Saturday, February 27, 2010

Leashless in Le Creepy Village

The Boyfriend takes Fifty for his last walk of the evening. I've got day duty, The Boyfriend has night duty.

When I walk Fifty, we have three different routes out of the village that we take, just to mix it up. One, for when I'm in a hurry and just want him to do what he's got to do and get back inside. Two, for a walk that takes us down a steep hill if I feel like I'm in need of some good pert bum exercises, and the third for when the sun is shining on a beautiful day and we need a long walk.

For some inane reason, The Boyfriend likes to walk Fifty into the old medieval village at night.

A little background on Le Petit Village and the old medieval village...

Le Petit Village is old, like really old. It used to be a little Roman town that was used as a stop over on the way to trading in Marseille (source: The Boyfriend). Like when I say Roman, I'm talking about Julius and Brutus, that's freaking old.

Anyhoo... on top of that old town, a medieval village was built within old medieval walls (think a mini Avignon). The homes in the old medieval village are 12th century, and people live in them today.

Le Petit Village expanded a wee bit and the present day 'main' street where I live is right outside the walls of the old medieval village. Now even though my front door is only about twenty five feet from the arched opening of the old village, I don't go in there. Never have, and not sure if I will. I'm just a scaredy cat like that. Old stuff creeps me out. Wish I could get over it but I can't (too bad, because I love history, but I've got this Billy Bob Thornton type phobia). Moving on.

At night there are no lights inside the medieval village, not a one. It's preserved in time. Where as the houses on the inside (so I'm told) are kitted out with modern appliances, the outsides still look like 12th century, and because there is a big wall to block out the rest of the village, the two 'main' street lamps do not shine into the medieval village, so according to The Boyfriend, it's pitch black, only lit by moonlight.

Say it with me everyone.... CREEPY

So for some lunatic reason that I do not understand, this is where The Boyfriend likes to take my little furry angel for a walk at night. Sure he knows it's wobbly cobble stoned streets inside and out from childhood days running through it, but come on!

Last night on the pm walk, as I was tucked inside my cozy abode I heard The Boyfriend shouting, "Fifty! Fifty!" But when The Boyfriend says it, it sounds like, "Feefty! Feefty"

See, The Boyfriend has started to let Fifty off his leash when they go out. Not me. I'll save that for fun sunny Saturday afternoons when I have time to chase a puppy who has decided to bolt. Not for night times when I have a date with a glass of Côtes du Rhône and a couch.

So what happens now that The Boyfriend has been walking Fifty through the old creepy village, and Fifty is off his leash and wants to make a run for it, where do you think he's going to run? That's right. Back to old creepy village. Probably to chase some Roman toga wearing spirit or Nazi ghost zombie he saw.

The Boyfriend can chase him through those uneven lanes in the dark, that's his own creepy bed and he can run in it.

Me, I'll stick with the leash. And on my side of the wall.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010


"I'm so much in trouble with you".

This is what The Boyfriend says.

What he means to say is, "You're in so much trouble."

But no matter how many times I correct him, he still says it wrong. And I prefer it that way. It's funnier to hear him chastise himself, saves me from doing it.

My response is always the same, "Yes, you are in trouble." At this point he remembers the English lesson from last time, and peddles back to change it, but it doesn't matter, I've usually walked out of the room by then, laughing to myself on the way.

The day he gets it right (or when my French is fluent) will be a sad one.

It's much more fun this way.


Monday, February 22, 2010

I Rescued The Boyfriend

Thursday evening, The Boyfriend arrived home from work sick. And I mean, sick.

This wasn't the man flu. There was no shuffling around the house and woe is me cries with a baby pout planted on his puss. This was real. The Boyfriend was as pasty as wall paint and burning up. I put him to bed and did my best to keep the fever down with cold cloths and aspirin. And before he fell asleep, I told him that under no circumstances was he to go to work on Friday, just to avoid having that argument in the morning.

