Monthly Archives: April 2016

Level headed

Sea level marker

Sea level marker

We usually take a couple walks a day plus a few other quick outings down by the river for Heather’s breaks. There are the “must” excursions to the open-air market for fresh produce or the bakery for some croissants, for example and then the pleasure walks that get us out exploring medieval streets, open countryside along the canal, or pathways beside the river. On a recent walk inside the Bastide, the part of Carcassonne that was founded in 1240 and used to be totally encircled by a thick stone wall, we saw the plaque seen here in this picture and wondered what it was. Read the rest of this entry

QWERTY or AZERTY?

French keyboard

French keyboard

If you’re a touch typist you probably don’t think much about the placement of the letters on your keyboard. Neither did I. For 50 years I’ve been pressing the same spots on the keyboard to produce the letters that I wanted. The upper left corner started with a Q followed by a W and the M was in the middle of the bottom row. Well, not anymore, at least in our house. Read the rest of this entry

The vet bill was how much?

Someone is more interested in looking at the castle than the camera

Someone is more interested in looking at the castle than the camera

Heather takes us on daily walks. We generally set the direction but then she determines the destination and speed, pulling on the leash and glancing back to make sure that both of us are keeping up. Since she’s not fond of loud noises we often go along the river where she gets to sniff to her heart’s content, we get glimpses of snow-capped mountains and the occasional passenger train zipping to or from the Mediterranean Sea, and we all three enjoy the tranquility. As long as she’s pulling us along then we keep going. But then on an outing last week she stopped pulling. Read the rest of this entry

Monsieur Rogers’ neighborhood

Frosty margaritas and spicy southwest rollups

Frosty margaritas and spicy southwest rollups

Did you ever watch the PBS television program hosted by Fred Rogers where he invited you on a daily excursion to meet the people around him? In contrast to the fast-paced cartoon entertainment offered at the time on other channels, Mr. Rogers was a kind and gentle man who made you feel comfortable in strange surroundings, emphasized respect for others, and offered reassuring advice that things would work out OK. His Land of Make-Believe even had a castle towering above all the houses below. Guess where we live. Read the rest of this entry

Cozy they call it

Cool house beside the Canal-du-Midi

Cool house beside the Canal-du-Midi

We live in a small house. I hadn’t really given it much thought until the other morning when Bill was loading the dishwasher…from his seat at the breakfast table. That’s also where we eat lunch and dinner and from my side of that same table I would be able to load the washing machine which is there in the kitchen too. In US real estate terms that would be called “cozy”. Read the rest of this entry

You can bank on it

The Bank of France building in Carcassonne

The Bank of France building in Carcassonne

Banks in France are different from what we were used to in Atlanta. Here they have fees for pretty much every service and we understand that it can take at least a couple of weeks to get an account open. It’s not uncommon for your branch to close for lunch, be open on Saturday mornings only, if at all, and not at all on Mondays. Combine that with the US government’s requirement that the Bank of France report all financial activity of any American who has an account here and you start to understand the delays and the challenge. Thanks to the Internet, we may have a solution. Read the rest of this entry

Bundles through Britain

The French crystal comes home

The French crystal comes back home

During World War II an organization called Bundles for Britain sent non-military supplies including knitted sweaters, scarves, and hats to the UK from the US. Seventy-five years later we have our own version, right down to the knitting, going on with the arrival of our household goods from Atlanta via Southampton, England. Read the rest of this entry

Renestance

French Retirement Dream

A year in Périgord

Tales of a Brit who stopped in Lille on his way to Périgord – and stayed

Southern Fried French

Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France

wcs

Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France

Chez Loulou

Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France

The Vicious Cycle

A man searches for meaning...in between leg shavings

Post-Industrial Eating

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An Italian Point Of View

Alan and Tracy's Expat Adventures