Sunday in France was Mothers Day. We walked past the boulangiers where the locals were lined in the streets to collect their orders of pastries and baguettes for the day. The flower shops quickly emptied as people waltz off with arms full of colour.
In the afternoon we caught the train to Montpellier, travelling through Nimes, the country side was beautiful, lots of farms and little ancient villages. It has been a nice journey on all of our train trips, Oh, that's other than Kate being accosted again! Some nut got on the train and came to our seats and began begging, when he received no joy he continued to berate Kate who, by this time, had almost dug a hole. Luckily we had no idea what he was saying.
After arriving in Montpellier we booked into Kate and Kim's apartment. We then went into the square in the old part of town nearby, which was full of atmosphere with a writers weekend happening in the Place de Comedie (a main square in town). Lots of books and music. We had a meal and checked out the surroundings, then it was time for me to toodle off to my new home for the month. We found the red doors in the narrow winding street of my hosts house, rang the door bell where Madame Francine came down to let me in, the girls returned to their apartment.
We had to walk up 2 floors of stairs and Madame insisted on helping me with my big heavy bag. Thank goodness I took her flowers. The stairway was wide and when Madame opened the door to the apartment I could not believe my eyes. A huge dining room with a gold framed Mirror on the floor leaning against the wall, probably 4x3 meters. I had to close my mouth cause next I saw the grand piano in the lounge room. Monsieur Paul is also very nice (even though he informed us that we were no longer to speak English, only French!), they have 3 adult daughters living in Montreal, Paris and London. They are dancers and uni lecturers, do you think I am out of my league?!!!!
It just so happened that another student arrived to stay with them yesterday as well. He is a young man from Boston called Josh. Josh has a big bedroom next to their yellow and blue kitchen. I have the next bedroom which contains a double bed a single bed, two desks and a massive antique robe as well as a tall boy and two long windows reaching up to the tall ceilings. Paul told me the building was built in the 17th century. Below their apartment are some boutiques and on top of them is an empty apartment. There is only one other, one room studio, in the whole building so most of the time they have it to themselves.
All of the ceilings are ornate and the floors are huge limestone slabs, all original. Still getting use to these old buildings, unfortunately I left the window open during the night and an electric drill sound that had kept me awake ended up being a pigeon sitting on the windowsill.
It was comforting to go to Alliance Frances, a 5 min walk, with Josh. He told me how he was blown away upon arriving at the house and how they cooked him whole quail for dinner. We were gloating, that was until we were given a 4 page test once we arrived in Alliance Frances! To work out which classes we should be divided into. Its hard to remember anything under pressure and I couldn't think. Madame Rous came to me and told me to come back at 11! She did ask me what I would do for 2hours before I return and I told her I would visit my 2 daughters. She replied in front of everyone at school that she hoped I was there to study and not just for a holiday! No pressure or anything! I walked out of the ancient building (yet again) down the wide marble staircase, past the mirrored walls and the stained glass domes, out onto the cobblestone street and went to visit the girls.
Upon my return I was put in a class with a New York woman...and Josh. He got kicked out as well. We had a young girl teacher, she is really nice and I enjoyed the lesson. We have homework..what?!
The girls met me for lunch and afterwards we did the usual walking around. Its very windy here, all the greenery off of the trees is all over the roads. We spent some time together and now I must return to the other home to do my homework. Girls are happy to rest in their apartment (which is the size of my wardrobe) for the rest of the evening. BUT, before I go we are going to have a cake for Mezza's Birthday. Happy Birthday Maryann. The candle on your cake cost 2 euro from the basilica sacre cure in Paris . Hope your day is great.
love Ros Kate and Kim xxx