Naturally he actually tried to go to work. I was out walking Fifty and when I came back, The Boyfriend was sitting at the table fully dressed, although unable to move any further. I yelled at him a bit and gave him two options, "couch or bed, choose and go."

I made a bed for him on a couch and put on the TV and busied myself with my day. Every few minutes I'd check on him and try to give him juice and soup, both of which he refused. If The Boyfriend refuses food, he's sick (RE: food whore) and the fever didn't seem to be going anywhere. Getting worried I asked if we should go to the doctor.

"No, he'll come here."

I couldn't believe my ears. House call. The doctor makes house calls?

"Yes, in the afternoon, if you're really sick."

Judging by the fever and the pasty complexion, I decided The Boyfriend was really sick and told him to call for the doctor. (My French isn't quite there yet, not sure how to say pasty face).

This is what the doctor said;

"I can't. I'm too busy. Try another medic. Good luck."

I love the good luck part. It's like, 'gee, hope you make it'.

This was not good. The Boyfriend needed to see the doctor but was in no condition to drive himself. I'd have to drive. Time for me to step up and get over my fear of driving here.

I drove to the doctor in Banon through those tiny crazy topsy turvy back roads. And not at a snail's pace either. At a, 'I'm from Texas, now get the hell out of my way pace'. But very safe. I had my 6'2" baby on board, precious cargo. Fear of French country roads has been conquered.

And it worked out well, because across the street from the doctor is one of those quaint little tourist shops (Ladies, you know the type I'm talking about, they don't really sell anything of substance, just lovely, pretty little things that we like to look at for a few weeks). As soon as The Boyfriend left the waiting room and stepped in to see the doctor, I was out the door and across the street. But not before lovingly, "I'll be right here when you get out".

I bought some L'Occitane hand soap and hand lotion for the kitchen sink, and a hand creme for my purse.

image: google

I love L'Occitane and it's great because it's so much cheaper here than in one of their shops in Dublin or New York, but still a bit expensive buying from a tourist shop. If I want L'Occitane, we'll go to the factory in Manosque so I'm not in any circumstances to buy L'Occitane anyplace else (instructions from you know who). But it's ok. If The Boyfriend sees it, I'll just tell him he was hallucinating from the fever. But I deserved a reward, I rescued The Boyfriend, and conquered the road. I don't think a little hand creme is too much to ask for.

The good news is now I'm over my fear of driving here and I can stop being a hermit.

The bad news, Provence, watch out.


In case you're wondering, The Boyfriend is feeling much better now. It was a viral infection, but he's been pumped full of medication. He spent the weekend on the couch playing video games. I got to play nurse maid. How very fun for me.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Le Petit Oscars

A wonderful surprise was waiting for me yesterday.

Shar at La Bonne Vie awarded me with the Lovely Blog and Sugar Doll Awards.

This was particularly wonderful because;
1. there are thousands upon thousands of blogs out there and Shar thought of me, 2. I can now share all the love and wonderful feelings by passing the awards on which puts me in a Glenda the Good Witch kind of mood, and 3. I have an eye infection, a crick in my neck, and it's been raining for two days which has left me feeling like this...

image: google

And Shar's kindness actually got me to take off my cat costume, put down the machine gun, and smile.

Now, you know how this goes... 10 things about me that you do not know, and then I share the love with the chosen bloggers.

Since I know that the suspense is killing you... DUN DUN DUN... I'll start with the spreading of all that wonderful joy and love...

image: google
(me, bestowing joy and love)

Now the tricky part, 10 things about little ol' moi...

1. I used to be a champion, state record holding, swimmer, not kidding, I actually was.

2. The first time I met The Boyfriend was after midnight in a nightclub. This tidbit of info is for all the single ladies out there that are told that this never happens. It does and it did.

3. When I was in 6th grade, I developed a horrible bumpy red rash all over my forehead and around my eyes (swimming related). It lasted into 7th grade, this was in addition to buck teeth, too short, too frizzy hair, and being tall for my age, I was teased relentlessly and boys barked at me. I now enjoy looking at photos on Facebook of some of the people that teased me. I will not say anything unkind about how they have 'grown', but will say that karma is clearly a b*tch.

