French Lessons Deuxième Acte

I arrived back in Bordeaux on the morning of March 14th, 2019, it was smooth sailing. The flights were early, my suitcase with me, the sun shining, the cab ride to town, the fastest and cheapest yet, the keys to the apartment at the coiffeur’s up the street, the elevator was working. A nice welcome back


Before returning, I spent about six weeks in California, book-ended by stopovers in NYC. It was frigid in Brooklyn, and rainy in CA. I was a slug except for my daily 4 miles on the beach and a month of barre class. I didn’t paint, just hung out with family, and took care of stuff, primarily taxes and home repairs

Everything was green, a happy change from the normal drought brown of the last 5 years. Everyone was glad for the rain, no fires or mudslides, but they complained about the lack of sun.

In Bordeaux I went back to work on my “Bob” paintings, getting ready for an exhibition this summer. I had 8 hours a week of french at the Alliance in the afternoons and evenings. I like the familiarity and review but it wasn’t enough, and a bit too easy

And I had way too much time on my hands, admittedly didn’t get out enough and procrastinated a lot. Je pense que j’avais un peu le cafard….

I finished my paintings but realized I could have managed a lot more on my plate. I would have been complaining more, but more satisfied….welcome…. back….. homework?

I did get out, started running again, saw exhibits, went to the marchés every weekend and continued trying new cheeses and found new favorite spots. I watched the whole series of “Meurtres à Sandhamn” in french without subtitles and bunches of junk on Netflix.

Saturday evenings were always a toss up, the gilets jaunes situation a constant unknown, sometimes calm, sometimes not. I arrived in time for Acte XVIII. Eventually every Saturday the Centre Ville was blocked off with barricades and police and prohibited to vehicles, trams and protestors. Eerily sometimes Bordeaux was like a ghost town, restaurants, cafés and shops closed.

The next two months I’ll be in Bretagne for my troisième acte, first stop Nantes, because why not and then to Vannes. Once again this is somewhere I’ve never been and know no one….

The plan is to take boats to some of the 40 islands in the Golfe de Morbihan and paint outside, to explore as many sites mégalitiques, with their menhirs, dolmens and tumulus as possible, be by the sea and ancient forests, write Bob’s histoire in french, stock up on sel de Guérande, and eat a lot of crêpes


I’ll keep you posted