Here are Oliver and Eleanor out with Mac at around 8 a.m. (still dark!) getting pastries for breakfast and a baguette for the day at our boulangerie. This is for you, Hannah! :-) The boulangère called Oliver by his name, which made him immensely happy. To the right you see a little army of pains au chocolate (a croissant with, yes, chocolate inside); in the middle register are (from the left) pains aux raisins, I think brioches (soft, sweet bread), chaussons aux pommes (with apple purée inside - Iris's favorite), and perhaps tartes aux poires; up above, you see the last of the Galettes des Rois, the Three Kings' tarts (those that contain the bean/porcelain figurine which results in the privilege of wearing the crown!). And behind the boulangère are all those luscious, crispy on the outside, airy on the inside baguettes and baguette cousins. Mmmmmmm.
Today being Wednesday = no school and we had snow! It was icy in the morning (but no loss of power), so we stayed in save for a bit of grocery shopping. Mac and played both Oliver and Iris at chess, while Eleanor and I bought food and her blanket for school. Then lunch at a new crêperie (that of the Marine) which had books for the kids and a gorgeous view of the canal and castle (didn't bring my camera - next time!). It was a really nice, relaxed lunch and we ate every last bite (gotta love a crêpe for your main course and one for dessert). After that, we took off for our Forrest of Lovers (le Bois des Amours) and had a blast romping in the snow - there was just enough left to pack some good snowballs. I'm going to have to entirely rethink what a Wednesday is - it used to be "hump day," one to kind of get over (actually, it was my favorite teaching day: always had the sense of being in the heart of things) - but now, it's this day of... exploration? relaxation? errands? we'll be defining it as the weeks go by (I'm eyeing a visit to the Coiffeur/se for haircuts next Wednesday!).
Getting the kids to bed was easy-breezy, so Mac and I have been able to settle into a little TV tonight. What we're watching is actually kind of incredible: it's a show about foreigners who have chosen to live in Paris because they love it, and why they love it. And then there's this moment for each foreigner when they show their friends their very favorite Paris things. Does anybody really need to still demonstrate that Paris is one of the most gorgeous and desirable cities in the world? I just love the idea of French people watching foreigners love Paris - I wish that there was a word for that. Mac is suggesting "self-satisfaction" but that's just his wry, sabbatical Mac self. The show's been on for something like 3 hours, so now Mac is suggesting that it isn't just a show, it's a channel. Ha! But it is a dream to live here - all of the people on the TV are saying it - and I've found myself saying it, too! However, note of precision: as we were speaking with the lovely restaurateur of the Marine crêperie, he reminded us "Paris, c'est pas la France." (Paris isn't really France) So there - the real French dream is to live in France, not just Paris. :-) He also let us know that there are over 500 British people who live within a 30km radius of Josselin - some have come in their retirement, but more have come to raise their children in France and put them in French schools. More to think on there. Off to bed soon to get ready for Day 3 of school (hopefully no fisticuffs in the Fiesta!) and Mac and I's further forays into independent work. A bientôt!
9 hours ago