4. I got arrested during a bar fight in New York City on St. Patrick's Day when I was 16. Not something that I'm particularly proud of but hey, pretty cool story to tell the grandkids.

5. I snore. Loud. Like a large truck driving, lumber jacking, fat man loud.

I know I said 10 but you get 5.

I need to save something for the memoir.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Like The Boyfriend In A China Shop

We made a visit to Baby Cousin's shop in Avignon. The Boyfriend and I are going stateside in March and we wanted to pick him up some new clothes for the trip.

Baby Cousin's shop only sells men's clothes (although I did buy a really cute button down in x-small that I'm loving at the moment). I wish it sold clothes for women but it's not that kind of shop. It's one of those cool boy shops. Not overly trendy and metro sexual like Top Man, where the clothes scream, 'I know the DJ', at Baby Cousin's shop, the clothes are like, 'I am the DJ'. If I was a boy, I'd buy most of my clothes there. But I'm not (luckily for The Boyfriend).

We spend a lot of time there. There's a comfy couch and flat screen in the back and a fridge always stocked with Heinekens (total boy shop), and next door a restaurant that sends in espresso and Moroccan tea to Baby Cousin.

This visit, there was something new. The desk that the cash register sits on had been decoupaged. Now, you know that I'm loving the decoupage, haven't done it yet, but I'm loving it. Well, little intrepid Baby Cousin, had decoupaged the cash register desk with comic books.

How cool is this...

Decoupage desk and The Boyfriend's feet

So we're standing around the cool comic book cash desk, admiring it, and talking about how long it took Baby Cousin to decoupage the whole thing.

And then The Boyfriend and his non-petite self decided to lean on it...

cracked glass courtesy of The Boyfriend


Way to go.

To try and make up for The Boyfriend in a china shop damage, we took Baby Cousin to lunch next door at this swanky place...

Which is so like, 'This is where the DJ eats.'

I had a glass of this...

super pale Provencal Rosé

And to try and ease the pain of his damaged desk, we got Baby Cousin a glass of this...

drink me

Pain go bye bye juice courtesy of vodka.


If you find yourself in Avignon, drop into Family on 4 Rue Carnot, just don't lean on anything.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I Caught A Fish This Big...

Last night, we were driving home from dinner in St Michel. The road is always dark without any lights, with thick trees on both sides, almost like you are driving through a forest (actually I think it may be a forest).

We were laughing about something when suddenly...

"What is that?"

A huge wild boar was walking along the side of the road. What's odd about this was not that we saw a wild boar, it's that the boar didn't seem to pay us any mind. He just continued to walk slowly, not really caring that we were there shining headlights at him.

The Boyfriend starts shouting at me, "take a picture, take a picture!"

The boar crosses the road, not in any particular hurry, while I fumbled in my huge handbag for the camera, cursing myself for not carrying a clutch bag.

This is all I got...

No boar

All the wine and big bag had me too late to catch the slow boar, but I swear, there was a very large boar.

The Boyfriend starts yelling at me because I didn't have the camera at the ready. It's strange enough that I'm in the habit of carrying my camera with me everywhere, in case I see something interesting enough to be documented here, but according to The Boyfriend, I'm not a good 'reporter' because I didn't have my camera at the ready. Didn't know I was a reporter. I'm going to toss that one up to his interesting use of English vocabulary.

The thing is, he didn't want the photo for me and you readers and this blog. He wanted it for his brother and Papa. Boyfriend's Brother is Le Petit Village's current record holder for the largest boar killed. A few years ago, he shot a 170kg (375lb) boar at 200 meters. Apparently it was pure pastis induced luck, one shot into the forest and big boar went down. Either way, Boyfriend's Brother is a local celebrity due to this and naturally, that day was one of the proudest days of Papa's life.

The Boyfriend doesn't hunt.

