travailler dur

by jemma margaret

It was sunny today, and I was mostly underground.


After seeing my sister onto the shuttle at 6ish AM (following a night’s sleep that wasn’t very sound for either of us), I set off on a brief run around the BnF and over the Simone de Beauvoir bridge. It’s a nice route, since it’s entirely pedestrian and on wood planks rather than cement or gravel. The apartment felt empty when I returned.

At a quarter to nine I set off for my final meeting with my French director. Things to be on track, and I feel much more prepared than I did on May 14th. The meeting was brief and afterward I walked to Place Monge to travel down memory lane and buy far too many groceries for 30 hours of food. Since I had only been eating mediocre supermarket apples, I was excited to visit the Picardie stands. At one I bought Elstars, strawberries and a conférence (bosc) pear. At the other I bought green asparagus. The farmer showed me the asparagus bottoms before I chose my bunch, and we both agreed that one looked better than the other. I had thought to buy favas (since I keep reading about them in spring recipes), but instead opted for petit pois (thank goodness, because I do not think I would have had the patience for favas this evening), and I even went back to my cheese lady, which reminded me of why I stopped going since she always adds an extra hundred grams to my requests. Finally, I bought a middle eastern filled flatbread, one that I had been oggling all last year and finally felt rash enough to buy the one with spinach and cheese for lunch.

On the way home I stopped by Monoprix for the last time to buy Perrier (get it while it’s cheap!), a wine glass to replace the broken one (about twice the size, I hope that is perceived as a good thing by our host), and some plane snacks for tomorrow.

Home again I took a very brief nap (the toilet has been dripping all week, so we turn it off and on as necessary, I had to shut it off to sleep). At slightly after noon I walked to the BnF for a 7 hour sitting session.

I am a very good walker and a very lousy sitter. However, the books were mostly entertaining. At least the ones that were not “hors usage,” which turned out to be about 1/3 of what I had requested. Many highfalutin geometry introductions about how this will finally be the textbook that students want to read! I guess they’re still trying to achieve that goal…

Home again, I realized why so many people just want to watch television after a day at the audience. Nothing beats sitting on an uncomfortable chair like sitting on a cozy coach. Likewise for reading with conversation and watching with mindlessness. I watched the Simpsons and Friends–in French! And now that it’s almost nine o’clock and the sun will set in about thirty minutes I think I will turn in for the night. Maybe some War and Peace, and hopefully a thorough rest in preparation for more library sitting followed by plane sitting tomorrow!

Lest you think things are sounding kind of dull around here, let me remind you that I went to Mars yesterday:

marsAlso, we had full intention of taking a picture of our dinner last night, but were also completely starving. instead, here’s evidence of our membership n the clean plate club (I am pretty sure Madeleine is president and I am vice president).