Sun and Trees

Who ever knew that sunlight and proximity to large trees could play such a role in ones bloglife? As I type, I am in the village square — l’Esplanade — here in Gignac, the next largest village up the food chain from Aniane. Yesterday, while driving by, my trust WiFi-o-meter told me that there was free Internet to be had; I’ve returned today, with Oliver and Catherine, to track this down, as well as to check out the Gignac Public Library and the more exciting playground options.

Wandering around the square with my laptop open, I managed to locate a specific spot, in front of a large tree, which offered a sweet spot of low sunlight (and thus low glare on the laptop screen) and powerful enough WiFi. Five feet in any direction from this spot and the sun came streaming in or the WiFi went away. Again, not ergonomically optimum, but then again I didn’t have to drive into Montpellier either.

This morning we took a walk around greater Aniane: down rue de la Tour to the aqueduct, up around the old abbey, and back to the main road. On the way home we stopped at the grocery store to buy some soft goat cheese, some tomatoes, an avocado and some strawberries for lunch. Ah, and what a lunch it was. Our greatest fear now is that we will return home to Canada only to find that all of the food tastes like bland slime.

Our appreciation of la vie français continued today with an afternoon visit to Le Glacier, a coffee, crepe, and ice cream shop around the corner from our house. Oliver quickly polished off a chocolate ice cream cone, Catherine had a bitchin’ café au lait, and I had a cup of tea.

Personally it’s been a bizarre haul the last couple of days. I sort of feel like my body and mind have been in a stressful state of flux — I suppose this only makes sense, given the transitions of place, diet, pace, and so on. Without being overly romantic, it does sort of feel like a rapid deceleration into a magical world of smells, tastes and naps. That said, I find myself reaching for the non-existent TV clicker from habit and simultaneously having TV withdrawal pangs and stark realizations that I spend a lot of my time watching reruns of Seinfeld and Law & Order.

Lingually I’ve been doing not too bad, with the terrors of being caught in an intractable situation with no language skills gradually washing away as my confidence increases. What an obligation I feel now to Mme. Romeo, M. Lefrançoise and all of my other French professeurs over the years; who knew that their endless drills would ever pay off in the practical ability to order bread? My vocabulary is turning out to be reasonable; my grammar is very poor, but this is seldom an impediment. As Meg has been relating on her blog, there is rarely an instance where you can’t describe what you’re looking for by association: “that thing that is like a cookie, but not round, and covered with icing” and the like.

I sense the approach of Oliver and Catherine, fresh from their exploration of Gignac, to fetch me home. More later.