Chilling in a French November

Running
Stretching his legs in a brief moment of sun

Hercule Poirot is a famous product of Agatha Christie’s criminal mind.  His brilliant mustache and unshakable French accent combined with the less-notable ability to solve crimes have all kept this sleuth in high regard around the world.  I must admit, though: when Poirot’s accent was replaced by an actual Frenchman’s voice-over, I felt a little dirty.

These are the personal revelations one must cope with when the rain is falling on France’s countryside.

Poirot and his voice are of course insignificant.  Our trio descended on the French homestead of close ones during one of the worst weather weeks this season, but for us just in time.  The past week(s) has been spent cleaning and arranging the details of old and new apartments, along with the stress-inducing task of buying furniture.  It helps that Swedish furniture giant Ikea sits just 10 minutes from our apartment, but that same Swedish furniture must then be assembled.

Like agents charged with a vital mission we toiled over particle-board and oddly-shaped screws to created first a table, and then the accoutrements for our youngest member.  

Shaping the particle-board supports to our new life in another part of Zurich was (is) taxing business, giving more value to a seemingly overdue vacation.  This homestead in Picardie is 7 hours by train, but allowed a brief stop in Strasbourg, the unlikely site of my first audio dispatch. 

Picardie’s charm, I find, is in its history.  There are of course cathedrals and monuments, but just the cobblestone streets and peeling facades of country homes are enough to emit unspoken stories to passers-by.  

Big smiles
Chasing good times during the break in the storm

Rain allowed time to relax–there was little to be done while the heavens wept.  In the brief respite from rain our troupe ventured out for a walk and found entertainment chasing each other around trees in the local playground.  

With so much of our life in flux it is nice to take a vacation and end up with a sense of normalcy.  Somehow spending time in the French countryside and playing tag with a toddler seems like the perfect thing to do when furniture assembly, moving, and life in general are weighing heavy.

So let the stereotypes help your vision of our time here–our baguettes, cheese and glasses of wine are keeping us grounded.  (Our youngest member sticks mostly with the bread and cheese.)  

 

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