I feel SO bad…so very very bad…. It seems so long that I’ve posted on the blog that I have to find my way around WordPress all over again! Shocking..and I truly am sorry.
BUT, in my defense, since I last blogged I seem to have managed to do some extremely strange (and wonderful) things. I’ve teetered on a stepladder trying to reach a corner of the wall to paint it and too lazy to get off the stepladder and move it (I’m not good on stepladders so once up up, I’m pretty much glued there) and in stretching too far, managed to stretch my shoulder half out of it’s socket. People, don’t do this! It is extremely painful, not to mention stupid. I have braved my fear of being lost like Air Malaysia or plummet like Air Asia and I went home to Cape Town where I got myself lost in a very dodgy township, ended up bright red, slightly hysterical with hair standing bolt upright at the appointment and feeling more than a complete idiot. I have dragged my suitcase, and I mean literally dragged it because unknown to me, the wheels and bent inwards and weren’t even touching the ground, around the airport wondering why it was getting heavier and heavier. I’ve helped the Not-So-Beloved push a huge and heavy car – which is actually a 4×4 but in Normandy mud it became a 1×2 – out of the mud..not once, but twice and managed to pull the muscles in my back and in that state, went off to Austria to teeter down the ski slopes until I found my ski legs.
In between all of that, while in South Africa, I went to have ‘lentilles’ fitted. Lentils you say…no Lentilles! French for contact lenses. Since then, having found them on my collar, searched for them in the bathroom basin and had them pop out in the middle of Woolies while clothes shopping I can see why they would call them that, they do resemble a lentil. Now this may sound odd but I have always found that wearing sunglasses makes me feel a little ‘out-of-touch’ and almost deaf. It’s very weird and it takes a while to adjust to the fact that I have some form of blinkers on. So what, I thought, would my new lentilles feel like? I felt for a bit, as if I was underwater. They didn’t scratch, they didn’t hurt but they did make me feel a little vague. Is this normal?? So vague in fact that when I was sitting in the airport in Cape Town to fly back to Paris, even though I was there two hours before, I managed to get to the gates about 5 minutes after they had closed. Not only had my lentilles reduced me to a bewildered and blurry person, but my watch had stopped as well. When I finally got through the gates and headed for the airplane door, my knickers were in a total state and I was beginning to feel slightly sick with nerves. I arrived, once again, red in the face with my hair standing straight up, but this time, clutching my stomach to try and soothe away the feeling of loosing my casually eaten sandwich of just moments before. It didn’t end there. On seeing me in this state, the air hostess (who wasn’t particularly charmed with me) proceeded to ask me whether I had a fever and had I come into contact with Ebola!! I crawled into my seat with the help of a very kind and sympathetic air host who handed me a glass of water and told me not to worry, they were still waiting for two other late passengers….. I wondered if they’d just got lentilles fitted too.
And then a few weeks after that, we left for Kitzbuhel in Austria and our timing couldn’t have been better. We flew three days after the Charlie shootings and ‘je suis scared’ let alone ‘je suis Charlie’ but all was ok – there were lots of police milling about in Charles du Gaul but everything else was quiet.
I encouraged the Dear One to at least try to ski once. So many people never get the chance and it’s good for the brain to try something new. This would be my fifth time on the slopes but I still prefer the more gentle ones so being on the baby slope again until I got my ‘ski legs’ suited me just fine. I still remember my first time skiing, after leaving the baby slopes we went to the top and together with fellow wobbly learners we made our first run down a ‘proper’ ski slope…only when I reached the bottom, I found that the usual learners snow plow that you do in order to stop wan’t working for me very well and stopping was becoming a distant happening. The restaurant building was looming ever closer, the ski’s had a mind of their own, the four steps leading up to the restaurant were covered in snow making a slight uphill slope. There was only one thing left to do. I yelled at two very startled gentlemen as they came out of the restaurant
“Open the doooooooorrrs………………..!”
With a look of horror at seeing this apparition with a giant pompom garnished hat descending at full tilt toward them open them they did and I sailed into the restaurant, slowing down as I reached the carpet and coming to a stop at the counter serving hot goulash. I took off my skis and ordered..with some hot wine to go with it. One needs something to calm the nerves you know.
But the Beloved did really well. After telling me to let him ‘get on with it’ and watching him fall about 40 times while I tried to look the other way and not be too concerned, we exchanged a few ideas and I slipped a few technique tips and voila! He was down the slopes looking great. The two year olds and up waited patiently behind him at times but altogether, it was a great day and it’s lovely thing to be able to say ‘hey I tried!’.
Winter hasn’t been very quiet.. we may not have any visitors at the Chateau but painting, maintenance and general things to do still carry on and the days seem to fly past. The owner of the Chateau wanted the wooden teak floor in the small study sanded down to it’s original and then sealed. The job settled on me. I got out the belt sander (waaay more vicious than a normal sander) loading it with paper and fired it up. When sander met floor it shot across the room dragging me with it and getting my tea shirt stuck underneath it. In a crumpled heap in the corner of the room, me, my tea shirt and the sander unwound ourselves from each other and started again. Two hours later and a strip of about 50 cm completed (this was going to take a few days) I decided to call it a day. I looked like a vertical desert. Dry, dusty and an odd shade of pinky brown. I rolled my clothes up ready for the next day – pointless washing them until it was all over. After four days, my clothes embedded with dust, I surveyed the room with pride, trying not to notice the brown blue walls and non-existent light fittings. I was just res chuffed to have finished at it looks great.
On a last note, making macarons is do-able in a Normandy winter. The fussy little things that don’t like humidity, warm air, cold air being mixed too much, being mixed to little etc came out perfectly when I had to make a batch as a thank you to the farmer next door who eventually answered my 2 kilometer march to his door, my badly grammar-ed french asking for him to please bring the tractor to get the car out of the mud and his good humour at being interrupted whilst eating his lunch.
So – I will try my very best to write again soon, I’m currently completing courses in Indian Head massage, Indian Face massage and Aroma therapy massage and I have to practice on a few unsuspecting locals before I write the final exams..could be interesting…..
I hope you’re all ok, I hope you’re still ‘with me’ on the journey and haven’t moved on to more interesting and more conscientious bloggers….
Take care of yourselves and each other
A la prochaine