Browsing Posts published in December, 2011

Plop, Plop. Fizz, Fizz.

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Well, the holidays are almost over and as Downith says so far so fat. Oh my holy jaysus, how much food can two people consume in a few short days? I’ll tell you, too much. Last night I was up every two hours munching Tums in between vivid carbohydrate/fat-induced nightmares.

It all started innocently enough with some lovely tea from the coolest Tea Man in Strasbourg.

And from there things ramped up considerably. Continue reading “Plop, Plop. Fizz, Fizz.” »


I may have mentioned this but I used to be a psychiatrist and as such Christmas was not often a blessed event. In fact I couldn’t wait for it to come and go. Boxing Day was the worst. The ER would be full of the tail end of drunken rages and crying jags. Masses of people who, 5 days before being descended upon by every relative they’ve ever known, decided to abruptly discontinue the chemicals that support sanity. One year I consoled a poor woman who had a black eye from being whacked in the face by her sister who apparently wields a mean drumstick.

But this year peace and goodwill toward women ruled my holiday in Strasbourg, the “Capital Of Christmas” and I’m telling you not even the dreary weather could dampen my spirits however the rain did limit the picture taking. But I think you’ll get the idea …

Continue reading “Christmas For Professionals” »


Oh that Rusty. He’s a crafty one I’ll say that much for him. It turns out he’s been tucking away a few euros without my knowledge. Imagine the nerve of him keeping his hard earned money to himself. But all is forgiven. Just when I thought my Christmas would be back to back Elf screenings with buckets of chocolates and chardonnay (not that there’s anything wrong with that), my lovely husband decided he needed a mini vacation and he’s taking moi with him. Of course he is, he enjoys living.

Not long ago France added a new TGV route that rockets one from Dijon to Strasbourg in just under two hours. Then the train company threw in a few last minute hotel deals and voilà, a chance for us to hang at one of Europe’s most famous Christmas markets without me having to sell my body (for scrap parts). We’re off tomorrow morning to soak up the season the Strasbourg way. I assume that crowd knows what they are doing by now, the same market has been there since 1570. Continue reading “This Little Piggy Went To Market” »


Okay, enough of hungry children. We’ve all agreed that it’s sad and important and we’ll do what we can. But today let me take you back to the wretched excess of this French life, specifically my appetite. I suspect for most people the holidays are a lot about food. For me it’s nothing but food. I don’t buy gifts any more nor do I expect any. So I don’t have to shop or wrap or find a parking space at the mall. I don’t even have to cook. But I do have to eat.

Semur is getting ready for Noël. The streets are starting to fill up with little wooden chalets that sell seasonal specialty goods, everything from handmade toys to hot, paper thin crepes smeared with globs of Nutella. Guess which one I’ll be hanging off twice a day? The smell alone is enough to do me in. There are concerts and chorales of course but most important there’s a contest. One that I’m convinced I must win. Continue reading “From One Extreme To Another” »


Watch Your Language

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I’m a genius. I’ve known this for some time but due to an overdeveloped sense of empathy for all the people way more stupider than me, I try not to talk about it too much. So it is indeed surprising that I’m not yet fluent in French. Maybe I’m subconsciously dialing my intelligence down a notch. I don’t want the locals to be intimidated by how fast a Canadian woman can master the bon usage of one of the most ridiculously complicated languages invented by man. I don’t mean ‘man’ as in human, I mean man as in male because there’s no way a woman came up with that mess. She wouldn’t have had time.

Anyway, now that my manuscript has finally been sent off it’s time for me to get back to the task of verbs and partitive articles. I know it’s time because people (Elodie) have been telling me that my French has relapsed and needs to go back to rehab. Everybody knows how much I love French. And everybody knows how it flows off my tongue with no effort at all. Now everybody knows that I’m a big fat liar. Continue reading “Watch Your Language” »


The Big Picture

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Last week I was all up in arms over my private parts being available at the nearest Chapters next year. I read all your brilliant comments again and I felt better. Of course the ten kilo bag of guacamole flavoured corn chips along with a family sized box of Christmas chocolates didn’t hurt.

But here’s the thing. It just doesn’t matter. Even if everyone I’ve ever met in my entire life thinks I’m a blithering idiot, in the larger scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. Really, anyone who thinks me a fool can bite me. I’m having the time of my life over here doing what I’m doing. Sure, the pay stinks but again, it doesn’t matter.

I’ve decided that pretty much everything in this life is of relatively little consequence. Even all the stuff we think is so essential, none of it matters. We live, we die, the planet keeps spinning. I’m not suggesting that life is a pointless endeavour. But worrying about anything definitely is. So a few people will have too much information about the state of my arse. Who cares? Five minutes later they’ll be thinking about someone else’s arse.

Worry is always such wasted energy. I’m still learning that. Most days I’ve got it licked but every now and then it gets the better of me. I guess I spent so much time banishing guilt that I fell behind on the worry front. But I’ll get there. This blook business will be a good way to practice.

I recall, years ago, having a long conversation with a woman outside an Intensive Care Unit where her husband was clinging to life. She was so unaffected by it all. Maybe he was a right bastard and she was already spending her insurance money but I don’t think so. She just knew that there was nothing she could do about it. If he died she’d face it. What choice did she have? What choice do any of us have?

So there it is. Guilt-free and now worry-free as well. What in god’s name will I do with all my spare time?


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