Life in a small French village has been fairly uneventful at the moment. I feel I’m letting my readers down as I don’t have very much to report…Life here has been much like life anywhere else, except here people speak French!!
Last Monday Mr FD and I went to the cinema to see “Pride!” – an excellent film, which I really enjoyed. It was a bit of a rush getting from Clermont to Roanne in time for the start. I left my lessons 10 minutes early (with the agreement of my students, I hasten to add!) and bombed down the motorway. I made it to the cinema with about 10 minutes to spare. When we arrived, Mr FD and I were the only people in the Salle. By the time the film started there were 6 of us but I can hardly imagine it was worth showing the film! Still, I’m very glad they did. It was in VO, with French subtitles, so there were no problems understanding it.
I could have possibly done with subtitles on Thursday however. There are plans to revamp the main square, which is right outside our house, and there was a meeting for all the residents and commerçants who have homes or businesses around the square. The plans look good, and certainly much has been considered to slow drivers down, to prettify the area and to take into account the problems of drivers who use the square as a cut-through to avoid the “bother” of the main junction. I got the main points, but the Mayor spoke so quickly that I struggled to follow many of the supporting arguments.
Here’s a view of the square on market day – you can see that it’s a bit grey and drab, and the corner by the school is not very safe. Cars – and sometimes even big log transporters – will come in from the left of the photo and cut across the square to avoid the junction (which you can’t see) The plan is to put in barriers, so there is just one entrance/exit to the car park, plus a designated pavement area, with trees and some grass over by the school. Mr FD and I were rather pleased to hear about the barriers, because that would mean the annual fair wouldn’t be able to set up right outside our house – but Pascal, the Mayor, assured everyone that the barriers would be removable for special events like the Fete Patronale. Curses! Foiled again!!
Work has been good – I’m not too enamoured with all my groups on Monday, but tant pis! It’s work – I can’t turn down 7 hours of work just because some students are a bit meh, can I?!
I am loving Line Dancing!! I started at the beginning of September – I go to the Beginners Group (arriving late, because I don’t finish work until 6.15) and then stay for the Improvers’ Group. I don’t have many problems with the Beginners, but I’m struggling a little in the other group! It takes me quite a while to pick up the dance steps…I can remember each section when we practise them but put them all together and my brain stops working!! However, the people are great fun and I’m beginning to recognise faces and start to remember the odd name or two. Hopefully, when my weeks/weekends are less manic I will have time to practise a bit at home.
I’ve been busy at church. Last weekend was the annual “get together” on the theme “Living Stones”
We met at the Diocesan house, out in the foothills of Puy de Dome, and first had our Eucharist service in the lovely chapel there. We then had a fairly nondescript lunch, of cheese puff, tinned ravioli and an ice cream bar and then went on to the discussion part of the day. We were considering where we were going in various key areas – stewardship, worship, fellowship etc. It was good to be involved although sometimes I’m not sure how much use these type of things are, save in the sense of increasing links between people.
I’m also preaching tomorrow and have spent a lot of today struggling with the sermon – it certainly wasn’t one that “flowed” nicely, and I’m not convinced by it even now, but I think it’s what God wants. Let’s hope he can use it, even if it’s a bit of a bummer! Still, it feels good to have the opportunity to preach again, even though it has been tricky working out the nuts and bolts. I’m also leading the service, using a still not very familiar prayer book…but I’m quite good at busking that sort of thing, so I’m not too worried about that!
And that’s about it: no humourous events, no typical French happenings. Just the two of us going about life in a relatively relaxed fashion. But life is good, and the wine will be opened tonight – so it’s not all bad, is it?!