But I guess if he had a picture to go along with the story...

I saw a boar this big...


Friday, February 12, 2010

Birthday Weekend Part 2

One of the most difficult things about moving to Le Petit Village was leaving my family.

I have an amazing family, love my family. And I'm not talking about just the nuclear, I love my entire family, the whole kit and kaboodle; aunts, uncles, their spouses, and dozens upon dozens of cousins. We're tight like peanut butter and jelly and I wouldn't trade them for the entire Louise Vuitton luggage collection (that's saying a lot).

You can't pick your family, you're pretty much stuck. But if I had the choice, I would still pick each and everyone of their crazy selves to fill my posse.

They're not perfect (show me a family that is, besides the Kardashians of course), they can be harsh and judgemental, but always out of love, and no matter what, they always have my back. Anytime, day or night, I know that I can call anyone of them to help me move a body if so required (not that that's ever happened, I'm jut saying).

It's been difficult at times living in my new country without that safety net of love and dysfunction. Sure I've got The Boyfriend's family but it's kind of hard to form a bond with the language barrier (note to self: learn how to say, "Please help me move this body" in French).

But on Birthweek Day 4 (Sunday) I think I got a little closer to having a safety net here...

Papa's Wife had asked us over for a drink to celebrate my birthday. I wasn't really looking forward to heading out in the cold for a drink especially after all the beer and the sake at the Chinese (I'm not as young as I used to be), but I wasn't going to say no, after all, there might be a present there for me, and I love those.

We arrived a little past noon and not only was there a present waiting for me...

inside a cheese board (needed one) and a pasta serving dish

But a surprise party too!

Ok, not a party per se, but a surprise lunch just for me.

Now dig this sweetness and get ready to say awww...

The Boyfriend, knowing how close my family is and how we all pow-wow for birthdays, knew that I would be missing them, so he asked Papa's Wife to throw together a little something for me. And she did. A lovely lunch with my new French family.

Papa was there, Boyfriend's Brother, his girlfriend, and dog Python...

Python, not Boyfriend's Brother

And the Portuguese neighbor (not exactly sure how he fits in the mix but he does look like he has some body moving experience).

She went all out, even buying me my very own bottle of Tabasco because she knows I like to throw it on everything.

nothing says love like Tabasco

And Papa's Wife's 82 year old mother baked me a cake...

pay no attention to the candles on the cake, I don't

And after the aperitifs, main course, cheese course, dessert, and digestives, The Boyfriend and I stayed to watch the France vs Scotland rugby match, and played a little ourselves...

Me, totally kicking The Boyfriend's a** (notice Python as referee)

It was a perfect birthday surprise.

Not only did I get a new cheese board, pasta serving dish, and bottle of Tabasco,

but I got a new family too.

Now all together...



Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Birthday Weekend Part 1

I like to stretch out my birthday as long as possible, and have a birthweek because it only comes once a year (except once, I did have a 30.5 birthday party in August). So since it's still my birthweek, I've decided to tell you about my weekend in two parts to help stretch it out.

Day two of my birthweek (Friday) I made Philly Cheese Steaks for dinner and went to Boyfriend's Brother's house to see the four week old puppy, Mika (named after the chocolate not the singer). This brings the number of dogs he has to four, oh wait oops, another puppy was born on Sunday, so five now, five dogs for Boyfriend's Brother. Lunatic.

Mika the jack russell is teeny tiny, black all over with a little tan snout, and paws, and two tan patches over her eyes that make her look like a bandit, just like her older brother Leo. She has this funny sideways waddle slide walk she does. And when she gets scared, she backs up like she's moon walking. (Holy Madonna! Maybe she's MJ reincarnated?! Now wouldn't that be amazing?).

OK Friday night wasn't all that exciting but I wanted to share the easy Philly Cheese Steak recipe with you and tell you that the reincarnation of MJ is living right here in Le Petit Village. Spread the word.

If any of you are rugby fans you know that the Six Nations kicked off on Birthweek Day 3 (Saturday). The Boyfriend and I are all about the rugby.

