Posts Tagged ‘South of France’

Hello Again

August 2, 2020

It feels like forever.

And it has been awhile.

But I am still here.

Still writing, though not so much on this platform

I have missed it, but I have also been too tired most days to log in and write.

I write in the mornings still, long hand, my three page a day habit, thank you The Artists Way, thirteen years and still going strong.

I have thought about this though, my blog, the thing that I would do religiously come rain or shine, good day, bad day, nothing really happened today day.

I sort of had a nothing happened today day, with highlights of, this is surreal, though I’m used to it.

Sort of.

We’re still deep in the pandemic and although it’s been five plus months now, there are times I’m still caught off guard with the strangeness of it.

Or that I am estranged from my friends, fellows, family, colleauges.

Oh the desire to hang out with friends at a coffee shop.

Although, truth, I did sort of last weekend.

I drove up to the Russian River area with a friend, one of the few people allowed in my bubble, and we did get coffee at a cafe in Guerneville.  There was no sitting inside, though, grab and go.

So many things are shut down, but when I get the chance to go to a cafe or a restaurant I have done so.

It happens quite infrequently.

I do better weathering things on my own.

I have been very safe and very cautious and kept pretty to myself since this has all been unfolding.

But yeah, a trip to the Russian River and being out in the sun felt extraordinary.

It’s not a big deal typically, but a bunch of months of quarantine and I felt like I was playing hooky, albeit wearing a mask, from the pandemic.

Also.

Just getting out into the sunshine was so good.

San Francisco, got to love her, has been having her typical “summer weather” which is cold, foggy, overcast and quite dreary.

Add that to the general malaise of the pandemic and it’s a bit depressing.

So when my friend suggested we head out of town and get some sun I hesitated, I have things to do (homework, prep for teaching, zoom meetings), but folded as soon as I googled the Russian River and saw the trees and sun and water.

I’m glad I did.

I am also grateful for getting out of the city.

I haven’t been outside of the Bay Area since before shelter in place.

I realized the last time I had gotten out it was Christmas when I went to Paris.

Now, that’s nothing to shake a stick at, but it also meant that I hadn’t left the city in over six months.

I don’t, fyi count Oakland, Berkeley, or Alameda, all places I have gone to, as getting outside the city…they just feel like continuations of it.

Though, San Francisco is definitely in transition, it is still the city, and once in a while to appreciate the city, I need to leave it.

I will go up one more time to the Russian River before summer ends.

Just a quick day trip to work on some teaching prep the weekend before I start teaching Psychodynamic’s.

I’m not exactly excited, truth be told, I haven’t felt like I’ve had much of a summer–my private practice therapy business has been full (and yes, I do know how lucky I am to have work to do) and I have been doing so much psychoanalytic theory reading, my brain feels about shot.

But.

I have finished, as of today all the books that are required reading for class.

I also, I haven’t shared much about this, turned down the core faculty position I was interviewing for.

I found out how much work was expected and how little money was being paid for it and I changed my mind about wanting to work for the school–I was making more money as a private professional nanny then what they were offering for a full time core faculty professor in a master’s program.

No thank you.

I kept thinking to myself that I did not work this hard to keep working harder for less money.

I felt bad, for a moment, when I told my individual supervisor who really wanted me to take on the teaching position, but I realized if I had taken it I would have been terribly resentful with myself for taking on so much work.

Especially since I am still working on my PhD.

It’s been a minute since I’ve been here, so I cannot recall if I have written about that the last time I was blogging.  But.  I have made some progress there.  I have my external third committee chair member and she has my dissertation proposal as does my internal second.

So.

I await their critiques and get to start working on a Power Point (ugh) to defend my proposal.

Once I defend the proposal I will move into PhD candidacy.

I am ready for that.

I am hoping that I will get to defend by the end of this month and then turn around and start doing the study part of my dissertation.

My hope is to do the study this fall and then do the writing for the dissertation in the spring.

I want to put in one more year and be done.

In fact.

That is my goal.

One more year at the school working on my PhD and teaching one master’s class, then I’m done.

I’ve been on this track for five years now.

I’m ready to finish it.

I have it in my sights and I am hopeful that I can put down my head and push through this last year.

