17 May 2009

2006: Bad News, Good News, Bad News

The weather has started to annoy me. Since arriving, there has only been one day that was remotely close to "clear skies", and around noon last Friday I made the mistake of stating it felt like thunderstorms later. Oops. Since, we've had wind and showery in the afternoons, and wind and clouds in the mornings... The advice I'd received regarding the annoying-to-transport windbreaker and heavy sweatshirt was advice well-taken. The only positive is I've been able to catch up on a bit of the clean-up work I'd taken with me (photos in need of triage, for example).

To give you an idea of what life can be like here, allow me to entertain you with lunch: Go to the bakery ("boulangerie") which is not quite 50 metres north on Rue de Guingamp. Once there, order a croissant and a baguette (incroyable!) to go, pay less than 2 Euros for the pair. Smile all the way home. Once home, bring out the breadboard, a sharp bread knife, put some butter and some of the best strawberry preserves I've eaten in years on a plate, and move the whole kit into the front garden. While the sun peeks through the scudding clouds (40+ mph, on average), slice a bit of baguette, lightly butter said bit, add preserves, and smile a lot more as you bite into that little bit of heaven, all the while watching the swallows and swifts as they catch their own lunch, and listening to the melodic cacophany of birds singing.

I'm sorry, but someone has to do it.

Unfortunately, not everything has been enjoyable. Yesterday was the first time I'd had a chance to check my email, finding internet access at "Le Bibliothèque" for the town of Guingamp, where they at least allow about 30 minutes (even though they won't let me connect for upload or download). 1500 messages to sort out (and mostly throw as spam and not-locally-useful mail). And, while I had no time to read 99.99% of what was left, one of them caught my eye: a friendly acquaintance from Middlesbrough, Yorkshire, was killed in a traffic accident the evening of my arrival in France. We had talked about meeting when I was "in country", but our schedules hadn't gelled.

Michael, you will be missed...

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