Coming up for air

The first draft of my cookbook is almost done. I need to decide on 5 more recipes, then make several more of them and take photos. When this is done, JM and I will have put on 10 pounds each! Still, it has been a really interesting experience and I’m quite pleased with the results.

One of the biggest problems is that I write in French a bit like I write in English, which doesn’t work quite as well in French! So, JM is going over it and correcting things to make it a little bit more polished. Still, he hasn’t found too many huge, honking errors, so I’m relatively satisfied with myself.

A bit of local news. May is upon us and that means it is the season of strikes and demonstrations in France. Tomorrow, May 1st, is a huge day for marches under normal circumstances; this year is expected to be way bigger though. All of this is to do with the economy issues that are affecting everyone globally, and the fact that there are many layoffs coming in all sectors.

Now, interestingly, people don’t take layoffs lying down here. In some areas of the country workers have been holding their CEOs hostage. The Electric company is planning a lot of layoffs in our region and Tuesday night, a commando of 50 masked men attacked various electrical installations around the area. I have not been able to track down all of the details, but I can tell you that at 9 pm our power went off and stayed off until 2 am.

I really thought that it was due to a transformer being hit by lightning, as there had been a lot of storms; but I guess I was too optimistic and industrial action does seem to be the cause.

To the workers, I have to say that this does NOT make me feel more in support of your cause! Cutting off my power makes me annoyed not happy. Maybe you need to think about that a little…

Ciao for now,


New Possum Project

If I’m a little quiet over the next few weeks, it will be because I’m working on a new project.

I may have mentioned that since 2006 JM and our dear friend Noëlle, our superb librarian, have been organizing an annual short story competition. It has now gained an excellent reputation and this year several members of the town council have decided to give it more importance by organizing an event around it. We had a strategy meeting on Saturday and came up with the idea of doing a book festival focused on regional authors. It will take place on (probably) the 11th of July in the covered market. We expect to have about 20 authors present, invite a local story teller to perform and have a snack bar.

To help fuel the discussion, I had made some cranberry-raisin muffins, which seemed to go over really well. It got me to thinking that I had a number of recipes that people here like, so perhaps I needed to write them down in French.

And thus the idea of my cookbook was born! To make things more complicated, I’m actually writing it directly in French, which does take a bit more time (and will need to be corrected by JM afterwards!).

I’ll be illustrating it with my own photos and to make sure that things work properly, once I convert the measurements into metric, I need to make the recipes using those measurements to be sure that they still work. To top it off, the book needs to be finished by the middle of June at the latest.

I have promised to bake some of my goodies for the book festival as well, so they can be sold at the snack bar (money going to the library and charity).

If you’re going to be in the village in mid-July, make sure you stop in to see us. I’ll post the official date as soon as it is locked in.

Ciao for now.

A Verbal Postcard

I never seem to have my camera with me when I see something I would like to keep forever. But I wanted to share the beauty I saw this morning and have decided to give you a verbal photograph instead!

We had the most amazing walk this morning. The sky in the west was kind of purple tinged with pink (probably not a good sign for the rest of the day, but beautiful to see). The sun was just high enough to cause the drops of rain on the trees to sparkle like diamonds. The trees are just starting to go green and are blended between yellow and green, so they looked like they were made of gold. The church was bathed in golden light and there was mist rising from the hollows, making everything look like a fairyland. It was a day that made you glad to be alive. Sort of like walking through some fairytale painting.

I wanted to experience that moment forever.

Ciao for now.


Small Wacko Whack-a-Mom update

According to a report, the woman who killed her mother in Lourdes did not die from either suicide or murder; her cause of death was “natural,” but what that was has still not been revealed. So, rather than illuminating things, it only deepens the mystery.

Could it have been… SATAN??? (Thanks to SNL’s The Church Lady) I wonder if we’ll ever know.

Given that there are unexplained cures that take place at Lourdes, I don’t see why we can’t also have the phenomenon of unexplained deaths.

Ciao for now,