Tuesday, 25 November 2008

I'm a catherinette today

So, as I was saying yesterday, I become a Catherinette today as an unmarried 25 year old woman. I had to give my age this morning at an appointment and when the lady in front of me realised I was 25 and it was Saint Catherine, she wished me a bonne fete and went on to explain the tradition of the hat wearing to me. She explained that I should wear a hat of the colours of Saint Catherine, that of green and yellow and people should attach objects to my hat which represent my life...profession, hobbies etc. It got me thinking what objects I would have on my hat. Chalk? A board marker? A dictionary? As for hobbies....a wine glass, chocolate?

What would you have on your Saint Catherine hat?

Monday, 24 November 2008

The three point anti-stress plan of today

So, I've not been blogging 'cos if I did, it would just make bad reading and I would probably depress you. All you need to know is that I'm alive, not feeling great at all and wondering how the hell to get out of the black hole.

Anyway, I don't want to talk about it so instead I would like to share with you three things that made me laugh, smile and cry (but in a good way for a change) all today.

Laugh. Sorry Crystal, but your last post just cracked me up and this is particularly hard to do at the moment so thank you for sharing your not so elegant face mask experience with us. I have a heap of Christmas present ideas for you now.....hehe.

Smile (and be super jealous) Leah has recently shared with us the most adorable video of her kittie cat. It is an antidepressant pill in video form. I've always loved cats, always had a cat and now I'm desperate to have one right now in France. I personally think cats need a territory ie, a garden so this is why I've been holding out but if I keep watching this video I might just crack and demand Santa for one. Thanks for sharing this with us Leah, please tell me all about her when you get the time...

Cry. Tomorrow is Sainte Catherine's Day. I hope I've referenced to the right one...there are lots of pages. She is the saint of all unmarried young women. (this is not why I'm crying!) Since moving to France, this is one of the saint's days that I remember. Partly because there is always a big fayre in Cambrai (my French homeland) where the town in blocked and filled with market stalls and partly because the grandmas explained it all to me so well. The tradition for those not in the know goes like this: When a woman reached 25 years old and is unmarried on Saint Catherine's Day in that year she becomes a Catherinette. She gets to wear a hat (?) and there, that's that. No, there is obvoulsy much more to Sainte Catherine than that but I will let you read up about her on wiki if you wish. I have no idea why the idea of Sainte Catherine stuck with me but I liked it I guess and today in the post I received a 'Happy Saint Catherine Day's card from my parents in law. It really touched me that they thought of me that a tear or two were shed. So here is a photo of the card.

It's even more amazing that they sent me a card as the French don't 'do' cards like we do in the UK. Even Happy New Year cards are actually postcards. So, when I'm done displaying the card ... is it like Christmas...12 after the date? Well, whenever, I will be able to detach the hankie that is on the card and keep it as my Saint Catherine hankie. How many people can say thay they have a Saint Catherine hankie?! Not many in my opinion. Which leads me to a question...why IS there a hankie on the card? hmmmm.

Thanks to all the people mentioned in this post for bringing a little cheer to my day.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

bus STOP

So, I just waited for the bus to go to work for 50 mins (this is not a typo) and had to resign myself to the fact that I would not be teaching today. There is a grève. Quite a serious one it seems as I only saw one seul bus in the 50 mins I was waiting. There is usually a bus every minute or so going in either direction.

This is the first time this has affected my work. I made do last year, I walked when there was a bus strike as it was just about do-able but that's not the case this year. It would take me at least an hour to walk it to uni. So i had a dilemma....what was the etiquette for such events? Do I come in super late? Do they expect me to walk? Take a taxi?? I rang my number one source of info, my Frenchie, and then I rang up the secretary of my department to explain, plead ignorance and ask what I should do....but she wasn't there so I had to leave a message with someone else who didn't seem to mind one escargot that I wasn't coming in. No questions asked. Fingers crossed that's ok with the powers that be.

Another lectrice just rang me and said that she was in the same situation, so at least I'm not alone. I figure that most of the students won't be there either because of the greve so maybe that's makes it ok? I feel guilty but it's out of my hands.

Now a few questions are apparent.....will I have to reschedule the missed lessons (2 hours today) for some othr time? What happens tomorrow if the strike continues? On verra, yes, we'll see. I'll take the strike in my stride like a real Frenchie. Yes I will. Then again, maybe I'll get really cheesed off and moan about how pants France is....You'll see.

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