Here’s a video from some footage I took back in March. That water was cold. Julie went swimming anyway. The bécasseau (calidrid) went on with their game of cat and mouse with the tide. From the top of the lighthouse, the ground looked like a miniature. Then a helicopter exploded.
Last week was an eventful one for Julie. Her thesis finally finished printed and sent off to the prof, and also hearing back as to which school, and which city she will be teaching in.
And that city is: Blois . Yes, that is pronounced like “blah” with a “w” in the middle. Mike’s going to have a field day.
It’s a little town of about 50,000 inhabitants. It is a very old city, dating back to the 6th century or so, and has a very rich history. It was a residence for French Kings. Louis XII was born and lived there. Other notable homeboys are Denis Papin, who built the first piston steam engine, and Houdin, the father of modern conjuring.
The middle of town is hilly and winding. On our apartment hunt yesterday, at least two of the flats we visited were in medieval houses. One of which was literally next door to the chateau (I wanted that one because it’s on all the postcards).
From the learn something every day files:
I did not know this. Cheese is not vegetarian. Cheese requires a rennet, to speed the coagulating process along. And for most cheeses out there, rennet is made from the contents of the fourth stomach of a newborn calf.
While this doesn’t directly affect my diet — I eat beef — my girlfriend is an ethical vegitarian, and I’m the cook. So as of yesterday, she swore off cheese cold turkey. Yay.
The thing is, there are so-called vegetarian cheeses, using plant material, microbes, or DNA for rennet. However, I read this one here: http://www.seriouseats.com/2007/12/is-cheese-vegetarian.html
which makes an interesting point: You can’t have milk without bearing calves, and at best only some will be kept for milking; the rest will be slaughtered eventually.
Last weekend, Julie, Terry and I celebrated the 4th at a burger joint. Why not? It was great, and Julie, a vegetarian, really liked her veggie burger. She liked it so much she wanted to have another one the very next day. So, I looked ’round the pantry and here’s the recipe I came up with. (more…)
tIt’s a dance craze that infected French kids about a year or so ago. It has a little bounce to it, but it’s the flashy rubberband-like arm movements that give its distinct appeal. 70′s disco Soul Train, 80′s breakdancing. Poofy hightops, tight jeans. Mullets. This is Tektonik (cue music). (more…)
On the home stretch of her PHD, Julie has completed writing and is now revising and doing the finishing touches. It is a race against the clock, and tensions are high. Sleep cycles are stretched and completely out of sync with the rotation of the earth. Tempers flair, and dishes are washed on a less than daily basis. It’s like living with meth addicts.
Finding time to be good to oneself is very important in days like these. Yesterday, I took her to lunch at the Sushi place on the corner — there are at least four in the neighborhood. Going for a daily walk is also nice, although unlike Frank, we never bring any furniture we find on the street home with us.
And this weekend is the famous Fete de la Musique, which is a veritable orgy of busking and free concerts.
Meanwhile, Julie has enlisted her little mom to help with the proofreading, which has been an ordeal of itself. Although a very literate woman, things like copy and paste, or the fine difference between “save” and “save as” are a complete mystery to her. This is compounded by the fact that she is dealing with a computer with a German language operating system.
Fortunately, there is logmein. Although I had thought about doing it before, I could absolutely kick myself for not finding a solution like it earlier on. You install it on your mother-in-law’s computer with a password, and then you can access and control it remotely via a web browser. Amazing. Totally cool. Logmein.com
Our young birdies don’t come to the flowerbox anymore, although we see them around still. We’ve populated all the pots and boxes with shishkebab skewers to discourage anymore flower box romance taking place, cause Brother, we don’t need the hassle. However, with the warm weather and the windows open all day, we’ve had a damn pigeon fly into the flat three times in the last four days. Not cool. We are getting a cat.