Hello to everyone! Just before I start, I want to include a photo which I have already posted a while back on a blogpost called “Reasons to be Cheerful”. One of my reasons is llamas. I posted this picture. I want to show it again, because I think it is so fab – especially the cheeky grin of the llama on the left.
Anyway, I hope you had a good weekend. I did (mostly) I was teaching on Saturday morning, as usual, but I’d forgotten that one of my students wasn’t coming, because it was school holiday. That’s fine – although as she’d only started the week before, it was a bit bizarre to already be taking time off, but there you go. So I had unexpected time to make spicy parsnip-and-carrot soup, and to watch a bit of the “Coronation Street” omnibus. On Saturday afternoon, I’m afraid I was very indolent…I caught up with my other blog, dozed, read, went for a very short walk (Mr D warned me of being strenuous in temperatures of -8°. Apparently one’s blood vessels around the heart contract. I certainly did feel woozy when I got home, but that might have been what we call “sugar bonk”. I felt better after a cup of fruit tea and a couple of chocklits!).
On Sunday I went to church, for the first time (here) since Pentecost 2011, and (anywhere) since Christmas. The service was at Les Sarraix, which is a small village with a tiny Methodist chapel. We have a service here, once a month in order to use the chapel and stop it falling into complete disrepair. Also, I think there are elderly members of the congregation who live in the area and who can no longer manage to get to Thiers every week. Les Sarraix is about half the distance from here, as Thiers, so it’s easier get there than Thiers from St Just as well. People were quietly glad to see me…I did understand the sermon – not the subtle nuances of the language, but certainly the basic message of each of the points Patrick was making. But I did find my thoughts wandering everywhere during the prayers…Lack of concentration can strike in any language, I know, but in England I would have been able to hear the prayers and mind-wander; in French, I can do one or the other! I’m glad I went, and I’ll probably go to next month’s service at Les Sarraix, but I’m not “there” yet in my Christian life (wherever “there” may be). I turned down the request to lead the Good Friday service this year as well – I don’t think I’ll be in the right place for leading a service, though possibly, if there was one service that I could lead in my current state of confused mind, I think the Good Friday one would be best!
Then on Sunday afternoon, Mr D and I went for a walk to La Cascade de Somewhere-I’ve-forgotten. I took along half a bag of bird seed that I had (I’d used up the other half last Tuesday, stopping at all the Motorway Aires (rest stops) between Clermont Ferrand and home, and leaving piles of bird seed for the wild birds.) and we left little piles of seed on various tree stumps and rocks in the forest.
When we reached the Cascade it was beautiful – parts were totally frozen, and in other parts it was frozen over the top with the water still running underneath. This photo shows the frozen waterfall:
whereas here you can see the water running beneath the ice:
I love the patterns formed, as the water has gradually frozen around the edges of the hole.
I wasn’t intrepid: I’ve always been a cautious walker, due to weak ankles that are likely to give way at any moment, and since my accident in Sept 2010, my ankle and knee have not been as strong as they were. So, even though I had my walking stick with me, I wasn’t going far – I think it frustrated Mr D a bit, as I struggled to climb up the side of the waterfall in the photo in order to see the main cascadze. The snow was slippy, the terrain was rough, my knee was hurting and I went all pathetic. I started to whimper (literally!) so we gave up, and slid back down the steep slope we’d just climbed.
Here’s Mr D being intrepid
And, I do have to add, my fears about my ankle was justified: on the way back, on flat terrain, it just gave way and I ended up on the snowy ground. I came down quite heavily on my dodgy knee, which is now a bit swollen again, but it’s not very painful today, thank goodness. I put an ice pack on it yesterday evening, and I think that helped.
Today I’m not teaching – it’s school holidazys and the module I teach is on a break for two weeks. I pick up a former student for three hours a day tomorrow, but for today I’m chilling at home, catching up with blogs and cooking for Danièle who is coming for a meal tomorrow. I do have a bit of preparation for Jean tomorrow but not much.
So, having promised you the Giveaway result, I tried to import an image of the random generator thingy that I used, but couldn’t, so you’ll just have to trust me that the number it came up with was number 10. Comment 10 belongs to Floss. Floss has already received a bookmark from me at an earlier date, so I’ll send her the cards (it’s OK, she lives in France, so the postage won’t be too great!) and I’ll randomly generate someone else for the bookmark. Back in a tick.
Randomly generated number 5, who is Caroline.
Thank you to everyone who commented, and I hope that you’ll continue to read my blog. I may do another for 250 posts (if I remember!!)