Thursday, April 02, 2015

Odds and Sods - big news, health, local colour

What's been going on in St Bloggie's world recently?

Big news
Well, the big news is that my DB has a new job... in Avignon (watch out for more posts from the Vaucluse...). In the Agroparc, to be precise, near the airport (which is now no longer a public enterprise but only open to private jets...). It has more than a passing resemblance to a Californian science park which suits my DB just fine because he's always wanted to work in Silicon Valley. If it weren't for the current visa situation, he'd be over there tomorrow. I'm quietly happy about the current visa situation...

The Agroparc is about 80mins away from Montpellier, so not a huge distance, but too far to drive every day, so we've been flat hunting for him. His aim is to walk to work and be close enough to go home for lunch, so we've been scanning the area and crossing out places that look nice but are too far away.

The other day we were there checking out some possibilities, and were waiting to visit a house that was pretty close. Just at the time we were expecting a call from the owner to meet up, we got a call from her to say the house had been burgled and she was currently dealing with the police... You won't be surprised to hear we struck that one off his list!

You may remember I went to see a naturopathe about six months ago (which cost me €60 for thirty mins). Well, I went to see another one last week. Why? Because she had been invited to give half hour sessions for ten euro at my favourite organic shop. How could I resist?

I went mainly to do something about the state of my joints which the last one had warned me about, but only started making themselves felt from the beginning of this year. She had a good look at my eyes and told me my bones are de-mineralised. I blame this on the menopause.

Anyway, what I wanted to know was what I could do about it. She started off by giving me the ingredients to make a re-mineralising (organic) vinaigrette:
Almond purée instead of acidic mustard
Balsamic or apple cider vinegar
Walnut oil (and olive oil)
Seaweed flakes
And very tasty it is too. She advised taking vitamin D (I do), to continue with the tisane I'm drinking at the moment to re-mineralise my bones (made of nettles, strawberry leaves etc.), do a cure of sève de bouleau (birch sap) as it's the season for it, and eat more sardines, mackerel and cod liver.

I'm also trying to do at least 20 mins of yoga a day and walk as much as possible. Fingers crossed (while I can...) it all does me some good!

Local colour
I went to the most recent conseil municipal (town hall meeting) this week which was turned out to be more entertaining than expected. I missed the last one, but apparently our opposition had exchanged some colourful expressions with the majority that didn't go down well at all.

At the beginning of this meeting, the former mayor gave us his big-eyes mean stare, and a threatening speech. The treasurer felt particularly targeted at the last meeting and so, at the end of this one, he treated us all to his thoughts on three of the opposing team in a flurry of ad hominem remarks that had my eyes out on stalks. Speaking about it afterwards to another member of the team, I learned that such an attack was common place and this one was 'de la rigolade' (no big deal) compared to others that she'd heard in other communes where feelings had been running high and the insults a lot nastier.

You won't get me signing up for active politics in a hurry...!


  1. That does sound tasty - I do hope your bones are OK...

    1. Age is getting to me, David. I'm sure my job sitting in front of a computer all day doesn't help, either!

  2. Did it beat our council meeting? It's amazing how people who demand respect for themselves show none for others...

    1. I think ours was 'une version lite', from what I've heard, and compared to yours. :)

  3. Wow, that was a post and a half! Congratulations to DB on the new job - The region is lovely and there's some good wine to be found there (says MM nostalgically). Hope he finds the home of his dreams too, and I must admit that I am relieved that you do not mention moving away too.
    As for local politics, I agree with your friend - I was a town councillor in the Alsace, and some of the comments and accusations, particularly in the run-up to the elections, were so far below the belt, they didn't even reach shoelace levels. Some French electors appear to rely on this kind of behaviour to decide who they will vote "against" rather than for - all very strange. It's a kind of reversed voting process where you vote for someone just to stop someone else getting elected, rather than voting for the person you think can do the job. I've had my fill of hearing Valls bleating on about the nasty Front National rather than saying what he has to offer. Hardly surprising that the French electorate are unhappy with their current situation.

    1. You're right, MM, I'm staying put and will go to Avignon regularly for weekends. :)

      We found a nice flat not far from his job so he can walk there and come home at lunch time. It even has a garage so he can work on his motorbike. Heaven.

      I've had my fill of Valls' bleating too. And his threats to suspend the electoral process because obviously the electors are too stupid to vote correctly. He reminds me worryingly of one of his countrymen, Franco.

  4. Hi Sarah
    congrats with the new job.
    Earlier this week I had a meeting with two lawyers my account, my translator and a guy who owes me money. It was like watching a foreign language film about school boys fighting over marbles but without the help of sub titles. .. Only in Italy (and France)

    All the best PN

    1. Thanks, PN. :)

      It must be something to do with the Latin temperament, all that energetic communication. :)

  5. Congratulations to your DB on his new job and flat. Weekend visits to Avignon sound like fun. :)

    Your account of the council goings-on echoes what French-resident friends pf ours in Normandy have told us. The husband and another British woman came top of the poll at the municipales last year, because they were the only ones not involved in the commune's longstanding internecine feuds!

    1. I wonder if British local council meetings are so entertaining! I suspect not...

  6. Glad to see about the new job and that you've found a flat too. Am very interested to try that dressing with joints a bit too clicky for my liking here too. I am finding almonds increasing in popularity which is feeding my desire to own an almond farm somewhere warm one day - and I shall blame it all on you should I ever be so fortunate :) Gosh, politics. Ours are comparative amateurs but still deeply unpleasant!

    1. The dressing is very tasty. I add organic herbs to it too, and cayenne pepper. I don't miss the mustard at all, and the almond taste is pretty light. I'm not actually a great fan of almonds, so this suits me fine.

      When you have your idyllic farm, let me know and I'll come and visit. :)

  7. How civilized to be considering walking home for lunch - I love the French!


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