Thursday, September 30, 2010
Here's a photo I took the other night as I was on my way to my collage class, showing the leaf colours. Surprisingly, the turrets are part of the high school where I'm taking the course. I shall have to make a point of going early one night so I can get a closer look at the building itself. So far, I've only had this tantalizing glimpse of these turrets. No doubt, the rest of the building's facade is equally interesting. I just have to remember to go early enough, before it gets dark!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Here's a picture of all the fabulous goodies I am going to be receiving from Andrew:
Every time I read the description of what is contained in this collection (see Andrew's original post here: http://andrew-thornton.blogspot.com/2010/09/birthday-week-giveaway-day-five.html), I notice something I didn't notice before and I have to go back to the picture and find that item. For instance, just now, I saw the words "vintage buttons" - ooh, where? where? It was the skulls that first caught my attention but the more I look, the more I see and they all sound fabulous. I shall be watching my mailbox avidly for the next little while until these treasures arrive.
I heard about the giveaway by way of Kate McKinnon, who mentioned it on her blog (thanks, Kate!). I first heard about Andrew a few years ago from Kate and quickly became a regular reader of his blog. He's a very interesting guy, a true artist who expresses his talent in so many different ways - through photography, writing, cooking, painting, and by designing and making jewellery, often in collaboration with his sister Cynthia (got love her name) for their company, Green Girl Studios, just to mention a few.
I was lucky enough to meet Andrew last year at the Bead and Button show in Milwaukee and spend a few minutes chatting with him at the GGS booth. He is just as interesting in person as he is on the Internet and his kindness and gentleness of spirit are immediately apparent.
I've added a link to his blog on the right hand sidebar, in case you want to check him out. But be warned, he often posts photos with descriptions of meals he has made or tasted in his travels and it is always enough to make your mouth water enviously. Throughout our recent trip to France, both Kate and I had a running joke about how we had to take a picture of what we were eating "to send to Andrew", knowing he would have enjoyed the culinary delights we were experiencing.
Thank you, Andrew, for sharing your birthday celebration with me by way of this extra special giveaway gift.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I was using a Cosmopolitan magazine from 1983 as my source, which made for some hilarious reading. As you can see from my collage, I even used part of an ad for the Columbia House tape club as part of my collage. Talk about a blast from the past!
I'm not sure yet whether I like the class. The teacher seemed rather disorganized and didn't have anything planned for us to do for the last hour of the 3 hour class, which was somewhat alarming but then again, it was only the first week. We'll see how it goes tonight.
Monday, September 27, 2010
I got to have one last look at the remains of the Cherry Bomb today. I had to drive to the lot where it is being stored to remove my licence plates and car mats. The poor thing was just sitting in a bunch of weeds on the edge of the lot, surrounded by other broken vehicles, some of them much more damaged than mine, if you can imagine. The rear bumper was in the back seat when I arrived but the guy who let me onto the lot pulled it out to remove the plate.
It was my first time on the big highway since the accident. It was about half an hour each way and I have to say, I was more than a little nervous as I drove along, especially when I got boxed in by a bunch of big trucks at one point. However, I made it there and back without incident but man, were my shoulders and neck tense by the time it was over! (Thank goodness I had a physio appointment tonight to work out all that extra tension.)
I was feeling a little bit sorry for myself as I drove to the lot, thinking about all the nuisance things I have to take care of to get my life back to normal after the accident and worrying about all the minor little details. That feeling lasted until I got to my destination and met the guy I'd spoken to earlier on the phone, and noticed his arms were only as long as his elbows. His handicap didn't seem to slow him down at all, he grabbed a torque wrench and got that licence plate off my mangled bumper in less time than it would have taken me to figure out how to attach the darned thing to the bolt.
Makes you realize, there's always somebody who is worse off than you are and often times, what you might think of as a problem really isn't that bad at all. When he asked me if I'd been driving the car when it got hit and told me how lucky I was to have walked away, I had no trouble agreeing with him!
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
But the cracked LCD monitor looked like a very cool piece of abstract art when we turned it on:
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Physically, I am still stiff and sore today but I'm not feeling as bad as I thought I would be. I saw my family doctor yesterday and he prescribed some anti-inflammatory pills, so I am assuming that medication is already doing its job, even after just one dose. I do have several new bruises today, in some rather unusual places, mostly on my legs. A couple are clearly from the seatbelt but the rest are mostly below my knees which makes me wonder what I would have banged up against in the car to cause them to occur - the steering wheel? The dash under the steering wheel?
One of the casualties of the accident is my laptop. I'm afraid to even turn it on, as it looks quite banged up. There are a couple of actual dents in the outside case, one corner is broken and the screen looks like it may be cracked. The insurance adjuster has suggested that I take it to a computer store and have them access the damage. The laptop will be easy enough to replace if it is unrepairable but of course, all I'm worried about are the photos I have saved on there because the majority of the pictures from my trip to France are there. Foolishly, I hadn't backed them up yet. I was actually planning to do that backup when I got home Sunday night. Of course, I meant to do it before we even left France but ran out of time. Ah well, c'est la vie.
So, fingers crossed. Chances are they can be accessed and copied onto a disk. If not, I guess I'll just have to head back to France sooner than later and take them all again!
Monday, September 20, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Shiver me timbers, can you believe another year has gone by and here we are again on Sept 19th, celebrating "Talk Like a Pirate Day"?! Arrr, where does the time go?
