3-10-10. On a beautiful snow covered morning we are off to see Simone by the Sea. We stop at rest area near Carassonee to view the castle and get off the busy motorway. Because of bad weather yesterday the lorries were not allowed to drive so today they are trying to make up for lost time. They are bumper to bumper. Although Simone still wants to see us Angeline has grown faint hearted, as have I. Simone said the sea had become quite angry and thrown up 18 foot waves. More than 50 people have been killed.
We stop again near Gruissan and find the wind so forceful that I can hardly get the door open. We find Maxims near the canal and docks is doing business so we decide to stop. As I walk along two chairs come sliding toward me and one falls into the canal. Soon we were inside and eating a delicious dinner. After our meal we drove closer to the sea and get out to walk the wet beach. I pick up a few shells.We watch the sea perform a wild and frothy dance. As the great brown waves roll in the wind comes down and with millions of icy fingers plucks the waves to shreds and tosses them back into the sea.When we return to the motorway the lorries are gone so we whiz along and arrive at Bordeneuve for tea. We have a light supper, pick up Bernard and are off to choir practice for two hours. I find the 30 member choir quite impressive and enjoy them very much. The auditorium where they practice is an old mansion purchased by the village of Verfeil and renovated. The auditorium was previously the big barn. Angeline tells me that in France no one is young after the age of 40 but one can be irresistible at any age.
3-11-10. Last night I dreamed that a child was in distress because a boy had urinated on her. She was in tears. My niece Terry had some vital role to play in protecting the child but was indifferent to her distress. So I took the child and talked to her, rubbed her small cold hands and ran a bath for her. She was whimpering softly when I opened my eyes in the dark room. I was deeply troubled by the dream and whispered, "Poor, poor child."Today Angeline and I go to Toulouse to see the cinema "Bright Star", the life of poet John Keats who died at 25. He thought he was a failure but we now know better. Clothing played an important role in the story as Fanny Brawne never wore the same dress twice and Keats didn't seem to have a change of clothes. When we took the underground back to the parking area we sat in the lead car so I could see the tunnel. We stopped at Auchen for food. Helene, Steph and Mathilda were at Bordeneuve when we got back. Helene has given me a beautiful pair of winter cotton pants from Nepal. We had a wonderful scallop supper and went to see Toulouse by night. We sat under an umbrella with a heat lamp so we could enjoy the night air as we drank hot chocolate beneath the stars. Then we went to the RR station to collect Laura and took another turn through Toulouse so we could see the Garonne river and lighted bridges.
3-12-10. After lunch we are off to Albi to visit the Cathedral of St. Cecille. We stayed too long and didn't get to see the museum of Toulouse Laurec. But we walked the old streets and had hot chocolate at a cafe because our three noses had become very cold. I also found some music boxes for Cedar and Lamaya, and a magnet for Wallis.
Home we went and I prepared a wild rice casserole. Soon Berganret and Genevieve arrived. We eight ladies had a lovely time around the table. I gave Helene a t-shirt and Berganret a string of beads necklace.
3-13-10. The sun is not so enthusiastic about showing a bright face today. Mathilda us having a picnic inside and close to the fire. I am up and ready to visit the students at Verfeil. I speak to 30 students for one hour. They are well-prepared and have good questions for me. One of the boys was taking notes on his arm. Susie said he usually sleeps in her class but was quite alert for me. Afterwards we have tea in the teachers' lounge. Next we go to Andre's to purchase slippers made at the nursing home.Later we pick up Simone and tour her lovely home. Fifi the homeless dog showed up soon after her dear husband Gi had died so Simone has a lovable companion to see her through her grief. Then we go on to Helene's for a Spanish supper for 11 happy friends. Simone gave me a delicate silver flower from Poland that I can wear with my dance regalia. Francois gave me a small painting which I will frame.
3-14-10. Up for breakfast and into the woods to say good bye to the trees, the hills, the flowers and birds. I wave across the field to Mereille. I also say good bye to the boy asleep in the house at the bottom of the hill. Angeline told me one of my attentive students lives there. When all is ready Joel drives us all to the air terminal and soon we are in the sky headed for Paris. It is all so peaceful below that one forgets the bloody battles and horrendous struggles for dominance that occurred across these rumpled green hills.
At Charles de Gaulle we find Veronique and Yeung waiting for us. Laura's ride is also waiting. So all is well. Yeung drives us to the apt in his black Mercedes Benz. The apt is 3 floor above the street reached by a quaint circular staircase. It makes me giddy to keep turning in the same direction. As we women settled down around our tea he disappeared and returned shortly with sweets. He then showed us photos of the home they will be moving into in May. There is a nice yard with room for a garden and a pool, too. Yeung showed us the green room and said Angeline and I will stay there when I return to France for another last time. That will be May 2011. Yeung is Cambodian and reminds me of Justice.