I suspect things are going to be challenging with the pandemic continuing to rage and whatever weirdness is up and coming with the pending elections, but I shall keep busy, keep pushing and get through.

And.

When it’s all said and done and I have my doctorate.

I am going on a big fucking trip.

I’m thinking fly from San Francisco to London, train to Paris, then train to the South of France, rent a car there and tool around and then reverse the trip back.

Two, maybe three weeks.

That’s a carrot to work towards.

Seriously.

Where Do I Start?

July 25, 2018

First.

Bon soir!

I have not seen my computer for a few days.

My best French friend insisted that we were to travel very lightly to Marseilles and so, no computer.

Also.

No makeup.

What?

I know I felt naked, until I didn’t.

But apparently, ahem, I still look nice without it.

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I think vacation looks pretty good on me.

It didn’t hurt that I have a tan.

Boy.

Do I have a tan.

The above photo was taken early in the evening yesterday on the island of Frioul.  If you look closely in the background you can see the city of Marseilles.  My friend and I took an early evening ferry-boat to Frioul and strolled around it and took photos.

It was such a pretty place, and it would have been great for swimming had we known.

Next time.

But.

Swimming was had!

I had my first dip, then my second, yesterday in the Mediterranean!

Here I am a touch blissed out:

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My hair is all wet, I am sandy, I went for two swims in the Calanque and it was extraordinary.

First, a slight aside, must get back to swimming, being in the water and swimming felt so damn good.  Screw yoga, I think it’s long past time I get back into the pool.

Second.

Wow.

It was so, so, so beautiful.

A calanque is, well, fuck, I’m not sure I can quite describe it, a sort of wild hill area with dry rocky terrain along the coast that stretches from Marseilles to Cassis, there are all these inlets and beaches and coves, it’s a national park in France and frankly I can see why, they are true treasures.

The clanque that we went to was the Calanque of Sormiou.

It was exquisite.

I mean.

So gorgeous.

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This is the view from the top of an hour-long climb through the hills.

I will not mince words.

It was hot.

I was sweaty.

And I was not exactly happy to be climbing so much.

But.

Fuck.

Once I got to the top.

Wow.

I don’t know how high the climb was, and yes, what goes up must come down, we had to climb back out, gratefully the way is paved and if you have a tiny car and balls of steel you can drive in, but we walked, or climbed.

According to my little app on my phone that counts my steps we climbed.

We walked 26,450 steps yesterday.

Which is 12.4 miles.

And.

We climbed 51 floors!

51!

Ooh la la!

My legs.

But again.

It was extraordinarily beautiful and I’m so glad we did it, even if for a second there my friend made me wear a damp towel on my head for a while, she thought I might be getting close to heat stroke.

I guess I was pretty red in the face.

I certainly sweated a lot.

I think I may have actually lost weight this trip, despite the cheese and charcuterie I have eaten here.

I seriously have walked miles and miles and miles each day.

And swam.

Here.

Enough of my prattle.

More pictures of the beauty:

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I mean.

Come on.

It was like being on a movie set.

Except.

Well.

It was totally real.

Stunning beyond words, even now, looking at these photos, I’m like, really, I was just there yesterday?

Swimming in the sea.

It was truly one of the most beautiful moments, that first cool plunge into the ocean, the taste of the salt, so salty, and then popping up from the water and seeing the mountains arising around me.

I was blown away.

I swam far out until I got a little spooked, and then headed back in to let my friend take her turn.

We didn’t want to leave our stuff unattended on the beach, it has a reputation for thievery.

While my friend swam I unfolded the towel filched from the hotel onto the sand, put on more sunblock and lay back enjoying the hot sun, the sound of the water, the people speaking Italian to my right, the couple canoodling in Catalan on my left, and closed my eyes.

It was glorious.

My friend returned with tales of being nibbled on by a fish, which didn’t exactly compel me to get back in the water, but get back in I did.

Only to be flirted with by some gentleman who tried to tell me that I should be concerned about the sharks.

Thanks man, here’s a pointer on flirting with a woman, don’t tell her there might be sharks in the water, all it does is make a lady want to get the fuck out of the water.

I swam off laughing and telling him he was horrible for telling me such a tale.