My friend Doriot has the perfect hat for a day like today:
(is that not the most amazing photo?? I love it!!)
Avast ye, mateys, here she is again, looking even more like a pirate with a sword we found at a vide grenier (which she wisely decided not to purchase because, really, how would one get a sword home on the plane??)
Saturday, September 18, 2010
I'm trying to remember what's actually inside the box I sent myself. I am delaying the opening of the box until later today, just to enjoy the anticipation a little bit longer.
I took this photo of the contents as I was partway through filling it:
There were some old books and maps, three bars of lovely lavender and oatmeal soap that was the first thing I bought on the first day we were there, at the Saturday morning farmers' market in Revel - Gwen introduced me to this soap last time I was in Durfort in 2008, three bars lasted me an entire year! - the metal first aid box I bought at one of the vide greniers and the game box with the key, carefully wrapped in bubble wrap as I couldn't actually remove the key from its slot and wanted to be sure it didn't get damaged in transit, and a large piece of fabric that Gwen gave me.
But there are other things in there as well that I added after I took the above photo. As far as I can remember, there is also a metal soap dish in a lovely mauve shade, slightly rusted and aged looking, several watch chains, a half dozen men's cotton handkerchiefs in various muted plaid patterns.
I can't wait to open the box and view my treasures!
Friday, September 17, 2010
I like Kate's photo because of the warm tones and the fact that it was taken from a position farther back than where I was standing. Here's the shot I took:
But here's the picture I like best from that visit, the one of Dawn all aglow as she stands in the light:
Thursday, September 16, 2010
If you look at yesterday's post, you'll see that you can click to enlarge the photo at the top of the posting but you can't do the same with the rest of the photos. That's because I left that first photo in place after it was uploaded, it didn't need to be moved anywhere. So here are several photos that I will position by cutting and pasting and we'll see if this proposed solution works.)
In France, we noticed they have the cutest little metal holders to keep their shutters open, often in the shape of people. They can be flipped up or down. In the "up" position, they hold the shutter open against the wall.
Sometimes it's a male, sometimes it's a female:
You can see the female's long, wavy hair when the shutter keeper is flipped down:
I found one that looked rather like Father Christmas:
and this one is the more basic version:
We looked high and low at the vide greniers to find one or more of these objects to bring home with us (which wasn't easy, considering we didn't have the words to ask for them but often had to resort to mime and our quite rudimentary French to try to get the message across) but to no avail. We stopped short of visiting the French equivalent of Home Depot to see if they carried what we wanted, as that seemed a little too easy and would have taken the fun out of the search. But alas, we never did find any of them. The search continues...
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
So instead, I'm at home, chilling out and about to watch a little mindless TV while working on my travel journal.
I'm feeling better today mentally, the jet lag seems to have cleared from my brain.
Thought I'd post a few more pictures of the beautiful organs from the Organ Grinders Festival we attended last weekend.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I'm not the only one adjusting to being back home. Both last night and tonight, Max has been spending quite a bit of time lying in my half-unpacked suitcase. Maybe he thinks that if he stays there, it might be a good way to make sure I take him with me next time I go anywhere.
I'm definitely a little jetlagged, which I know because my brain simply isn't firing on all circuits. I was back at work today, reading the same emails over and over and they just weren't making any sense. I got a few things done but I was clearly off my game. Luckily, there was nothing urgent that had to be done.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Nevertheless, I am very glad to be home and looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight, with a purring cat beside me. I am just on my way to the catsitter's to pick him up, I do hope she is willing to give him back! :)
Sunday, September 12, 2010
I can't believe it is time to leave Durfort and France. We're leaving very early tomorrow morning to drive to Toulouse, return the rental car and hop on a plane. Doriot, Dawn and I are on the same flight to Paris, where we'll say goodbye and split up, with me headed back to Toronto and the two of them headed to Atlanta, GA and then on to San Diego for Doriot.
It has been such a wonderful trip and I have very much enjoyed spending this time with Meryl, Dawn, Kate, Doriot and Gwen, enjoying Gwen's wonderful hospitality and meeting so many of her lovely friends. We have seen some amazing sights and delighted our palates with many fabulous taste sensations. I've taken way too many photos but I shall be glad to have them to remember this trip once I get home and in the months and years to come.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
My major complaint was with "the voice" (a woman's, with an accent that was perhaps Australian or South African, we couldn't quite decide). She spoke horrible French so half the time when she told us what street to turn onto, we had no idea what she was saying and if we couldn't find a street sign to try to match to her horrible pronunciations, we often missed the turn. For example, for "boulevard", she would say "boo-lay-vard". Very annoying. Once or twice, it also seemed that the direction was to turn down a one way street, which was also a nuisance. Typing in your destination address information is a bit cumbersome but perhaps you could do that in advance rather than once you're en route. One thing that was very handy was the way it gets you back on track if you make the wrong turn, it "recalculates" how to get back to the right route. However, I expect if you were using it in North America in English, it would be most helpful, especially for driving in, around and out of a large city. (I wish we'd used it the other day in Carcassonne!)
Albi (not to be confused, as my brain does for some unknown reason, with Elba, where Napoleon was exiled) is beautiful, lots of red brick. The stunning and immense Sainte Cecile cathedral takes you by surprise. It looks big but somewhat plain as you first approach:
A lovely day but a long one - three hours in the car and four hours of walking about and now I'm pooped!