Browsing Posts published in December, 2010
Wreckgate 2010 continues. The deadline for financing has come and gone and the answer from the bank was “mais oui we’ll finance your lovely Wreck with just a few conditions”. A few conditions they say.
Get French life insurance because we don’t accept that silly Canadian insurance that you’ve had for 10 years. We don’t feel like financing your kitchen because your range, fridge and cheap but clever Ikea cabinets and countertops are ‘portable’. Oh and if any unexpected costs crop up during the renovation, you’re on your own with that. Bon courage and we appreciate your business.
What the $#@!* am I supposed to do with that now? One, I’m old and decrepit, literally falling apart at the seams and Neil takes a medication that costs more a year than a Mercedes so applying for new life insurance is not an optimistic undertaking (no pun intended). Continue reading “Decisions, Decisions” »
Christmas ornaments and artwork aside France is all about food and wine. Of course there are big grocery stores, several in our town, but one of my favourite things here is the épicerie, a small boutique grocery store. When I visited Paris I fell in love with one in Montmartre not only for the food but for the unmistakable Frenchiness of the store itself.
So when we found Serge’s place here in Semur is was like a gift from the gods.
Hey Canada, I found your winter here in France. Come get it. Now. It’s so cold Brigitte Bardot is wearing a sealskin coat.
Ice and snow has brought most of the UK and France to a slow crawl. Flights cancelled, trucks (the lifeline of Europe) stranded overnight which means that every delay in France now has an excuse, the weather. Right. Next the bank will be telling me that the mortgage approval is still not ready because of the weather. My head might actually explode.
Here In Semur it’s been a bit difficult as the sun has not been seen for over a month now. I’m just waiting for the rickets to set in. Maybe I thought France would be warmer and sunnier but I’m not complaining because other parts of France have really been dumped on.
Of course I come from the land of professional winter survivors. We really know how to deal with it, plows and salt and such. Here they just look frightened and descend into panic mode. I am stunned by the amount of snow that creates havoc over here. 15 centimeters?? Sure that’s nothing, a mere dusting, nothing that can’t be managed with a slight eye roll and the latest fancy scraper thingy from Canadian Tire.
See, I’m not buying this whole ‘surprised by winter’ business. News flash: scientists around the world have confirmed that winter comes every year and at about the same time. But I have to go a little easy on the French as apparently this kind of weather almost never occurs before January.
It’s hard not to read too much into this one. Everywhere we go I can see the villagers looking at us putting deux and deux together. Wacky early super winter coincides with the arrival of two Canadians who appear to have multiple down coats and several wooly hats apiece. Hmm. I will admit it does look a bit suspicious.
At least I know how to dress for winter. The other day I was walking in the village wearing my full length shearling coat, a trapper hat and of course my non slip Timberland boots, cool winter chic right? Why I could have just slipped unnoticed into the crowd at the Sundance film festival.
Then I saw her coming out of a shop. Lovely little grey beret, trendy cinched waist mock down filled coat, fancy scarf and high heeled boots (on ice!!). Ah yes, of course. Me, Nanook of the North. Her, Ice Queen of Europe. God love her. At least she’ll look gorgeous as she’s going down. Me, I’m sticking to my long johns, wool socks and fleece slippers. Stone cottages are quaint but warm they ain’t.
So I’m settling in for the long haul here. At least for now the wine will flow, the bakeries will keep pumping out the croissants and the grocery stores have entire aisles devoted to chocolates for Christmas. Like every year I’ll tough it out until spring. Someone wake me when it’s April.