13 November 2012

Le train-train

All these are photos I've taken in the back yard, around the hamlet, and on the edge of the vineyard over the last few days. It's been nice having some bright(ish) sunlight around sundown since Saturday.

Le tilleul [tee-YUHL] — the linden or lime tree — in autumn

Our traveling butcher/charcutier comes back today. He went on vacation for two weeks, which means that the last time we saw him was three weeks ago (Tuesdays are his day). Thanksgiving is next week, so we want to place an order for next Tuesday. We've invited friends over for dinner on Thursday the 22nd.

Blackberry vines growing on the back fence

Meanwhile, we have to go to the government health insurance office this morning. We got a voice mail from the office in Blois saying they were still waiting for some paperwork we needed to send in for our 2013 enrollment. Problem is, we mailed those papers on October 1. They must be lost in the bureaucracy somewhere. We have copies, and on Tuesdays the health insurance agency has office hours in Saint-Aignan. We'll get it straightened out.

Rows of grape vines outside the back gate

That means we have to remember to leave the bread bag and a one-euro coin out on the front gate for the bread lady — la porteuse de pain — this morning. Tuesday is one of the days when we get a bread delivery.

Callie and the ornamental prunus tree out back

Snooze... I'm probably boring anybody who's reading this. But life goes on. It's what they refer to as le train-train quotidien in French — the daily routine. The dictionary uses the term "humdrum" in connection with le train-train. Things are just rolling along, uneventfully.

The pond at sunset last Saturday afternoon

I guess it's the season, which has changed weather-wise but now will change again because the holidays are coming. It takes some getting used to, having to spend so much time indoors. Turning on the heat in the morning because the house feels cold. Building a fire in the wood-burner in the afternoon for the same reason. Drying clothes indoors instead of out on the clothesline.

 One of our favorite walking paths through nearby woods

Bringing in the plants in pots that are scattered all around the house outdoors, so that they won't freeze. Putting the car in the garage so that algae won't grow on it! Waiting impatiently for the sun to come up in the morning so we can go for a walk, and then suddenly being plunged into darkness in what can feel like the middle of the afternoon. Short, chilly days, and long chilly nights.


  1. For some reason this winter seems to be particularly difficult to adjust to. I seem to have fallen into the winter doldrums immediately! The thing I always have difficulty with is remembering to put on extra clothing when I step outside -- so tedious.

  2. Thank you Ken for a new frenchphrase... le train-train... nice.

  3. Ah, Ken, your photos are so colorful and enjoyable :) I can't wait to hear about your Thanksgiving plans. I forget what you make.

  4. Train train from France is nice somehow. Wish I could put 1 € in a sack on my front door and get a baguette!

    Susan, I get the doldrums too, but they will start letting up with the longer days next month.

  5. I'd walk a mile for a baguette right about now! that pond pic is gorgeous

  6. Callie is a very fortunate dog! What beautiful places to walk. And what wonderful sunsets. The only thing better that a beautiful sunset is a beautiful sunset reflected in water.

  7. Ken, you are so funny... we love hearing about your events rolling along. and the pix are fantastic. its so different from us right now. and like Evelyn, i'm wildly jealous of your bread lady. but i dont think that would work for us *looks out at huge dogs patrolling the yard*

    do you ever miss thanksgiving here?

  8. Ken, Your posts are never boring. The photos, the fact that you live in one of the most beautiful regions of France ... knowing that you are living the life I'm dreaming of. I can feel the little green monster lurking just around the corner. Enjoy Autumn and Thanksgiving! Looking forward to your menu!! :) Martine

  9. You probably live in one of the last places on earth where you can have stuff delivered to your front door!!

  10. Thanks, Martine.

    Hi OFG, we have our own Thanksgiving celebrations here, so we don't miss the ones in the U.S.

    Starman, I don't understand your comment. Deliveries are no problem if you live in a single-family dwelling, no?


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