Sunday, June 17, 2007

Getting back to nature

It was my idea to spend my final week of leave working on an organic farm in the Loire Valley in France, but in the end it was Pete who really took to the place. We spent our time learning about organic farming, playing with the dog, donkey, ducklings and goats, mowing lawns, picking berries, weeding and going to the local food markets. We stayed in an adorable caravan, and ate delicious home-grown vegetarian meals. The only problem was that it rained quite a bit and was colder than we thought. When we arrived in Paris, we both thought it seemed... rushed, and crowded. I guess that meant we had almost become farm folk.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A la plage

Yesterday my friends asked if I would like to take the ferry with them to the beach. Being a bit of a beach-lover myself, I was ready with my togs, hat and sunscreen in less than half an hour. Although this sounds like something one might do in Sydney, there were some important differences. The ferry warf is just down the road from where I live and the trip isn't very long at all to get from town to the..ah..beach. The beach itself is the only stretch of the lakeside that I know of that has sand, and the stretch of sand is almost ten metres long! There are no waves, but that doesn't bother me, because I don't like it when I get dumped and the water goes up my nose.

But the biggest difference was the cultural misunderstanding that occurred when we arrived. You see, when my friends had asked if I would like to come to the beach, they didn't actually mean that we would "go" to the beach, just that we would sortof walk past it and admire it as one does with a tourist attraction. Luckily I had my book with me, and could spend a happy afternoon by myself at the beach, followed up by a mandatory icecream.