It’s almost 12 months since I moved to Paris; the time has flown by. There’s an enjoyable pattern to my week, as well as events that are pinch-me amazing because I couldn’t do them in NZ; like going to Berlin just for the weekend with my daughter Katherine.
All these places I’ve wanted to visit are only a hop away, and the weekend in Berlin had the added bonus of seeing my darling girl. We had a great time sightseeing, exploring the very hip and trendy boutiques in East Berlin, shopping in the chic West, and I got to see the remains of The Berlin Wall. The fall of the wall has been a point of inspiration for me during my career. My friend Collette once bought me a little souvenir piece of it that I kept on my desk to remind me when it was tough going that great and positive change can be achieved.
The pattern of my week includes social knitting get-togethers. I’ve joined up with a lovely group of knitters; we meet every Tuesday afternoon at a café that is also a sewing boutique in Montreuil called De Fil en Cafe run by Marianne, who is an expert seamstress.
There are two Kiwis, Barbara and me, (I introduced you to Barbara in my last post), two Englishwomen, Antoinette and Sarah, and Yuko who is Japanese. Yuko is an expert in all yarn related crafts. She knits and crochets the most beautiful and delicate garments and accessories. She’s our coach for anything tricky. We usually speak in French because that’s the language common to all, though I’m not very good at it, and now Yuko is learning English so we are interchanging between English and French. Barbara and Antoinette are both professional language teachers so we are in good hands. It’s a real pleasure meeting up each week to enjoy good company and conversation.
The pattern also includes a French lesson with my lovely tutor Martine every second week. (I confess there are a few holes in the pattern where the homework is meant to be.) We usually start with a chat, all in French of course, to catch up on each other’s news. I always try and incorporate some new vocabulary or a grammar rule that I’m trying to master, just to keep it a notch above a weather conversation.
This week’s new vocab included:
le désespoir = despair
se plaindre, (or gémir) = to groan
Yes I’m talking about les courses de voiliers pour la coupe de l’ America.
I couldn’t see the actual races live; it was probably just as well, instead I watched a live blog on Stuff and I could feel le désespoir in Trevor McEwen’s words as they popped up on the screen.
Martine has a new Kiwi usage for her English repertoire: “gutted”