Katherine in Aix

8 December 2011 § Leave a comment

8 décembre 2011

This weekend, our friend Katherine is in town for a visit!  She’s studying in Madrid this semester, so Aix will be quite a different experience for her . . .

Sara, Karen, and Katherine (this was during our visit to Madrid)

We’re excited to take her to the market, and I think we’ll stop in an English book shop/tea room that I like here.

Everything seems to be coming to an end.  Right now, Maggie is at the school where she volunteers on Thursday mornings, and they are having a Christmas party.  There is a Christmas party at the centre on Sunday evening.  I set up a little secret Santa, so that will happen soon.  We’ve turned in some final projects.  Carnet times are over.  That’s actually untrue, because now I’m just going to keep working on my carnet—that was the thing for scrapbook class—without considering what our crazy Provence professor will think of it.  Not that that ever influenced what I put in it . . .

The only real things left to do are two papers and three examinations.  It won’t be too bad, but sometimes I forget that I actually have to write the papers at some point.  One of them is about Les Liaisons dangereuses, and the other one will probably be about L’Étranger.  So . . . libertinism and absurdism.  Please take me away from the eighteenth and the twentieth centuries and back to the nineteenth.  Also preferably in England.  Romanticism, realism . . . superior isms, to be sure.

One bright prospect, besides all of the forthcoming festivities, is that our Middle Ages-to-Romanticism literature class final examination is going to be a two-hour-long literary salon.  I’m pretty sure a gleeful squeal escaped from me when my professor announced that in class.  We’re going to drink tea and have madeleines—again, hurrah!—and discuss everything that we have read this semester.  Sans notes.  What more enjoyable way to study for an exam than to read everything again?  I wonder if we can convince her to make our final for the Romanticism-to-present literature class also a salon.

On Tuesday, I was feeling rather unlike myself, so I went for a nine-mile exploration run and found some new country paths and real fields that are actually tilled by real people and small stone houses and what appeared to be an ancient acqueduct.

Aqueducts help when pretending you're in Roman times

The flowers are still blooming, and they keep me company along the side of the road.  The pale violet ones are my favourite—actually the first ones I ever saw after arriving in Aix—and I also like the five-petaled magenta-y ones and the small white ones.  I like to collect them while adventuring around.  Some are being pressed in my Bible right now, but I can’t photograph them, since I my camera does not join me on these journeys.  Here are some that I see:

Fleurs sauvages

The sun was setting near the end of my run, and it is a beautiful thing to run in the middle of the sunset over the darkening hills and the colours that streak across the sky, pale yellow and brilliant red-pink and dusty blue.  Running teaches me, gives me new thoughts, shows me new ways of looking at the land around me, and makes me realise that time is the ultimate thing both to use and to enjoy.  I can use a moment to do something useful, but I can also enjoy it—and enjoy its passing, as well.

About a month ago, I saw a quail while I was running.  Apparently this also exists in Provence, although I haven’t seen one yet:

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