Monthly Archives: November 2016

MEET-ings

The mayor welcomes the new arrivals to Carcassonne

The mayor welcomes the new arrivals to Carcassonne

When you’re working it seems that there are always meetings to attend; sometimes so many and on such a regular weekly schedule that you can’t get your work done. The higher up the corporate ladder you go the more time you spend away from your desk and around a conference table giving and receiving information. Once you retire and have the luxury of choosing which meetings you will attend, that word takes on a whole new meaning with an emphasis on those first four letters—MEET—as in becoming acquainted with new people and that has definitely been true here. Read the rest of this entry

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Fill in the blanks

No blanks to fill in this castle wall

No blanks to fill in this castle wall

It will be a long time before Bill and I speak French well enough that there aren’t pauses between thoughts while we search for words. Luckily, the French seem to be very skilled at filling in the blanks both in real life and in what we see on television. In an effort to increase our knowledge of the language, we watch game shows with the subtitles turned on since that doubles our chances of connecting the words we hear with those same words we see on the screen. In programs with names like Slam, Don’t Forget the Lyrics, and Questions for a Champion, there are dozens of blanks to fill in daily, some of which we’re starting to understand ourselves. Read the rest of this entry

Coming clean

Lavoir (wash house), Pontivy, Brittany

Lavoir (wash house) beside the river in Pontivy, Brittany, France

Having a washing machine delivered to our house was a big event in more ways than one. There was one in place when we bought the house but its continued grinding, squeaking noises were a clear indication that we’d have to replace it sooner than later. Whenever we’ve had to buy an appliance here, Bill has done a thorough job of investigating our best options both online and in bricks-and-mortar stores. Once he settled on a specific machine, it was no surprise to me that our local, in-town appliance store that we lovingly think of as Western Auto® ended up being the best place to get it. Read the rest of this entry

Stripping

A stripped door frame, ignore the burn marks

A stripped door frame, ignore the burn marks

No, not what you think; this is a G-rated blog. It’s all about paint, maybe almost a hundred year’s worth. Although our house was built in 1925, from what we can tell, most things like doors, windows, electricity, and plumbing have all been replaced and that’s a good thing. I remember as a child crawling around the attic of my grandmother’s house that was built about the same time as our new place and being fascinated by the knob and tube electrical wiring, a process that Thomas Edison had patented only a few years earlier in 1892. There is one interior door and its frame, however, that appear to be original and we set out to discover what was under all that paint. Read the rest of this entry

Well…Albi

Huge brick cathedral of Albi

Huge brick cathedral of Albi

We had the pleasure of hosting two of Bill’s sisters and one niece on a part of their visit to France and Spain. It was a celebration of Jenny’s passing the first stage of her studies to becoming a sommelier, a specialist in selecting and serving wine, either on its on or pairing it with food. What better place to come than the world’s largest wine producing area to try out those newly-acquired skills? Read the rest of this entry

But is he happy?

Rock group The Billexcited poster from the city's website

Rock group The Billexcited poster from the city’s website

How can I tell that Bill’s happy living in Carcassonne? Just take a look at this poster from the city’s website. Although we’ve met the mayor several times and feel relatively integrated into the community here, we probably don’t yet warrant our own endorsement from town hall. This is actually an advertisement for a band called The Billexcited that’s playing tomorrow night at one of the many music venues here that the city makes available at reasonable prices; in the case, free. Almost every night for 6 weeks in the summer all of those concert halls, indoors and out, are full of nationally and internationally-known stars. The rest of the year we’re treated to a wide range of entertainment including music, theater, dance, lectures, demonstrations, etc. at many of these locations in keeping with Carcassonne’s official theme of bien vivre that we might call Living Well. Bon week-end! 

Under construction

Fine Arts museum under cover

Fine Arts museum under cover

With two UNESCO World Heritage sites here within a stone’s throw of each other, you might find it curious that I would choose to post a photo of scaffolding to represent Carcassonne. This is the city’s Fine Arts museum currently encased in piping and netting as repairs are made to its block-long wall that faces the busy shopping street of rue de Verdun. In this part of the city that was founded in the 1200s it’s only inevitable that repairs will be necessary from time to time. That’s exactly what’s happening now, all over town, with the big construction project aptly named Opération Grand Site. Read the rest of this entry

Renestance

French Lifestyle Dream

A new life in Lille

Tales of a Brit who moved to Hauts-de-France

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