Friday, September 01, 2006

Shutting down shop for a month

Our time at the beach on the Atlantic coast of France was a long melding string of lazy days filled with lying in the grass staring up at the (mostly) blue sky, drives exploring the beaches, lighthouses, oyster beds and vineyards, and the ruins of an ancient Cistercian abbey on the islands of Ile-de-Ré and Ile d'Oléron, stopping in quaint little villages whose church spires beckoned to us from départmentale roads whenever our fancy struck us, swimming near mussel beds with a view of an old military fort in the middle of the water, strolling through the sand and picking up seashells, picnicking in pine forests next to beaches with sandy dunes, stopping to buy local shellfish from roadside huts, restorative evening meals of local oysters, local muscadet wine, and pain de seigle spread with butter made from local fleur de sel enjoyed on our very own terrasse, coffee in a cafe next to the impressive fourteenth century fortress at the port of La Rochelle, drinking Pineau des Charentes for an evening apero picnic by a little river in the marshlands, and contemplating different shades of green in the dunes and the forests. If ever you should venture to these islands in the sea, I have two suggestions:

1) Rent a bicycle. The islands are flat and only a few kilometers wide, and there are tons of bike paths. If ever we return, we shall certainly be doing that.

2) I have one compound word for you: windbreaker.

One day, I hope to get most of the three hundred and ninety-three photos I took on our trip up on to flickr, but right now is not quite the moment.

For I am undertaking a rather time-consuming, personal enrichment project this month, and so, much as it pains me to do so, I fear I must put blogging and blog reading on the backburner until the first week of October. Please do check back then. I hope to be back in full force at that time.

The things that are getting me through the month are the thought of a return to blogging and my ayurvedic massage at Cinq Mondes at the end of the month, courtesy of a gift certificate that was a birthday present from two good friends of mine.

So please do return in a month's time, O Dear Reader, and until then I wish you happy blogging trails.

Meanwhile, English As A Foreign Language teachers of the world, I wanna hear from YOU...

An attempt at a haiku, in order to demonstrate why today, September 1st, is a day that merits celebration for me

Butts are all stubbed out
One year since my last cigarette
Lungs pink and healthy