Friday, December 31, 2010

Merci 2010

To celebrate the ringing in of the new year I thought I'd compile a list of my own--my list of funny, weird, stupid and happy moments. 2011?  How did we get here?

Packing up the family and finally moving to France after the 5+ years of planning. I still remember sitting in our little cantaloupe colored office in Austin looking at jobs in the South of France...

Being told off by the French neighbor in our hotel in Lyon after our very first night in France. My kids are apparently 'unbelievably loud, like nothing he'd seen in all his travels through England'. Whew, he thought we were English.

The freak March snow that thrilled the kids and stranded us up on top of the hill in the beautiful village of Sommieres.

Not realizing that stores are all closed on Sundays with the exception of a small few that are open in the mornings. And yes, matin is morning, not afternoon and ouverture non-stop means they're open through lunch and nothing more. I've learned some French and then some people.

I filled up the rental car's diesel tank with gas. You know all about it.

We have a tiny, postage stamp swimming pool but the kids don't mind. Neither do Canadians.

Summer here is bliss. The perfect temperature for my once pasty-white Ireland skin and Texas heart.

Paillotes are these amazing bar and restaurant structures built right on the beach where you can spend an afternoon sipping cool drinks and eating food while baring your boobies on the beach.

I tried and failed at six weeks of home school while we looked for our permanent house.

All three kids, esp the big ones, soared in all French school and I can't begin to tell you how happy this has made me.

French is a beautiful, complex and wonderfully frustrating language.

My kids are learning it faster than me.

I really don't like escargots. But I do like wine...even from a box.

I've made some fantastic cyber-friends thanks to this blog and knowing them and that they're here doing all this too makes me feel less alone.

I've watched as my dark blonde, fish-belly white trio turned a burnished gold with hair the color of  farine
I made boeuf bourguignon, oeufs mollet en croute, foie gras canapes and a cheese souffle

I have talked to the postman, electrician, chimney sweep, appliance salesman, van rental, pool cleaner, estate agent, principal, kids' teachers, insurance agent, dentist, doctor, gas attendant, tow truck driver and mechanic, tennis instructor, football coach, horse riding instructor, pizza guy, car dealership and restaurant staff in French.

I enjoy cooking here even more than I usually do....maybe it has something to do with the wine.

I love having friends and family visit more than you can ever know. Thanks Mom, Denice, Abby and Annabel.

It's strange to think of a place where I can speak English just right out to everyone. It's like my whole life before this was spent in a dream of ease and understanding.

I met my guardian angel in the form of a group of French Muslim women in the Ikea parking garage. 

And finally, I'm thankful to all of you who still read this and who encourage me with your comments, kindness and support.

What's on your list?
I wish you all the best in the coming year and a heart full of wonderful memories of 2010.



  1. I love your bonhomme de neige! Happy New Year!

  2. Hi Aiden, Happy New Year! I don't have to write a list, I'll just send folks over to read yours because our stories are very similar (although I have avoided the petrol thing, thank God. Well, so far.) And I think you cook a lot better than me.
    Looking forward to your 2011 adventures!

  3. WONDERFUL!! Ahh, it's good to be here.

    Peace, love, and light in your life throughout 2011.

    your cyber friend Charley

  4. It really was a great year wasn't it? Thrilled to 'know' you Aidan and I hope you and yours have a wonderfully happy and French 2011 x

  5. Hi Aidan! Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year! Here's to becoming a little more "French" and integrated every day. Uh, here's to the wine...


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