Chambres d’hôtes


Last meal: homemade carrot soup and morning-fresh baguette.

Drink of choice: Kir Cassis (sauv blanc with crème de cassis).

Favourite quote ever (which he wouldn’t let me post at the time, but it makes me laugh so much and it’s potentially eight months until I see him next so perhaps he’ll forgive me): “Oh, now I’m just sitting in my own fart bong water.” -Justin.

Song in my head:

I’ve just figured out this incredible phenomenon called hyperlinking!

See if you can spot my overcompensating/practising my new skillzorz!

So my last post ended with my leaving the apartment for the first time that day. After going out to do a load of washing and buy some groceries, I proceeded to eat my way through the double packet of wonderful hazelnut Milka chocolate that was on special, and half a baguette and a bowl of cereal. In about two episodes of Veronica Mars. Luckily/Unfortunately at the time, I wasn’t thinking of the consequences.

Went to my last dinner with friend Sam who was leaving for Lausanne on Sunday morning (he unhelpfully encouraged me to end the day with the same grace and elegance as I had displayed earlier – we ate burgers and Häagen Dazs icecream). The seven flights of stairs to the apartment were my end-of-binge signal so I organised a rendezvous with uncle Ashley for the next morning, then went to bed in disgrace with myself.

I went for a guilt-ridden but otherwise lovely run along the Seine and Île Saint-Louis first thing in the morning. Met up with uncle at around 11 (with some general mind confusion when he looked so much like dad) at some markets nearby that had mysteriously sprung up in the 40 minutes prior.

We strolled to the Jardin des Plantes nearby (my suggestion, but he is a botanist after all) and walked around, awkwardly catching up as one is prone to do when they are an adult meeting up with their successful and mysterious don’t-have-much-to-do-with-because-dad-keeps-him-a-secret uncle whilst in a foreign country. To be honest, when I was explaining my wanky selfish lack of direction reason for being in France to my doctorate-earning lecturer-all-over-the-world essentially-curing-famine-in-Africa-at-the-moment uncle, I felt like this kid. It was worse when he started speaking his allegedly only high school french to me.

No, he’s a really nice guy and not uppity at all, and it was actually really fun to walk through the tropical plants greenhouse, where he explained little facts to me and shared some of his seemingly inexhaustible brain knowledge. He shouted me lunch at a bistro in the Latin Quarter, and then he was off to meet a colleague for an excursion to Musée d’Orsay.

I wandered back to the gardens, reflecting on how well the morning had gone (ALL MEN LEAVE ME!), and straight into the Comparative Anatomy museum that I’d noticed whilst in the glasshouse. Free entry (eff yeah) into perhaps one of my favourite buildings in Paris. It was incredible: the bottom level (the best) had rows of cases along the walls comparing internal organs and bone structures of heaps of species, reconstructed skeletons of even more animals, and even a little area (down the back, on the right) for malformed animals: I’m talking two heads, a fifth limb, shit got crazy! The next level up was focussed on dinosaur reconstructions (also AWESOME – literally!) and the third was fossils and paleontology theory.

I ended my evening with packing to leave gay Paree for Montrichard. Caught the train on Monday morning at 1127 with no hitch and two changes later, I was standing at the train station, waiting for Yvonne, from the millhouse that Jus and I had visited oh-so-long ago, to pick me up. She had arranged to house me on a HelpX kind of basis, except it turns out that we couldn’t clean out her garage like planned, due to work being conducted on the roof, so instead I’ve been gladly keeping her company on her errands for the week, and minding her grandkids every few days (who speak only french, so every second sentence I’m all like what?). Yvonne is the most youthful just-short-of-60 year old I have ever met: she shops at H&M; she’s good friends with a 30-year-old; and we even took an amazing horrific heart-attack-inducing satisfying RPM bike class at the gym together!

She’s also oddly trusting of me, so at the moment I’m housesitting while she and her husband and 2/3 of her grandies are off skiing for the week. Fingers crossed I keep the place alright. I’ve also been helping with her B&B, and I conducted breakfast all by myself this morning! But then a bird flew into the window and died.

Her son is managing a seasonal restaurant near the centre of town for the summer, right on the shore of the Cher. They’ve offered me a job there as a dishwasher/salad-maker: 6 days a week, most likely 8-10 hour days, for 6 months, and living in a caravan just outside the restaurant. I’ve given the impression that I’m totally psyched about it, which I was, but the more I think about it, I don’t know what to do. I did want a job, and it means I’ll meet people around my own age and be immersed in the language. But it majorly interferes with my hopes of living in Grenoble and people coming to visit, and it’s hard work and minimum wage, and a big commitment for the duration of the notoriously beautiful French summer. I feel like no matter what I do, it’s this. Help/Suggestions?

I’ve been a bit slack with exercise: a gym visit and a bike class in five days, so I went on a good run yesterday (Saturday) and it started to rain peacefully as I returned home. I’m getting faster though! It’s pouring rain outside now though. Dayum, that means I can’t go for a run today. I should probably look up pilates on youtube or something instead. *tasted-something-yucky face* … *remembering consequences* … ok ok ok!

Sigh. First world problems.

3 thoughts on “Chambres d’hôtes

  1. Julie Holmes says:

    Riv, you are hirarious. that cat picture just made me spurt my tea everywhere!
    i’m quite jearous of your crazy animal museum adventure.
    Hope you work out your work conundrum….can you perhaps just work for a little while and move on?
    your posts give me something to look forward to by the way….sigh……adventures….

  2. Terry McCann says:

    ANOTHER GREAT EFFORT! I Lerve the hyperlinks and the cartoon skeletons – the gummy bear was my faaav!

    The Fat Giraffe was good too – don’t eat too many spiky acacia leaves or that could happen to you!

    Lotsa love, Tez- mate

  3. kim adey says:

    hey olivia well i kinda lost your email address thanks to an IT issue that cant be discussed….was going to send you a pic… you might have to add me to your list of emails to send. love the fat giraffe…considering im about to embark on road trip with kids culminating in taylor swift concert which apparently requires four bags of lollies for the first leg alone, i suspect the giraffe adn i will have much in common.

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