Shopping for groceries in France is fantastic. Vegetables are unwrapped and squeezable, and you can paw through potatoes, pick up pineapples or prod papaya all in one place, because fruit and vegetables are arranged alphabetically. Being British the first time I saw someone grab a pepper, touch it all over, and then replace it I was horrified. What if I ate that? I'd get his germs. I'd get his diseases. Even now I could see the skin of the pepper putrefying as the bacteria got hold of it.
Except of course it didn't, and when washed it was entirely delicious. At home I never washed anything I was going to put in my mouth but was obsessive about clean socks, a realisation that came to me as I peeled a carrot. To be so blasé - if you will excuse the dip into French - about food seems now absurd. I hope to carry this good habit back with me through customs.
However, this Wednesday I have not had a chance to go shopping or vegetable poking. Instead I had a two-hour class with L, C's brother, because what she gets he must also get. Equality is at the heart of every fight I have ever had with my siblings, and it's wonderful to see that it translates into French. Doubtless it translates equally well into all languages, but France happens to the be the one in which I currently reside. We talked about modals and semi-modals: could, would, should, ought, might, can, shall, may, must, will. Their endings don't change, which is nice, but microscopic differences along with an element of interchangeability - I'm sure everyone had the teacher for whom "can" could never be used in place of "may" and whose refusal resulted in distressing ammonia smells from students too young to understand - make them a pig to learn.
In any case, I think we cracked them, and there's another lesson with them lined up soon - unfortunately their mother, who of course controls the purse strings, was not there to tell me when their next session would be. This is frustrating as I was planning on taking a trip this weekend, but if I miss a two hour teaching session it'll look bad and it'll be money lost.
With that in mind, then, I think I'll go somewhere on Saturday and take pictures and do things. That's only two days away and I shall probably be getting up earlier than I would on a regular Saturday, but trains and places to go are exciting. Apparently there's some good wine country around here.
What are your thoughts? Where can a chap go on a day trip around Paris? Answers in a tweet or a comment below.
By the way, my life may seem rock and roll from start to finish, but tonight my plans consist only of this:
Needle and thread baby. Needle and thread.