April 25, 2010

Breaking rules and Breaking news

We have learned our way around the French and their customs. Long meals, attentive salutations, and a regimented social order. While we had a barrier breaking meal with the local clergy (see previous post) which moved us to a more intimate footing, all is not simple. With the normal French citizenry, once you have been introduced with a handshake, and a glass of wine, you are on what we call kissing status, and the protocol is to kiss the cheeks (twice) every time you say hello and goodbye until the end of time. So about a week after our dinner with the priests, Pat encountered one of the young priests on the streets of Martel and directly planted a kiss on each cherubic cheek….much to his dismay!  She quickly realized she had just gone somewhere new,... turned scarlet... and learned that we aren’t supposed to kiss the priests! Who knew!?

But that was in the winter, March, and now it’s Spring, April, and we have sunburns to prove it. After a long enough winter, the sun caught us unaware, and a day at a rugby match and then the next in the garden has us all looking healthy if not a bit stupid.

The Rugby match was the last game of the season for 6th ranked Brive team, the team for which Pat teaches beginning French to a pair of foreign players, and we lost, but it was a good game.  The Garden affair was a long French lunch in the sun, the type of lunch that the French would just assume conclude, hours and hours later, with dinner, for which we have finally learned how to pace ourselves and enjoy. 

For both events we were in shorts, plenty of water, sunglasses, but still it was an early reminder of the summer heat in our near future…..but some like it hot, as do we, when we are safely inside our cool 12th century pile of stone.

Our pile of stone is by the way for sale. We have had it on the market for a few months and we are still waiting for the world to beat its path through our 300 year old walnut doors!  The market for renovated homes in the Southwest of France is a bit saturated, and the buyers seem to be waiting for some economic indicators that we don’t know about. So think of us if you know someone who knows someone!

Meanwhile our guestroom is stilled owned by us and still available to you.  This spring will bring my Dad and Debbie, two nieces, my pal Ed, and then my mom, but that leaves us rather available now that the ashes have cleared from the skies.

 Pod on bikes in Bordeaux with friend Jean Dwight

Other breaking news…our fifteenth year as Mr. and Mrs.!   
15 years on the 15th, that only happens once I think, or at least it’s supposed to only happen once, that one’s number of years match the date. So we celebrated with a trip to Bordeaux. Over a nice dinner we looked deep into each others eyes, and smiled at the pleasure and ease and excitement that we continue to provide each other. We toasted the past 15 years and then rode our bikes home from a fine restaurant to toast the next 15.