I might need to find another strategy.

Anyway, some people seem to think that my life over here is one episode of fabulous after another, so I thought I’d do a two-part exposé: a day in the life of a French diva. Let’s take yesterday. I got up at the crack of noon, lolled about in my pajamas, trolled the net, ordered a pair of shoes online that I don’t need (70% off, would’ve been irresponsible not to) and then, only because I was bored out of my skull, I tagged along with Rusty to his favourite place, the grocery store.

Apparently twirling a plucked chicken by its feet in the air is not appropriate behaviour for a budding celebrity like me or for a wife who wishes to stay married, so I had to take quick (aka blurry) photos so as not to further annoy the person who takes food shopping very seriously. Continue reading “Shopping With The Stars: Part 1” »

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Questioning My Sanity

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Oh you guys are so much fun and clearly far more clever than I. I love that many of you answered questions, no questions asked. My newspaper interview was published over the weekend and, just as I feared, it was a whole page with my mug taking up the entire upper half. My nerves. Anyway, in case anyone is remotely interested and because there’s not an original thought in my head today, here are my answers:

What is your full name?

Roberta Joan French

Where and when were you born?

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, middle of March, latter half of the 20th century.

Where is home today?

Semur en Auxois, France. Continue reading “Questioning My Sanity” »

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And So It Begins

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You wouldn’t think this, given the way I toss my life about on the Internet, but I’m actually quite fond of privacy. Back in my shrinking days even my phone number was unlisted. All this “oh and here’s something else about my arse” business is quite new for me.

Last year, a large newspaper in my hometown ran an article on me, about how I ditched my safe, conventional life for a somewhat shaky and unconventional one in a medieval town in France. They asked for a picture, I sent them one and then they blew it up to cover half the page. I was mortified and yet I have that same page (sent by my mother) in my desk drawer. Continue reading “And So It Begins” »

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Beast and the Beauty

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Any psychiatrist knows that the first step is admitting you have a problem. Well, I’ve done that. I’ve admitted that I have become a total streel (Newfanese for an untidy, messy, dirty person). I might not be especially dirty, I do wash from time to time, but I do need a bit of a sprucing up. Any psychiatrist also knows that no one can help you but you. So I picked myself up, dusted myself off, put on some real world clothes and informed my husband to prepare to finance the great battle ahead.

First stop, Avallon, a town about a 30 minute drive from Semur. And what’s so special about Avallon apart from a kick-ass bakery? This … Continue reading “Beast and the Beauty” »

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The Shame of a Nation

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Well I never. Before I start, you tell me, just what the hell is appropriate attire for 7 straight hours of italicizing French words in the manuscript from hell? One word sums it up, right? Comfortable, right? So on Friday, when I had to tear myself away from the blook (henceforth known as the goddamn blook that may never actually be finished) for my weekly appointment with Mademoiselle Elodie, I didn’t bother to change.

I thought it was a perfectly acceptable ensemble—black T-shirt, black Lululemon yoga pants and warm, cozy socks. Okay. The shirt, a tad too small and faded from too many washings; the pants, pilled with an ever so slight crust of mud on the hems; the socks, black polar fleece with purple toes and heels and huge white stars placed randomly for just the right amount of whimsy. Add in a pair of Naot orthopedic shoes, an unruly mullet and skin so dry you can write your name in it, well, I suppose she had a point. Continue reading “The Shame of a Nation” »

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The Ice Age Cometh

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Okay, first an announcement: PLEASE NOTE THE DATE FOR THE ST. JOHN’S BOOK LAUNCH HAS BEEN CHANGED. MAY 2ND IS THE NEW DATE. STILL AT BIANCA’S, STILL 6-8 P.M.

Now, for today’s doodle:

The good news is that there’s been a break in the frigid temperatures of late. It hit 0 today so of course I broke out the bikini. I was all ready to oil myself up and enjoy the tropical breezes, perhaps make myself a tall glass of lemonade to defend against the searing heat.

The bad news is that with the rise in temperature came grey skies and la neige — snow. I had convinced myself that there wouldn’t be any this year. Last year, February was 28 days of sun and temps in the low teens. And up until a few weeks ago we were golden, well, golden in the sense that it rained for 3 months but it was warm. They have a saying in these parts: if you spend Christmas on the balcony, then you’ll spend Easter by the fire.

