Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ouverture Non Stop

The shops in France are closed on Sunday. I should have known this. It is romantic, a balm to the consumerism of Ireland and the US. People take time off for lunch and still believe in a day of rest. A slow and easy lifestyle is what we've dreamed of for years.

It's only that in our dreams we didn't arrive on Sunday afternoon with three hungry and tired children. We decided to give it a go and find somewhere for a quick take–away or maybe one shop open with bread and lunchmeat. We drove and drove, shops taunting us from behind closed shutters, kids complaining and tired.

Then, there it was. The sign of life we'd been searching for--an InterMarche proclaiming: Ouverture Non-Stop! As Paul turned into the strangely vacant parking lot our hearts fell. Again, closed shutters, no sign of life.

The ouverture non-stop carried a hidden message that we Americans didn't at first decipher. Of course it meant non-stop, but only between the hours of 8am to 8pm and only Monday through Saturday. Non-stop is something different here. The closed on Sunday is implied, understood.

So it was back to the house, which thankfully had dried pasta and jarred sauce in the cupboards from previous holiday makers. There was even a bottle of red wine. I whipped up a quick dinner like on one of those cooking shows where you have to make something in 15 minutes using only four ingredients. Et voila! Our first home cooked dinner in France was cheese tortellini with Sainsbury's basil and garlic pasta sauce.

Tomorrow is Sunday again and I'm ready for it. Cupboards and fridge stocked. This easy going way of life is for me after all.



Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Blog

I've started a new blog to cover our experience here in France. If you'd like to take a look it's just up and running at conjugatingirregularverbs. I will still add posts here periodically but most will be on the new French blog.

I'd like to incorporate a linked map of Ireland if anyone can give me advice on how to do it here.

So, onward and upward. I have boxes to unpack and kids to put to bed. Love to all my Irish friends. I miss you.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Our New Neighbor

There's a rooster next door to our new house in France. I would love to hear him crow as the sun rises, welcoming the day like the big red one on the Kellogg's cereal box. How quaint, how rustic not to be awakened by the incessant beep, beep of Paul's favorite torture device but by the rooster's call to action.
Unfortunately, this particular rooster's crowing is not limited to sunrise. Is this normal or have all the anthropomorphic kid movies and cartoons led me to believe a falsehood? Do all roosters crow whenever they get the urge?
Monsieur Coq sings his plaintive song at all hours. He's like the grandfather clock chiming the hour and half hour,increasing chimes to tell the time. At midnight, 2am, 4am, etc. he startles me from sleep, sounding for a moment like Leo's infant cry, stirring up cry-shock from those early days of constant feeds and no sleep.
Will his crowing become soothing to me as days pass? Will it fade into the background like so many things do-- the DART gliding by, magpies screeching, and the 3am revelers noisily returning from the pub.


Friday, February 12, 2010


Happy Chinese New Year!

Believe it or not, in our small town in Ireland there are red lanterns strung across the Main St. for the Chinese holiday. There will be a parade tomorrow too.
Would you ever have thought?

Paul and I have decided we can't leave without going on a pub crawl. Albeit, it will just be around Bray, but it's a pub crawl nonetheless. We'll take photos of all our favorite spots and mix the Guinness with bracing air between pubs. Wish us good craic. 7 days to go......

Thursday, February 11, 2010


It's been a mad couple of weeks around here and I haven't had the time to post. My notes are piling up but will have to take a backseat to the boxes that are also sitting in piles, four feet high, all over the house.

Our final day is next Thursday so this is officially the last week in Ireland. After nearly five years, it's all reduced to one week. Life is like that. My friends here can never be matched and their love and support is so greatly appreciated now.

So, more to come....when the dust settles I will have an onslaught of posts for you to read. Anyone?

And maybe even a new blog for the French phase of this shared adventure we call living!

Happy Birthday Sofia!