The city center.
Our front door.
A typical street in Rouen.
Our return to Rouen, after 3 1/2 years away, has been amazingly smooth. Having been here for 6 weeks the last time, David and I are quite familiar both with the house and with the lay of the land. The most noticeable difference this time is the light. When we were here before it was from Thanksgiving through New Year's, and it was perpetually dark (much like Portland). This time both David and I were shocked by how much light floods the house, because we never experienced it that way before. It was a very welcome surprise.
David and Jean Paul, looking over their/our plot in the community garden.
Another difference between our previous visit and now is that already our dance card is getting full with things to do and people to do them with. Tomorrow I am going to the Alliance Française to take the placement exam and then having coffee with a fellow francophile, Austrailian blogger Kathy of Femmes Francophiles. We've been following each other's blogs for a couple months and she happens to be in Rouen for a couple days! Love that. And earlier tonight our former babysitter, Maite, knocked on our door. She's back from université for a few weeks and wanted to make herself available to us. There's also Rebecca, an American who's father I met in a French class in Portland. She, her husband, and daughter live in Rouen and are coming for dinner Sunday. It's amazing how small the world seems to be getting!
Yesterday we spent much of the day wandering: gathering our fruit, veggies and cheese from the local markets, having crepes and cider for lunch, and taking photos. I found myself drawn again to textures, colors, and doorways. I love taking photos where one is looking through portals — I guess the layering appeals to me. I want to make some time to explore that with paint this summer as well.
Cider at lunch.
Just another neighborhood church.
Love the textures of the stone and the reflected blue sky in the window here.
Of course, all is not sunshine and cider. These journeys always have a learning curve and we've started ours. In our first 24 hours here we managed to fry both electrical gadgets we deemed important enough to bring with us: my immersion blender and the baby monitor. All electrical currents are not created alike and we simply didn't pay enough attention. Also, for those of you who remember our previous adventures in bathing, we may once again be sneaking over to the neighbor's house for a quick bath. At the moment we have no hot water whatsoever, though we have hopes of getting that resolved tomorrow. One never knows since it involves me speaking on the phone with a plumber who speaks no english. But somehow none of it seems to bother me when we're here. Perhaps that's why I keep wanting to come back. Something about being here mellows me. Maybe it's that I have nothing else to worry about here except how much cheese 3 people can reasonably eat in 7 weeks!
What happens when you leave David alone to buy the cheese!