Posted by: britgirl82 | October 21, 2010

October 2010 – How French is BritGirl?

A big Bordeaux Cepe

More cakes baked…yes, with less burnt bums than the last batch!! In fact as BritGirl types this, she has plans to bake more yummy chocolate cakes tomorrow!! Watch this space!! Oh and as for feeling fat after recent cake baking trials, BritGirl is pleased to announce that she fitted into size 10 jeans yesterday!!! Yes, this has not happened since she was 15….maybe the cake baking diet is something to be published?!!?

Well onto more serious matters….strikes are still ongoing – more angry and heated strikes have happened as the country gets closer to the Government’s decision on pension reforms. Transport is hit and miss, airports are being blocked, students aren’t going to college – instead they are taking to the streeets and in some cases burning cars and breaking windows and NOW….even cars are having problems. The French in their wisdom have blocked and shut down most of the country’s oil refineries, which now means….low supplies of petrol. And not just low, lots of petrol stations have been shut down due to the lack of petrol! Sarkozy must be pleased, yesterday the UK Government announced that the UK retirement age would rise to 67 in 2012 (with no real grumble or surprise from the British public); yet in France they annonuce an increase to 62…..yes, thats 5 years earlier than their friends across the channel and the country grinds to a halt and is laughed at across the world!! Quel horreur!

But strikes aside BritGirl has been wondering how French she has become? This is something she pondered as she made her way to the station earlier this week, grumbling about the ongoing strikes and silly French antics….she did not feel remotely French – there was no way she could understand the sympathy for the strikers, the ambition of the strikers or even what the real outcome of all of this industrial action could possibly be!

But just wait a minute, there was a little bit of Frenchness in BritGirl….she has been mushroom picking!

Mais oui, at the weekend un chasse de champignons took place!! It was a beautiful autumnal day – cold but with an amazing clear, blue sky. BritGirl, her boyfriend and his colleagues headed out to the countryside on the hunt for mushrooms. BritGirl quickly learnt that at this time of year, before it gets too cold, mushrooms grow at their best throughout the French fields and forests…..and when BritGirl says mushrooms, this is what she means…huge mushrooms! Some that looked like toadstools, others that looked green and even purple!!

BritGirl wandered through the forest and along the river, amongst big and small oak trees,  a jumping deer was even seen!! BritGirl can happily report that mushrooms were found and they were edible ones too! Bordeaux cepes no less! The serious mushroom hunters (if that is the right description for them) found basket loads of them…amongst the high grass, under twigs or simply hidden; people were finding mushrooms everywhere! BritGirl is completely unsure if this is just French forests or whether such things could be found back home in the UK? And if so, why didnt more people go mushroom hunting? A nice walk in the countryside and if you were lucky, a free dinner to boot!!

BritGirl is proud to say that she stumbled across a few edible mushrooms – and many more untouchable toadstools which she left for the fairies. However, her boyfriend found the BIGGEST mushroom of the group!! As a result a delicious dinner of creamy garlic mushrooms – yum!! BritGirl was happy after a day in the countryside and perhaps a little more French?

Sad news though, that evening the Grandfather of BritGirl’s boyfriend – Pete passed away. If BritGirl and her boyfriend felt far away from home before, then this really made them realise how far away they were. A difficult week was had and a sad trip home planned.

It did mean that friends due to come and visit BritGirl had to cancel their trip. Ironically, they would probably have had to cancel anyway as the French petrol supplies dwindled!! These were the friends that had waved BritGirl off in the early morning snow way back on the 6th January when she first moved to France. They understood the bad luck which appeared to blight BritGirl when she tried to travel and although everyone had very much been looking forward to a few days together it clearly was not to be. A few tears were shed by BritGirl – it was a bad week and having some time with friends would probably have been just what was needed, but somethings were just not to be.

BritGirl has changed in the 10 months she has lived in France. She has started to let life run its course. She has realised that no matter how much she tries or how much she would like to be able to control life and its course – it just will not work. Some things are simply beyond her control. Whether life makes her angry, sad, unhappy or happy, there is little she can do to stop it weaving its way into tomorrow…..was this France’s doing or had she simply understood life a little more?

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