Last meal: Cold homemade lasagna and salad with lemon dressing (awesome packed lunch for the train trip!)
Drink of choice: Chouchen (mindblowing Breton apéritif made from honey and using the same recipe as THE GAULS. As in, 2000 YEARS OLD!!)
Song in my head:
What has happened in the past two weeks? Not that much, really.
SUN: The weather has been absolutely wonderful – supposedly the spring here is better than summer (because it gets a bit more unpredictable then with rains and strong winds). Stéph and I went down to sunbake on the beach (absolutely forbidden in Australia, for obvious reasons [if it isn’t obvious, your eyes probably can’t physically adjust to the degree of whiteness that my skin exudes]) on a few occasions, and I must admit that I wasn’t wearing sunscreen and got a tad burnt, despite the lack-of-hole-in-the-ozone-layer-in-these-parts-of-the-world. SKIN CELLS IN TRAUMA.
SPRING SAVINGS: Unfortunately I’m not talking about sales although I am running out of money a little quicker than I’d hoped. BUT it turns out that France (well, I’m assuming the rest of Europe too) has daylight savings, which I really hadn’t considered, and we changed times a week before Australia. So NOW the time difference is 8 hours, whereas before it was 10! Sorry Jus for the 6.30am call, my bad…
SAUNA: I’ve been justifying to myself my lack of running (only four runs in three weeks!) by getting into the sauna at every opportunity, because if we’re going to be honest here, surely lying around in a hot room and having a bit of a sweat for 30 minutes is completely comparable to going out into the fresh air and getting the old heart rate up for the same amount of time. Surely. That’s just science. My skin is thanking me though – it’s so clean that I feel like a Neutrogena commercial.
STRESS: It has been a great time just to relax and recoup (coz, you know, my life is pretty hectic. Your full time work/study/life load has nothing on my tramping about on holidays for an extended period of time) and for the first time since I left Australia, I realised that I don’t have any mouth ulcers! I know – it’s a bit too much information, and it ISN’T herpes or anything (oh god, WHY do I feel the need to write about this type of thing where extended family can read it?!) but it’s just proof that I haven’t been stressed in the last few weeks! That’s all I really wanted to say. Oh, and on the same morning that I discovered this, I was also able to tie my hair back – no more uncontrollable windblown locks for Liv!
SEAWEED: Frédéric’s mum left to return to Marseille on the Friday just gone, but the Friday before this, she insisted (in her staunch, Catholic, controlling-mother kind of way) that we all take a road trip to northern Brittany to visit a site where Jesus’ mum Mary allegedly appeared to an elderly woman who was instructed to dig for water while the other plebs laughed at her, and then there was a miraculous fountain and the old woman was smug and not thirsty any more.
Upon being told by Frédéric and Karen that this place was superlatively dull, Stéphanie and I surreptitiously (as is the way with us heathens) decided to go instead to a town called Roscoff (incidentally you can catch a ferry from here to Ireland!) for the day, which had been recommended to us because it was on the way, and for its seaweed tour.
I know, I wasn’t that excited either, but it was actually really interesting! Well, I say interesting – I could understand about 40% of it, and that stuff was great! For example, you can eat any type of seaweed that you find in or around France (not in the US though – that stuff will kill you, for realz); seaweed produces 50-70% of the oxygen that we breathe; and in the 1970s, there was a massive oil spill offshore, and a local university lecturer instructed his students to record all life on the beach in the 48 hours before the oil reached the shore, and the data was used in the prosecution of the company responsible (75% of the marine life in the area was dead).
On Saturday just gone, Stéphanie and I went horse riding. I was kind of wetting myself a little bit, since the last time I rode a horse I fell off, but it was really fun (and no falling! Always a bonus). It was just us two and a tour guide, who took us down into the dunes of the beach. My horse’s name was Lutin (loo-tãh), which was easily forgettable when he ran a bit too fast (I’m ever the alluring goddess on horseback).
SPEECH: It has been really great being around two native french speakers who are fluent in english – I often found myself saying “comment dire … ?” and I’ve been far more willing to practise. I’ve been learning quite a lot of vocabulary (hey Dad hey Dad: il faut que je pète, amiright?), and Frédéric spent a good 20 minutes teaching me the essentials of french insults (i.e., they’re all focused on women, and preceding with ‘old’ or ‘fat’ just adds insult to injury). In my turn, I have also been teaching some english, examples of which are: gunk; singlet; bum cheek; bogan; crinkle; reckon; and nape (of neck). Frédéric also taught me a funny little word play: ma joie t’habite. Which, when you read it, means ‘my joy lives in you,’ but when you say it, it sounds exactly the same as ‘ma joie, ta bite,’ which means ‘my joy, your male genitalia.’ Oh french, you’re so witty!
SAD: In the last 24 hours, I have been told that I have a “lovely, it’s very nice” french accent, at least above average intelligence, and that I’m a good balancer in a group. Feeling pretty sad to leave Brittany – it’s just so good for my ego! Not so good for the waistline though: I’ve put on bread kilos.
Right now, I’m sitting on a balcove (it’s a new word I’ve made up which is a combination of balcony and alcove, so essentially it’s a balcony/partitioned roof which is less than 1m² and surrounded by other roofs [roofs or rooves?!]) of my Parisian apartment, just revelling in my frenchness due to sitting on a balcove. So good. Pity I’m not skinny or smoking. I’ll work on that.