Monday, November 15, 2010

The Versatile, Whinging Blogger

I'm interrupting your usual weekend peace and quiet to fulfill my obligations as a 'Versatile Blogger Award' recipient.

Ta da:

I received this award from the lovely Aidan at Conjugating Irregular Verbs, who made me blush with her kind comments. I love Aidan's blog. She is very funny despite being American and is endearingly honest, which makes her blog such a fun read. This is my favourite post ever of hers.*

In celebration of Aidan's honesty, I am going to be brutally truthful in the listing of my seven facts, as per the Award's requirements. Please look away now if you have a fine or gentle constitution.

1. I hate these bloody award things. Blog awards, Change-Your-Facebook-Status-to-Say-This, forward this email to 30 people or a rogue owl will eat your young chain emails - I hate 'em all. But I do love Aidan, so I'm chugging a nice warm cup of quit-your-bellyaching and continuing on.

2. Living in France can be very, very difficult at times (as a for'ner). It's not like visiting, which is much more pleasant. I don't talk about it much because I'm trying to be a cup-half-full kinda person, and also because I doubt people want to hear me whinging about how hard it is to be living in the south of France. Kind of like when movie stars start complaining about how hard it is to be rich and famous and skinny.

But there have been more than a few occasions when I've wanted to do a Cartman:

3. I love to sleep in, and I'm a total cow in the morning until I have my coffee.

4. I have a real problem with people who don't wash their hands after they go to the toilet.

5. Even though it weirds the mister out, I like it when Frenchmen kiss each other hello. I think it's touching and love the way it flies in the face of traditional Western 'what is manly' philosophy.

6. A couple of years ago I wrote a complete romance novel. An editor asked to see the full manuscript, but it wasn't published. (No, it didn't contain any kissing Frenchmen. It wasn't one of those novels.)

7. I haven't got a seventh fact. Because of 1. above, and because I'm all out of things I think you'd find interesting.

I apologise now, I'm not going to pass this on to 15 other bloggers. But I don't think this will harm the spread of the award, which surely must be giving cholera a run for its money in the proliferation stakes.

Sorry about my whinging, although I'm feeling cathartically mellow now. I might go eat some goat's cheese and sniff my lavender pillow.

While I'm blogging, here were two pictures I missed in my Cassis post:

Loved the view at the end of this street. 

Fancy fan mosaic floors in the St Michel church. 

Hope you've all had a fabulous weekend and managed to fit in something just for you!

* I almost had a moment like Aidan's. The first time I filled the car on my own was after meeting the mister on a long bike ride - he was riding home and I brought the kids back in the car. We stopped at an isolated rural service station, not a house in sight. It was closed but you could still use the pumps with a credit card.

Now, I knew our car took diesel. This point had been made to me many times, as the wife of a conscientious mister. The little sticker above the tank says diesel. Could I find a handle labelled diesel? No, I could not. I found, plomb and sans plomb, which I knew were leaded and unleaded petrol, but no diesel. There was one labelled gazoil. What is this gazoil?  Looked up dictionary, no gazoil. Went to call the mister, then remembered he was on the bike. Plus using cell phones at a gas station is a no-no. By elimination I was pretty sure gazoil was diesel, but that little niggly doubt had me worried.

Then a fellow drove in on his motorbike. A huge, black leather-wearing motorbike rider.  As a woman alone at a deserted service station with her three small children I immediately assumed him to be a rapist, which greatly helped my level of anxiety. After a few deep breaths I decided to just go over (not getting too close) and ask if gazoil was diesel. I was just about to do this when the bike rider stuck the pump in his petrol tank, leaned back against his bike and lit a cigarette.

This greatly crystallised my thought process. I quickly filled up with gazoil and got the flock out of there. When I got home I googled gazoil and found out that it was indeed diesel, which I'd already guessed seeing as we'd made it home without a single engine wheeze. I also checked a French news website to see if any explosions at rural petrol stations had been reported, but it seems the leather-clad smoking rapist got away safe and sound.

Wow, is this the longest footnote ever?


blandina said...

Thanks for the link to Aidan's blog.
Your story about the gazoil is very funny, it made me laugh a lot.

aidan said...

I know, I know. But it does make me feel special to know I was able to draw you out and find out 6 things about you...oh, wait. I think it was actually 7 in the end if you count the footnote. So, ha! And I can't wait for summer so I can go to Cassis....Oh, and during the whole diesel/petrol refilling experience at the scary closed gate garage in no man's land, msr depannage 2 was smoking as he refilled the tank with very expensive diesel. I thought we were all going to blow sky high. What's that about cell phones?, I'd bet these tough french stylee smokers wouldn't care...they laugh at the cell phone!
Sorry, but thanks.

Jansie said...

Oh goodness, your gas story had me rolling! Glad to hear you didn't end up in the back of a tow truck with your three kids.

Pene said...

Laughed my socks off about the diesel. Was selfishly relieved that it's not always rosey as a foreigner in france, we went to Marseille a couple of years ago for G's birthday. It was the only holiday I've ever been on where I lost weight!! All I'll say is the best meal we had all week was in the cafe the train station and the only non english person who understood us was the lithuanian cleaner at the airport on the way home!! Up till then we had been planning on traveling round france in a barge when we retire (early) in a couple of years. The idea now terrifies me and am trying to get up the courage to tell G..
Anyway I'm sure all of France isn't quiet so scary your blog makes it look lovely and at least the sun shines??
Happy weekend
Pene x

DianeY said...

I don't know which was funnier-your story, the blog link you gave, or the comment that Aidan was very funny "despite being American"!

Cat said...

Bu&&er me you had my in hysterics with tears rolling down my face with your footnote. You know I had a similar but not so similar situation in Switzerland when I was trying to translate the washing machine instructions into English - except the translation was COOK - why would I want to 'cook' my clothes? OH OH OH I see Cook = Hot Wash - aha hmmm I see the link??!!

Veronica said...

Thanx for the link to Aidan's blog. Both hers and your stories are really funny. Made me laugh though had it been me, I definitely wouldn't be laughing at the time. Sigh @ the man who lit a cigarette/smoke while pumping gas.

Yeah, visiting and staying is definitely two different things. I was actually in Melbourne for a year but since I was staying with my ex who's a PR there not to mention I'm fluent in English, it was a great experience for me. I could only imagine if I were to move to a mostly non-English speaking country. That would have been a huge culture shock for sure and I doubt it would have been a good one :P

P.S. I love the pattern on that mosaic pic.

Susan said...

Your gazoil story was very funny! Especially the last line about the rapist getting away safely!!! I can imagine it is not all romance and croissants LIVING in France., but I love hearing your stories. Congrats on the Versatile Blogger Award too!

Samantha VĂ©rant said...

I hate driving here, in France. Period. Well, then again, I usually have two French kids in the backseat screaming Tout droit! Tout droit! And I keep making all right turns. Le sigh. And hi! Another expat living in France. Congrats on your award.

Sara Louise said...

I couldn't agree more that living here can be very difficult, but I feel like I can't ever vent about it to friends, because it's the freaking south of France!!! But at least I know there are others out there who feel just like I do :-)

Kirsty @ Bonjour Quilts said...

And you can't vent at home Sara because you're married to a Frenchman!
There is a saying that nothing is ever as good (or as bad) as it first seems, and I find it usually to be the case. Living in southern France sounds like a dream, but some of the realities are just as painful/boring/annoying (perhaps more so?) than living anywhere else. C'est la vie, n'est-ce pas?

Eva said...

Love the floor mosaic! And the gas station story! Haha! You didn't even dare to use the phone and he lit a cigarette! :-D That's tough!

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