lundi 21 janvier 2013

week 20 - clouds, rain and vacation planning

Not a big report to share as it is mid-January and I've discovered we're into a winter of clouds and rain until likely mid-March. Clearly being positioned between two big bodies of water (Atlantic to the west and Mediterranean to the east) means a bit like a Vancouver winter in store.
Recap of the previous Friday's blind date - arrived at St Cyprien Metro stop to meet Marie, mom from El's class, and discovered in her rapid fire French that we'd be meeting the group shortly. Frederique (woman) arrived with her boyfriend, adult son and daughter along with her perfect Canadian English. So here's the backstory: Frederique is actually French from Toulouse and moved to Canada in the late 60s, think to go to university, and stayed. She's lived in Ottawa since. She married, had two children and now later in life since separating from her husband, has reconnected with her first love from Toulouse. They split their time between Ottawa and Toulouse as her extended family is here too.
Frederique somehow connected with Marie when Marie's older daughter Edithe did an internship in Ottawa this last summer. So there you go - small world and Canadians unite.
She is lovely, as is her boyfriend, Marie and all their adult children, and we had a "tres sympa" (very nice) lunch all together. The next twist on this story comes when early last week, I received a cc on an email from Frederique to one of her French girlfriends Veronique, who I gather will be moving her family to Toronto shortly as her husband will be relocating for work. So Frederique offered me up for details and support. Again, will let you know where this goes. World is small.
I spent the bulk of last week tucked up in the loft on the sofa under the skylight hoping to capture any rays of sunlight which could sneak through the clouds/rain/sometimes hail and/or slush, and researched then booked a vacation for 6 to Scotland plus England in min-May. My dad and his wife will be joining us as we search out the Gordon roots in the highlands, check in on Glasgow and Edinburgh then pop over to London for a quick Harry Potter Studio tour before ending in Whitstable to celebrate my aunt's 60th plus 10th wedding anniversary. Our stays will include a period house near the Cathedral in Glasgow, a stone cottage near Kirriemuir, a tony Newtown apt in Edinburgh and finally some beach huts right at the water's edge in Whitstable. Now that all is set, I'm very much looking forward to it. Count down on.
Also spent time finding a reasonable spot to stay in for a week in early March to join Marco on one of his last two weeks of his course, which will be spent on the Army Base at the Ecole d'Air in Salon de Provence. The girls and I will spend our days trolling Provence and join Marco for evenings. Not a bad week.
Next up to sort will be the end of March weekend in Barcelona with Toronto friend Andrea and her friends visiting, then first weekend in April in Paris to cheer Dee and Tineke on in their bid for the Paris Marathon and following, what will we do for the girls' two week printemps vacance in April? Then we'll start looking forward to friends potential visits for summer.
Yes, I know, not a difficult life but what can I say? These are my activities right now.
I have been having a few moments of "ok, what am I really going to do now and shouldn't I be concerned I'm not working?!" Luckily my good friends are talking me back down to confirm that this is the plan and that whatever I choose to do is the right thing. Hard to manage that A-type bit.
That said, I do need to find some occupying something. Will get on that and get back to you.
I'm also watching the Master Court of Sommeliers' website to see when the Certified Sommelier class will be taking place in London to see if I can manage to get this sorted.
Right then, you're up to date.
Hope all is well in your early 2013.
A la prochaine,

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