But it does look pretty …

 

And no amount of cold weather will halt the the French gourmet …

Oysters and caviar must be displayed no matter what mess Mother Nature decides to unleash. I know I should be used to winter by now. I mean this is nothing compared to the cruel blizzards of the North Atlantic that pound the Rock on which I was raised. But still, wool mittens and scraping the car and slipping around around on icy pavement make me long for April. I’m no good for winter any more. I must be getting soft. Ah, the mind and body converge. As they say in the homeland, “She don’t know her head from her arse.”

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Fly Me To The Moon

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I love the moon. But then again, doesn’t everybody? Songs about the moon — Moon River, Moondance, Moonshadow. Clair de Lune is likely my favourite piano piece of all time. Movies about the moon or at least getting to the moon— The Man in the Moon, Apollo 13, A Walk on the Moon and a movie I know by heart, Moonstruck. Popular phrases about the moon — over the moon, once in a blue moon, honeymoon and who could forget Ralph Kramden’s famous, “Bang! Zoom! Straight to the moon!”

So why are we all so taken by this dry and dusty, cold and chalky sphere? What makes us want to write songs and swoon and stand in its shadow? I think it’s because every now and then, even in the dead of winter, you can stand in your frozen French garden and see the shine of the sun half a world away.

I’ve seen some brilliant moons in my day, once a whole series of them as an entire hockey team pressed their pasty arses against the windows of a passing yellow school bus. Even though that goalie is a close second, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a moon as beautiful as the one that rose over the housette last week. Is this stunning or what?

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I Stand Corrected

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Or in my case, I sit corrected. I always say that I’m no writer, just a person who writes stuff down and there’s a difference. But now I know for sure that I’m not really a writer. A professional copywriter has as much as told me so. Last Wednesday, I received a thick parcel all the way from my homeland. It was an envelope with 280 pages in it, my manuscript. And all I can say is that there was more red ink on those pages than I ever dreamed possible.

Five days later, I am finally finished. I try not to hate anything in this life, but I can tell you that punctuation and me/I are not on good terms. Who knew that I didn’t have a clue about how to correctly write a sentence?  The saddest part was that it took me almost as long to decipher the copyediting symbols as it did to make the suggested changes. Continue reading “I Stand Corrected” »

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Housekeeping

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Well, this is a brief post just to keep you updated on a few changes here at le blog.

First, some of you will find that the banner picture has changed. I decided I needed to shake things up a bit. If you are still seeing the lady with her shoes that’s fine. If you wish to see the new banner I think all you need to do is empty your cache and reload the site.

Second, and this is a bigger deal, the earlier archives have been closed temporarily. This was a decision I made at the recommendation of my publisher. And because she’s friggin’ wicked, I do whatever she says. We decided that this was in the best interest of the blook and I hope this doesn’t cause any major problems especially for new Finders. But you know you know what I’m going to say. Buy the book!

Anyway, after the book has been released I’ll revisit the issue and go from there.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming and see you on Monday!

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We Are Go For Launch

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Okay I know I’m not supposed to do this. It’s way too early and I should wait until all the events are lined up and make one grand announcement. That’s how professional authors do things. But I’m no professional and I’m way too excited. Plus my whole life is supposed to be about abandoning shoulda, coulda, woulda, so what the hell?

Creative Book Publishing, also known as my publisher, has announced the first date of my book ‘tour’. Yes, I said tour because in my mind more than one city means you are officially ‘on tour’. Desperate I know, but this is keeping with the what the hell motto I’ve adopted.

So here it is, mark the date. If you are reading this blog, then this is your official engraved invitation:

Creative Book Publishing is excited to present the launch of Finding me in France by award-winning blogger Bobbi French. Join us on May 2, 2012 at Bianca’s from 6-8 p.m. to celebrate Bobbi and her fantastic new book. 

So for all you Finders who plan to be in St. John’s (my hometown) on May 3rd, I would be delighted to see you. Bianca’s is on Water Street, in the centre of town. Come and hang out, have a drink, say hello which really means please, please come so Neil and I aren’t standing there like two losers in a cold empty room. So I don’t have to drag strangers in off the street and promise them free booze and feed them lines about how marvelous the book is.

If you would like to come just say so in the comments and I’ll put you in the yes column.