Plans for Saturday; watch Ireland vs Italy followed by England vs Wales, all the while relaxing and slowly getting ready to go out for my birthweek dinner party. This means giving myself a manicure while throwing back Heinekens, shouting at the television, with huge velcro rollers in my hair. Quite a sight I assure you. I made one simple request to The Boyfriend, no visitors. It's my birthweek after all and I reserve the right to sit in my huge velcro rollers and shout abuse at the television in peace.

Naturally, about twenty minutes into the Ireland match The Boyfriend takes a phone call and lets me know that his friend G is on his way over.

Whenever a 'miscommunication' like this occurs, The Boyfriend blames it on my lack of French and his lack of English. I blame it on his lack of estrogen and abundance of testosterone.

I huffed and puffed and stomped upstairs to remove the rollers so I didn't look like some deranged housewife. Good thing because since G's car was outside for all of Le Petit Village to see, Honey Jr came over followed by M and her fiance. Happy camper I was not as I scrambled around delivering beers, and refilling snack bowls.

Somehow between rooting for Wales to beat England (they didn't) and playing barmaid, I managed to get ready, looking pretty swish I might add in these..

8pm rolled around and with the addition of Boyfriend's Brother and his girlfriend (OMG, who was watching little MJ???), we headed to a Chinese restaurant in Apt. I love Chinese food and am happy to have found this place because The Boyfriend took me to a Chinese restaurant in Manosque once, and it was so bad, I swear I was being punished for something.

(Bonus of dining Chinese style with The Boyfriend; watching his less than skilled use of chopsticks. Never wanting to surrender and use a fork, he usually ends up spearing the food or using his fingers, and of course, getting food everywhere. Priceless.)

We ate ate and ate and had plenty of these...

Followed by some sake.

And this is very naughty.

Apparently all the Chinese restaurants here have these little sake glasses with a naughty surprise at the bottom, naked people, and I mean nekkid! Like full on, full frontal nudity naked. I'd show you a photo (of course I took one, all the beer and sake meant any embarrassment went bye bye and maybe one found it's way into my purse too... shhh) but Le Petit Village is a PG-13 kind of place, so no photo for you.

But can you believe it?

Naked people at the bottom of your sake glass.

A very happy birthweek to me.


Next... Part 2

Monday, February 8, 2010

How I Spent I.D.A.

As much as I would have loved to have spent I.D.A. (International Day of Awesomeness, aka my birthday) pampering in some spa somewhere, that was not on the cards, I live in Le Petit Village, not Paris. So since I wasn't able to get my tootsies tinkled or soak in a bath of mud, I had to make my own fun.

A little recap of how I spent I.D.A....

Watched four episodes of Ugly Betty online. Love me some Betty.

Stalked Facebook, waiting for birthday wishes to show up on my wall. 41 in total, not too shabby.

Watched Fifty stare at the washing machine and lick the window trying to catch the water swirling inside. This is pure entertainment. I can watch this for hours. Moron.

I made a batch of mini, fudgey, chocolate cakes but undercooked them. You're supposed to flip them out on tin foil and get little upside down cakes. But when I flipped, I had a pile of chocolate gooeyness, resembling nothing you could stick a candle into. Deciding to see the glass as half full, I thought "well, the birthday fairy is smiling on me, now I don't have to share", grabbed a spoon and dug in.

gooey goodness

Spent some time feeling guilty about eating all that chocolate gooeyness and swearing to myself that it's all about fruit and vegetables from now on (not a chance).

And because I was full of chocolate gooeyness and unable to move, stayed on the couch reading an Agatha Christie. This was great for a couple of reasons; 1. I've had a crush on Hercule Poirot for years and 2. Fifty makes an excellent foot warmer.

And just I was about to doze off into a chocolate coma to dream of solving crime with my crush Hercule, The Boyfriend came home with these...

And some Champagne.

International Day of Awesomeness indeed.


