Monday, July 27, 2015

Le Tour de France

July has been a strange month for weather.  We've suffered through two heatwaves in a city that cannot handle heat, and yesterday we were hit with a cold spell just as strong on the other end of the temperature spectrum (from 100°F a week ago to 50°F in the wet wind).  The grey skies didn't give us pause about finding a spot to watch the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris yesterday...but then those grey skies opened up, a strong, cold wind kicked in and the weather became completely miserable...just in time for the Tour de France to begin its final day in Paris.

Yesterday afternoon, we tried three different viewing spots over the course of two hours before waiting it out between Porte Maillot and the Arc de Triomphe.  We were soaked and shivering, but we didn't give up.  When the moment came, it was so exhilarating, watching the pack fly past us as they geared up for the lap portion of the race.

The moment they passed us, we bustled to the metro and hurried home for hot showers and dry clothes, hoping we all don't catch colds in the name of Le Tour.  Hubby turned on the TV so we could watch the rest, but after about 10 minutes of watching, I couldn't stand being so close but not actually being there.  I bundled up to fight the autumnal weather and rushed out again to catch whatever I could on the Champs Elysees.  I made it in time for the final two laps.  The sun even came out for the end of the race.  Watching the Tour de France in person--what an incredible experience!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Well, hello there!

In case you've been wondering about my lengthy absence from this space, I've been out testing the hypothesis that one needs at least six months to recover from a major transition like an international move.  I ran a controlled experiment, tested on myself and my little family of four.  We repeat and compare results every 2 to 3 years.  We observe multiple factors, and I have once again reached that conclusion that yes, living a nomadic life abroad requires at least 6 months of adjustment time when settling into a new country before one begins to feel "normal" again.  If it's a place where you don't speak the language and the locals don't speak yours, bless you for trying.

Almost six months to the day, my crafting mojo returned (if you don't craft, just skip this paragraph entirely).  I hadn't wanted to knit for longer than I could remember.  I tried a few times to knit by rote, to feel the wool in my hands and to create something lovely…but my heart wasn't in it and each project was quickly returned to its bag.  A few months ago, I found and started to regularly attend a knitting group at a wonderful yarn shop here in Paris, but I only knit when I was there and even then, I knitted only a row or two while I listened and chatted.  Then, just a couple of weeks ago, boom!  It was back!  I finished two projects in three days.  Tempted to add to my stash (Aimee, why do you stock so much pretty?), I started to dig in my closet and discovered even more UFOs (that's unfinished objects for you sane non-knitters), and I wanted to finish those too!  I carted a half-finished child's sweater along to the knitting group last week, only to have everyone question my sanity, knitting with chunky thick wool during another hideous heatwave (oh Paris, you don't do heat well).  They were right, of course, so I bought a new skein of thick chunky wool to knit a cowl for my big girl and cast on for that over the weekend.  Hey, I never said knitters make logical decisions.

As soon as my crafting mojo returned, I became hyper-aware of my lag in communications across the board.  Normally, I try not to miss sending birthday and anniversary cards, but I realised I haven't done so in many months--including, I'm ashamed to say, close family.  Oh dear.  I'm not sure many of our friends and family even have our new address.  I don't actually know our landline phone number.  Remedy, remedy, remedy.  I'm considering sending out Christmas in July cards to get everyone in one fell swoop.

Which brings me to this blog.  Hello!  I've missed you too!  Over the past months, I've been taking pictures on my phone and sharing many of them on Instagram if you'd like to see.  I would like to return to this space and resurrect the joy of the big camera too.  In the meantime, we'll be soaking up summer and enjoying the freedom from scheduling that I'm sure helped make my return to normalcy possible.  I hope you've been well!  Thanks for checking in!