September 2, 2008


Gross = 144 = Fat

Somehow I have always loved the idea of gross. It’s a funny number, it’s not ten, or 33.3, or even pi, its 144? A dozen dozen. And what’s a dozen? Why is there such a unit as twelve?It apparently comes from the French word for twelve, douze, and it seems it might have something to do with the number of lunar cycles per year, but mostly it’s a funny, if convenient, number, that has a grand part in our everyday lives. I recently had to explain to Oscar the concept of “a baker’s dozen” which makes so little sense in this land of boulangeries. Can you imagine growing up without doughnuts as an everyday part of your life!?

But I am off the point.

As magic as the number may be, the word gros, means fat in francaise, and I’m starting to notice some of it around here. It’s been a wonderful summer full of big meals and fois gras and even my doctor made the observation as he gave me a physical. I figure that it was an early call to action, but I have company. We spent a day at the town pool in the next town and I felt that the populace was putting it on! Fat French folks! This it seems is new, perhaps it was an ugly coincidence, perhaps it is too many crepes or not enough red wine, or more a reflection on Parisian tourists in the South of France?? Personally, I can eat more salads, but what will this culture, as a whole, be able to do? It’s a change, like so many, that indicate France going down the wrong path….next it’ll be the 35 hour work week! (oh wait, Sarkozy did away with that last month).

Someone famously spoke “let them eat cake” and see where it has gotten them!

Today was “rentree”, the word that means summer is over and it’s time to put the lawn furniture away and get back to work and school. All of France returned to the classroom today and for Oscar it was a milestone. He has entered sixieme, sixth grade in America, and it involves a new school on the other side of town. He will no longer have one teacher, but rather different teachers for each subject. He will have a class in English twice a week and Occitan, the language that preceded French in this part of France, and francaise, math, geo/history, plus a computer class and an art class.

He was nervous this morning, but came home a happy kid, which makes for happy parents.

Pat resumed her formal French studies today, and I continue to rebuild the front doors, beautiful walnut doors that had so much weather on the bottoms that I am changing out the wood on the lower fourth. Life returning to normal!?
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1 comment:

Jeremy said...

I don't think you're allowed to mention your doctor's comments without at the same time posting a pic of yourself!

You guys sound great. Thanks for the fun post. How cool is that: Learning Occitan? What's the rationale? Is it a required course? Imagine if we had to learn some Native language here. Oh, I suppose that would mean Americans having to take an interest in learning any language at all.

cheers, love from us all - J, K, D and L