la dernière fois avec les groupes français (the last time with the french groups).
met with jj for tea at our "usual spot." chatted about the travel coming up and then he gave me a petit cadeau (little gift) of french poetry. a nice little book with representation from all the poetry he has introduced me to since ive been here (plus, more to translate on a rainy day). then we read the newspaper, ouest france.
there was an article about obama and his announcement of a national health care plan. of course the french find this to be fascinating so it drew attention and gained space in the newspaper amid all the stories about iran. also making the news was an interview and photo with jj and his co-workers about helping the homeless in brittany and france.
(jj and his newspaper. famous!; me and jj and the café)
after morning tea, we took the métro north to meet up with dave and the rest of the crew. we drove north to la chapelle des fougeretz to have a lunch of crêpes. fine by me! we had lovely weather, nice conversation, and lots of laughs. the group signed a "landscapes of brittany" book for me with beautiful photos of the wild land of bretagne, made more beautiful by the wonderfully kind inscriptions inside. thank you!
a toast with cider over lunch brought some fun expressions (irmat [breton for "cheers"] and a new favorite cul-sec [french for "bottoms up"]), and dessert was an all-out calorie buster. "la crumble" crêpe consisted of caramel apples, caramel sauce, and crumbles (like struesel)...yum!
such nice people, such a lucky find for a "second family." i hope they get to come visit NYC next year so we can meet up, but if not, i think we'll have other chances to get to paris, if not rennes, in the future. very much looking forward to it...
(at the table with galettes and cider. jacques doing his "yes we can" fist pump; the crew after eating: jj, anne, alastair, dave, me, jacques)
our other group to say goodbye and thank you to was daves co-worker christelle and her partner vincent. dave actually met them when he first visited halifax last year in february. she has shared an office with him since he arrived in rennes and vincent will actually be in halifax for some of the weeks after we arrive. they were very helpful in showing us around rennes and brittany and taking us out in their car early on so we could get a feel for the area. very nice people.
since we dont have the space or equipment to make a proper dinner, we had them over for a dinner-equivalent. tons of cheese (a super soft cheese from the pyrenees region that reeked(!) and a hard, dry goat cheese that was tasty), bread, some sausage, a mini leek quiche, and our favorite gourmet pizza (the one with artichokes and green olives). dessert and two bottles of wine were also compulsory.
we had plenty of french conversation today and it reminded me to make an effort in halifax to find ways to retain this new part of my life. there is a place, similar to the franco-american institute, in halifax called Alliance Française d'Halifax. i hope to get over there within the first month after we arrive.