Party Button

In other non-work related items, the heating system at the new house has a rather handy ‘party’ button. Because really, who needs to muss and fuss when you are throwing a fête?

Champagne? Oui. Delicious food? Oui. Party button illuminated? Let’s hope so. I’m excited to try it out. Perhaps when activated, it causes a disco ball to drop, a DJ to appear and all the dirty party dishes are somehow magically cleaned.

The dreams of the French party button.

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The first day and I am drinking tea at a cafe

After months of interviews and immigration paperwork, I arrived for my first day of work in France only to be sent home after an hour. Apparently, my gang of teammates were not around and no one else had a clue as to what I should be doing. But, that’s cool because I will happily sit here and drink tea while still on the clock. After all it’s not my budget…at least, not yet.

Will working in France be as exciting, thought provoking and at times, mind-blowing frustrating as working in the poultry processing plant was back in Mauritius? Thus far, all signs point to ‘oui’.

Tomorrow is another day.

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Wouldn’t it be cool if the smurfs actually lived here?

It’s mushroom season here in France and besides falling in love with cepes, I am also in a loving state of wonder for these brightly colored mushrooms which have sprouted up in the middle of the birch tree grove in our front garden.

As I was stooping down to snap these photos with my phone, the guy who is installing the phone and internet connections at the house told me that these particular mushrooms are very poisonous which begs the question:  Why would the smurfs or ‘les stroumphs’ as they are known in France choose to live in such dangerous quarters?

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Big Day Wednesday



Dog in Window, originally uploaded by Minnesota Pilgrim.

Happy Wednesday! What a whirlwind of a day it has been. Whew! Today, after months, weeks and days of waiting (again, who could possibly be keeping track?!), the house contracts were finalized and it’s all green lights, smooth pavement and feet out the window. Yeehaw!

And speaking of windows, this furry guy jumped to attention and was eyeing my frame while I casually strolled down the main drag (Rue Claude Monet – of course) in Giverny a month or so ago. If you are ever in France, I suggest a venture out to the sleepy village of Giverny simply because Claude did a bang up job on his house and gardens. Truely lovely.

And did someone say ‘job’? Why, yes, yes, I did because guess what, happy readers? Looks like some little Pilgrim is going to be getting her kicks at a job in a rather serious office in the not-so-far future. Ooo. Ah. It’s another set of fabulous paperwork. Working in France while not being 100% certain of the language, culture or customs? I’m so on it. In fact, I say, “Bring it, France.” Even if it takes me 8 hours – an entire working day – to respond to one simple email, I shall overcome and eventually hit the send button.

Oh, and paperwork? As an added bonus today, my passport with newly added pages was sent back from the US Embassy in Paris. Nice, nice work, guys! Bravo! All was done and sent back to me in less than 5 days. Big smiles and chin-chin, clink-clink (une coupe de champagne). The Pilgrim can now continue her travels and many numerous boarder crossings.

There’s so more more to explore, but all major exploration will have to wait for a few months because this afternoon we met with the painter, the kitchen lady and the fireplace gal, whom I suspect wants to move in with us – and really, who wouldn’t want to live with us? We do kind of give off that good energy vibe. Kind of like this dog in the window. Unless you find him scary, but it’s all how you choose to look at things, isn’t it? And today, I choose happy.

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Found alliances amongst the mushrooms

Sometimes you find common connections where you least think they would be.  This weekend my click points were with a five-year-old and his two-year-old brother.  At a birthday party in the French countryside, I spent a few hours hanging out with the shorter set; and I must say, the conversation was both relaxing and riveting.  Our topics of discussion included breakfast, soccer and jumping the last of which he had to physically demonstrate to me because I was unfamiliar with the verb.  The two-year-old on the other hand, well, not so much; but general hand gestures gave us both a win-win and by the end of Saturday night, he was sneaking me low-fives across the dinner table.

There was wild mushroom picking in the forest with an 80-year-old Parisian pharmacist who blessed our found fungus which we giddily placed into cheery wicker baskets, adults clutching champagne glasses while running and playing soccer with the kids, and a feast of a dinner served inside under the dark timbers once the sky turned black. 

In between sips of champagne, I kept looking around and feeling like I was in some sort of Brothers Grimm fairy tale complete with magical red foxes and giant silver toadstools.

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