Next up... the birthday weekend.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

International Day of Awesomeness

Today is my birthday.

And since it is also this guy's...

Dan Quayle

And this guy's...

Alice Cooper

It pretty much makes it the greatest day of the year.

I'm thinking of petitioning to turn it into an International Day of Awesomeness.

Anyhoo, I've made a list, because I love those, a list of what I would like for my birthday...

1. The ability to speak French, like right now.

2. To be able to find everything I'm looking for in the grocery store. I'm still getting used to the different brands and names for things and inevitably, I come home without a couple things on the list, and of course, it's always those couple of things that I need to cook something that I really want for dinner. And to find cheddar cheese. They have about 400 different kinds of cheese here, but a girl can't get a little block of cheddar.

3. To get over my fear of driving on these tiny crazy ass roads so I can stop being a hermit.

4. I want great, effortless hair. Nothing to do with life in Le Petit Village, I just really want great hair.

5. Fifty to learn how to go out for a walk by himself (without killing cats or chasing Schnauzers). And while he's out, to pop into the épicerie and pick up the baguette.

6. My friends to visit me. It would be nice to have someone here who I can comment on (make fun of) my surroundings with.

7. The complete oxo pop grip range. Have you seen these things?

8. Direct flights to Dublin from Marseille airport all the time, not just during certain months of the year (Ryan Air I'm looking at you). And you know what, I'm going to go ahead and expand on this, I want Ryan Air to stop being money grubbing A-holes, and realize that they are going to get paid anyway so stop training your staff to act like they're working for the Third Reich. Nobody likes you.

9. All the American television channels. All of them. Yes, yes, I know I should only be watching French television to fully immerse myself, but I would love one day a month, to slob out on my couch, with a big ass remote and random crappy television; Lifetime movies, Storm Stories, American Justice, Jeopardy, Oprah, and reruns of Roseanne and A Different World.

10. The local épicerie to sell fountain soda drinks, including Dr.Pepper, Big Red and Root Beer, with crushed ice in huge styrofoam cups, and bags of beef jerky (I'm from Texas, leave me alone).


Monday, February 1, 2010

I'm A Girl Genius

Learning a new language is tricky and can be slow going.

The way my French is at the moment; I can understand the majority of conversation and I can speak slowly to certain people. I think the certain people part has to do with feeling at ease.

For instance, I can sit with Papa's Wife and have a full conversation in French. A couple of weeks ago we had a whole conversation about mice in cupboards and lazy cats and dogs that don't do anything about it. I was quite chuffed with myself. But I think it's because Papa's Wife, looks me right in the face and speaks slowly. This is the reason that she is one of my favorite people here, well that and she always fills me with loads of food and wine, but then again, everyone else does as well, so I guess it has to be the talking slowly thing. And it's required, because even when I translate from French to English in my head, that hamster spinning on the wheel in there spins slowly.

Case in point...

Saturday night The Boyfriend and I spent a quiet evening at Papa's house. Just the four of us. Nothing special, just a quiet family dinner. Afterwords, we watched the French version of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire (I'm loving French game shows at the moment, because I'm so freaking smart, I can still answer questions correctly. Girl genius I am).

The way it goes is, I can understand about 90% of the question and so when the choices come up, can usefully figure it out (RE: girl genius). So some question popped on the screen and the main part of it was; 'La Guerre des Étoiles'.

The wheels spins slowly...La Guerre des Étoiles... La Guerre des Étoiles... let's see, la guerre; that's war, and étoiles are stars... the war of the stars... the war of the stars... what war of the stars? When the hell was that? That must have been something involving the Falkland Islands or something. Always some strange war going on some strange little place (apologies to any Falkland Island readers).

And then the multiple choices appeared; D: Chewbacca.

The War of the Stars


Star Wars

Girl genius I am.


My favorite Irish Uncle will be happy to know that while watching the French version of Password (told you, I'm all about the game shows), the password was tricher (cheat) and I shouted Thierry Henry.

I know you love me :-P

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