If you don’t plan on being in Newfoundland and Labrador on May 3rd, then let me try to entice you …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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T.S. Eliot once wrote “April is the cruelest month” but I’m here to tell you the bastard lied. It’s not April with its buds and blooms and breezes. No, it’s February, cruel and punishing and oppressive and this year (just for kicks) one whole day longer than it needs to be. Why am I so down on this poor month? Because it’s cold enough to skin ya here.

In case you haven’t heard, what with Madonna winning the Superbowl and all the other pressing North American news, Europe is locked in some sort of climate catastrophe so sagely foretold by Al Gore and David Suzuki. Apparently ice-age is the new global warming. The other morning it was -20 degrees Celsius here. I know all the Canadians are rolling their eyes but you all have houses stuffed full of pink fiberglass and vinyl windows made to withstand arctic blizzards. The houses here were constructed in the Middle Ages when people had a life expectancy of about 45 minutes. I’m guessing hypothermia was second only to bubonic plague as the leading cause of death. Continue reading “The Discontent Of Our Winter” »

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A Piece Of Gâteau

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With all the excessive and ridiculous attention I lavished on myself last week, I neglected to show you the cake I made for Neil’s birthday …

Isn’t it gorgeous? First I made the bottom layer, a delicate chocolate mousse, then I added a crispy wafer layer and then I did something to eggs and butter and there was a whisk involved, oh for god’s sake, I have no idea how anybody makes a cake like this. Perhaps the custom made chocolate disc with Patisserie Alexandre written on it was your first clue that I didn’t make this cake. Although I did walk all the way to the bakery and order it, in French, which essentially amounts to the same thing.

Anyway, he ate the whole thing all by himself. I didn’t eat one bite of this marvel of confection. I couldn’t. I mean the poor man had worked his arse off in Canada for two weeks right? Then he spent almost 24 hours in planes, trains and automobiles, on his birthday. Then he was met at the door by a half starved lunatic who yik-yakked at him for 6 hours without taking a breath because she hadn’t had human contact for several days. Then he had to make his own birthday dinner as any other option was too terrifying.

So yes, let him eat cake I said. It is the duty of a good wife to always be sensitive to the needs of her husband.

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Tongue Tied

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Well, I don’t know where to start with all this mess. The blook business is ramping up and my publisher and I have been emailing each other every five minutes. The professionally edited manuscript is on its way across the ocean to me and I can’t imagine the time it’s going to take to craft something fit to sit on shelf at Chapters. Never mind, I’ll get there. I’m not worried about a little hard work (says the woman who lounges for a living).

Here’s what I am a little concerned about. I got one email, a very cheery email, informing me that I will be doing interviews, print, maybe the CBC as part of the promotion effort for the blook. Oh my, interviews. I hadn’t really thought about that. So after Neil talked me off the ceiling, I began to be convinced that it might be possible to not stuff my foot in my mouth for 3-5 minutes. Okay, I can do that, I’ve done radio before. Granted I found it easy to talk about adolescent depression and suicide; at least then I had some expertise to fall back on. Continue reading “Tongue Tied” »

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Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a wiener…

and that wiener is us! Finding Me In France has won first place in the Ex-Pat category at the Canadian Weblog Awards. Yes, from now on this little blog must be introduced as the “award winning blog” about arses and verb tenses. You know, the way they have to say “academy award winner Meryl Streep.” Ah me and Meryl, it’s like we’re the same person.

You all know I’m a daffy doofus most of the time (there’s no fighting nature) but in a rare lean towards the serious I can tell you I was quite surprised to discover this news yesterday. Surprised and delighted! I knew I’d made the short list but I didn’t think I had a hope of winning.

I’d like to express my thanks to Canadian super-blogger Schmutzie who organizes these awards and to the jurors who decided that my doodles were worth a prize. I’d like to thank Dana (of Feast After Famine blog) for nominating me. And I’d like to thank my agent, producer, director of photography and personal chef Neil. And of course the Finders without whom this wacky giraffe would be lost.

But I wouldn’t be here today accepting this award without my faith in god, also known as Scott, my uncommonly generous and supportive brother-in-law who set up this blog in the first place and continues to maintain it as I have neither click nor clue how this website actually works. Felicitations et merci bien mon beau-frère.

And just like me, I suspect Madame Meryl will discover this year that while it is an honour to be considered, winning beats the merde out of nominated every time. I know the minute she walks off the stage with her gold statue she’ll call me and, with a perfect Newfoundland accent, say, “Honour? Honour can kiss me arse.”

  Check out all the Canadian Weblog Award winners here

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