I've had quite a busy week (for an unemployed bum. And I apologise to anyone seething with rage at posts filled with fun and frivolous purchases. I assure you I spend most of the time weeping and self-flagellating, but I save that sort of thing for my BDSM blog).
We had a picnic in the park on Sunday to celebrate someone getting her PhD approved, which was very nice. It wasn't sunny, but at least it didn't start raining until that evening (and then all day Monday). Then I went home and watched delayed coverage of the Grand Prix, which, contrary to all expectations, was actually very exciting (although I'm still a bit upset over what happened to Hamilton).
Since then, I've been running around going to the gym and working on my CV and other such scintillating stuff. I walked all the way to the Pôle Emploi the other day because I thought "right, I'm going to go there and work on writing cover letters in French without distractions and see if someone can help me with the French" only to find that there is only one computer there with a chair, all the rest you have to stand up at, and all you can do on them is look up job notices on the Pôle Emploi's own website. And when I asked if I could get help writing in French, they gave me a pamphlet designed for French people who can't read and write well (and I don't mean to sound snarky, but examples of people applying for factory jobs in very simple French are not much good to me) and enrolled me in a general workshop in like a fortnight. And told me that the job I wanted to apply for was only open to disabled applicants (which, of course, is a noble initiative, but it's just discouraging every time you come across something else that you don't understand about how the system works here). I know that sounds very whiny, and I know no-one forced me to move to a non-English-speaking country, but it helps everyone if you help us dirty immigants to speak better French and get jobs. And blogging about it helps to vent some of those frustrations.
Wednesday was hot hot hot, with actual sunshine. I went to a garden party, if you can call 20 or so people having drinks and nibbles in a garden a "garden party" (the Queen wasn't there, let's put it that way), which was nice. I spilled red wine on my new dress and had to wash it with detergent in the kitchen sink, but along with washing it properly when I got home, that did the trick, yay. (I'm a big believer in acting immediately, no matter what stain-busting equipment you have at hand, to get rid of stains.) In a brave move, since there will often be sudden thunderstorms in the evening after a hot day here, they set up a TV in the garden so I was able to happily ignore the football until it got to the penalty shootout after an undoubtedly exciting 2 hours of play without a goal.
On Thursday night it was my turn to have Liz and Charlie around for dinner. We have a sort of 'supper club' where we meet up at irregular intervals at each other's houses for dinner. It's a bit tricky because there's a ton of stuff Charlie won't eat, starting with onions and garlic!! This time, I made spinach, feta and chicken pasties and for dessert, the pièce de resistance:
I didn't want to give the game away, because I think half the fun is bringing out a glass of "wine" and then the big reveal that it's jelly, but I ran the idea of a jelly-based dessert past Liz, who begged me not to do it, because as Canedolia mentioned recently, the French for some reason think the English can't get enough of eating jelly. And, indeed, Charlie found it hilarious to the point of making a video of it wobbling. But I thought a rosé dessert was too cool not to do! So, how did it taste? I did a little test pot of it and thought it was just okay when I ate some on Thursday morning, but maybe my palate just wasn't ready for wine first thing in the morning, because I actually thought it was very nice when we had it in the evening. Just the right amount of sugar and a nice flavour. The frozen berries were a bit seedy, but oh well.
After dinner, Liz went home and Charlie and I met up with Marion and went to a bar and then a club. Tomorrow is Marion's last day in Tours, boohooooo! Now I will (probably) be back to being the only Kiwi in the village. She doesn't yet know where she'll be living, her boyfriend is looking for an internship and in the meantime she'll be going between London and his family's place in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais. They're leaving some stuff in storage here, so I'll probably see her again, but it's still sad to have a friend leave.