Spring is Undecided

Spring is Undecided

Three days ago, we had temps of 20˚C (68˚F) and today the high is expected to be 7˚C (44˚F)… so although Spring is officially several weeks away, we’ve gotten our lips whet and it feels wonderful. With so much still either on lockdown or impossible to do after a 6pm curfew, having warmer days and ever lengthening evenings has made things a bit more bearable.

Daffodils and crocus are up, the mimosa trees are in full, mustard-yellow bloom and even a few camelias are already brightening up yards with various shades of pink, salmon and white.

And… as you can see from today’s feature photo… the bees are busy gathering pollen, but that’s not all. Let me share the week in four pictures.

Continue reading

Strange Light & Slightly Blurred

Strange Light & Slightly Blurred

You’ve seen this windmill before if you’re a regular reader. It’s located right on the outskirts of Les Trois-Moutiers, in France’s Vienne department. Today’s pic however was taken on my way home from Angers the other day as the fast-fading afternoon sun lit it up in almost an eerie, golden glow.

There’s no filter on this pic… the lighting is as it was that afternoon and if you look toward the bottom, you’ll also see that the grass along the roadway is slightly blurred. Taken together, it makes it a pretty good illustration of today’s post.

Continue reading

Château de Touffou

Château de Touffou

It was New Year’s Eve.

I had driven Dominic to a friend’s house where he’d spend the night. Sophie had come along with me just to get out of the house and we were on our way back to Châtellerault.

We’d passed it numerous times, but this time, there were just two easily spontaneous people in the car who were in no particular rush. We stopped…

Continue reading

Flood Waters & Student Lives

Flood Waters & Student Lives

This week I was shocked in my English classes.

There’s been a lot of talk on the news about the impact of the pandemic on the lives of students. Whether elementary, middle-school, high school or university, there’s no question that schooling looks very different, but I’m not sure I was prepared for some of the things my students had to say about it in their own words…

Continue reading

Sunrise in Châtellerault

Sunrise in Châtellerault

It had been a long while since I’d gotten out to explore our own little town.

Isn’t that always the way? We travel the world in search of new, and big, and unfamiliar, and exotic, all while driving right by some lovely things in our day-to-day.

Covid19 has certainly honed that down quite a bit, but if I went exploring Châtellerault one early morning, two weeks ago, it wasn’t so much covid-related as it was car-related…

Continue reading

A Week in 5-pics

A Week in 5-pics

On one hand, I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to tell you this week. It seems like, between Covid-curfew and distance education, each week feels very much like the others… everything runs together to some extent.

Still, it seems like there are habits that are good to maintain even though we don’t necessarily feel great difference. Isn’t that what we emphasize in the church after all? Not every day, nor every service, are ‘blow-out’ days/services… but there is value in consistency: continuing to maintain the daily habits that nourish our faith in the good days, in preparation for the not-so-good days when we’ll need all that’s been put aside.

(hmmm… seems like I’m getting to the point of the sermon before even giving the illustration.) 🙂

Continue reading

Dancing Grapevines – #3GoodThings

Dancing Grapevines – #3GoodThings

Yesterday was a strange, long & kind of surreal day.

It was a teaching day in Angers that was actually in Angers (first time since late October / early November). After only 3-hours sleep the night before, it started out not so pretty, but when I look back, at least #3GoodThings helped redeem the day (more really, but I’ll quickly highlight 3)

Continue reading

Apple Trees & Early Mornings

Apple Trees & Early Mornings

As I sit here to write you, this Saturday morning, Soph has already walked the dog, Dominic is finishing breakfast, Liz is having a quick cat-nap (after waking with a nasty headache) and Timo is working day 5 at the Optician (more on that later).

Since the dog is also lying peacefully, it means that the only sound I hear is the clickety-clack of the keyboard and the odd muffled noise from outside. It’s peaceful now, after the driving rain & hail earlier.

Care to spend a few minutes, while I finish up the morning hot chocolate?

Continue reading

With Love for a New Year

With Love for a New Year

Are you familiar with ‘tatting’?

Tatted lace is made with one or two finger-held shuttles and very fine cotton, a bit thicker than sewing thread. I was visiting a friend in Quebec nearly 30 years ago and his (at the time) 92 year-old grandmother lived with he and his family. She saw me crocheting and asked if I was tatting. I’d never even heard of tatting before.

She showed me the basics and gave me a tatting shuttle. There’s a trick to it, which took me a couple of weeks to get, but I finally did, and the rest is history… I’ve been tatting off & on ever since.

The last couple of years it’s been more ‘off’ than ‘on’ but I picked it up again over the Christmas break and have been glad to get back into it when time allows. There’s a life lesson in there that I was reminded of, but first, let me bring you up to speed…

Continue reading

Road Trip down the Loire Valley

Road Trip down the Loire Valley

Back in October, I took the long road home from a teaching day in Angers.

The day was beautiful, the onset of evening was slow coming, and no one needed to be picked up at the station in Châtellerault. Overall, the opportunity was too good to pass up.

I’d intended to document it long before this, but whatever the reason (there were likely a number of them) it didn’t happen until now.

Care to join me on an open-top drive down the Loire River Valley?

Gentle Warning:
This is my longest-ever blog post (3,500 words – about a 22 minute read). If you only have a few minutes, I’d recommend saving it for a time when you can enjoy it over a big steaming mug of coffee, not a small. 🙂

Ready? Let’s go…

Continue reading