Thursday, May 31, 2007

Friends In Need, Friends Indeed

After spending the better part of two days crouched on the floor of the shower, it feels good to stand upright once again. I appreciate caulk, or mastic as they call it here. It certainly comes in handy. But my mastic predecessor must have read different instructions; his/hers being something more like: "Adjust blindfold. Cut tip in jagged movement. Squeeze mastic applicateur with jerking motion, leaving peaking tips of mastic wherever possible. DO NOT SMOOTH." Doug ran numerous tests to determine where the leak into the salon downstairs originated, but once I easily poked a finger through the layers of mastic I knew we hit paydirt. So, after several showerless days, we are now relatively presentable.

For those of you worried that we don't ever have fun, remember that's it's all relative. From the moment that we sat in John and Lee-anne's jardin celebrating our signing of the Acte on our maison de village with Joan and Drew, every day has been revealing. The camaraderie of the English-speakers welcoming the 'newbies' is something I have never experienced. Billy and Sally supplied us with sheets, blankets, bathmats and towels until Smokey arrived. John and Lee-anne offered that cyberspace lifelink while France Telecom routed their paperwork. Alan and Eileen back in England kept emailing "go ahead and take anything you want". Oh, how they might regret that!

In the course of our flitting between runs to Pamiers and Lavelenet and Carcassonne, we happened upon Depot Vente or brocante, the USA version of antique/secondhand stores. Not for a second will I ever forget my allegiance to Wabi Sabi, the nonprofit thrift store where I work in Moab. It is my heart and soul. But these places are treasure troves if only because their "stuff" has been around for so long. My first purchase for my pitiful petit cour (tiny courtyard---pictures to follow) were three rusted but very classic chairs.

It seems that the villages rotate their fetes and last weekend Mirepoix overdosed with a brocante, flower and postcard jamboree. We headed on to a tiny bastide (fortified) town of Camon, one of France's most beautiful villages, for it's Rose Festival. The sky thankfully cooperated and every doorway that was entwined by blooming roses was also so identified. Booths were set up for the local truffle enterprise, rose farmers, and every imaginable product in between. Doug was sweet-talked into buying a much-needed jar of honey from a real saleswoman, or so he said. We sat in the glorious sun and soaked it all in.

After we returned back to Leran I decided to stretch my legs and headed out on one of the backroads, and found myself walking to Belloc then round the upper road back to Leran which wasn't signed well at all. I always knew I could retrace. When I got back, the door was locked so I headed down Cours St. Jacques and joined Doug, Billy and Sally for a quick thirst-quencher as we watched our world go by.

P.S. I apologize that none of these pictures are in order according to text, but the blogger has a mind of its own. If you are interested, the photos are as follows (from top left to bottom): the sweet-talking honey-eyed honey sales girl; horse-drawn wagon in Camon; Lee-anne and John Furness ( the kindly Kangaroos); Billy and Sally Jaye (the beneficent Brits); a caged wild animal; Drew Rothrock, Nancy, John Furness and Doug celebrating signing the Acte; and Lee-anne, Joan Rothrock and John. Click on the pictures to enlarge.


leslie said...

Everything always looks so beautiful and picturesque, even when I take photos of dumb things in France. I still can't imagine that pictures of Aurora Ave in Seattle of Colorado Blvd in Denver could possibly look cute or quaint.
I'm glad you discovered the brocantes, Nancy, they are so amazing. Watch for the traveling brocante fairs, too. And bargain, bargain bargain. Remember Doug's fabulous birthday present, the birds?, I bargained and bargained and thought I was only going to get one bird, lo and behold, I got two birds and their perch!

Anonymous said...

Ah, the pictures are great!I want more of the Rose fest, Madeleine wants more of French kids. She stared at the one of the honey saleswoman for a long time. Nancy- that shower stall looks like a comfy spot to spend several days, I'm sure you felt no pain whatsoever!

Anonymous said...

Lots more pics coming soon, soon, soon. Doug has been clicking away. Nancy's memory stick has forgotten how to transfer from the camera memory stick to blog, so had to relearn. But I'm not aging!

Anonymous said...

Nancy, I was getting claustrophobic just looking at you in the shower stall!

I'm so glad to see pictues of the many people you have mentioned and I'm glad to know you have friends in the vicinity...a life without friends is empty and difficult indeed!

Linda Giannini Moran and her daughter, Erin who just graduated with her M.D. are coming this weekend and after a trip down the coast to Savannah they will soon be returning for 4 more days in Charleston, so I will be enjoying the benefits and pleasures of friendship myself.

nancy said...

Luke, click your glasses in a toast with Linda to the 'good old days' will ya?

Anonymous said...

I am a total margarita-making I will be more than glad to click glasses with Linda MULTIPLE TIMES! I will totally give her your regards.

I spoke to Mary Kay over the weekend and she seems to be doing OK, except she's a bit disturbed that her brother, Skip has received some "negative" e-mails saying that his lack of support for the war is what caused his son's death and deservedly so! Sucks, doesn't it?