Another stint of laying on the beach and then my friend and I packed up our things and began the long, arduous walk back.

I won’t lie.

It was hard.

And it was hot.

Very, very, very hot.

But.

I also would be lying if I didn’t say that there was a part of me that was very proud of myself for doing the climb and having a true adventure with my friend.

We made it back to Marseilles alive, had a late lunch, then went to the hotel and freshened up.

That shower, let me tell you, damn good.

After taking some time to rest we headed out to the ferry-boat and our trip to the island of Frioul.

The first photo I posted was from Frioul.

Here are a couple more, it was truly lovely.

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I have to say, the South of France was very special to see.

And I haven’t even told you about Aix-en-Provence or really about Marseille itself, but you know, I have one last day in Paris tomorrow and it’s time I got ready for it.

Bon soir mes amis!

Bon soir!

Making Plans

September 26, 2016

I knew I was going to say yes before she even finished asking me.

I know to say yes.

Even when there was a tiny voice in my head that said, “but what about work?”

What the fuck about it?

I have no idea where I’m going to be working in May.

Granted.

Yes.

I will have a job.

One always comes around.

For instance.

This new gig tomorrow could lead to my next job (I am still working for my current family, but I’ll be Monday with this new family).  The family is fantastic, friends of my current family, living up in Eureka Valley, on a block, is it possible?  That doesn’t have parking permit issues, meaning I can park my scooter on the street without having to worry about moving it.

The 20 month old is delicious.

And.

Oh.

Wait.

For.

It.

She takes two-hour naps.

Bless you little girl.

I am so excited for two hours naps and parents that don’t work from home.

I got the impression that there will be some overlap occasionally, that one of the parents will be there, but for the most part it will be me and the 20 month old for six hours and then a mixture of the two other brothers.

Both of whom are in school.

This gig starts this Monday and will be every Monday until December 12th.

I am thinking at that time I will have secured my next gig, whatever that will be.

I may also take a little time off at that time, give myself a week or so to let myself have a few days off to acclimate and transition.

Plus.

I’ll be thick into my final papers for the semester.

But.

I’m also thinking further ahead.

All the way to May.

Yeah.

Like that.

Because today I was asked if I wanted to go on a trip to France in May.

Of course I said yes.

Duh.

I already have looked for tickets.

I know better than to not say yes.

Especially when I was told that I would have all my housing covered.

I would stay with my friend and her family.

She won’t be as available to me as if we were really going on holiday together, she’ll be studying for her exams in France, but I was like.

WHATEVER.

She’s my dear friend.

I love her.

Of course I’m going to say yes.

Besides.

Hello.

FRANCE.

Yes, please.

We would actually go to a few places, not just Paris, take the TGV to Provence, for instance and to the seaside.

Oh yes, I don’t care where I’m working, I can make that work.

Plus, I’ll have a little more financial aid that will come into my pocket come Spring semester.

After my disbursement was made, paying for my summer classes, retreat (intensive, it was an intensive), and my current semester I received $675.

Which you know.

Means working as much as I can to cover the rest of my costs, because that’s basically a half month of rent.

No food.

No phone.

No gas for the scooter.

No insurance.

Definitely no yoga.

Just some money toward 1/2 a month of rent.

I remember laughing to myself when my current employer asked if I would still want to work when I won the scholarship I was awarded.

Um.

Yeah.

I have to.

I live in San Francisco.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t save a for a ten-day jaunt to France.

I can fucking well do that, especially if I don’t have to worry about the cost of hotels and places to stay.

Plus, South of France in May?

Of course I said yes.

I am still saying yes.

I have no clue how it will work out, but I told my friend I knew it would and yes, what a perfect way to cap off the end of the second year of school with a trip with one of my dearest to France.

I’d still fly into Paris, and probably from Paris too.

The TGV, the bullet train, will get me to and from really quick and it’s super affordable.

God.

I am so excited.

This will definitely be a different trip for me than the last time I went to Paris.

First, it will be in Spring.

I haven’t been in Paris in Spring in a while.

It really is the best time to go.

And then to the South of France, in warm weather, all my sundresses are longing to be donned, all my sandals ready to be buckled around my ankles.

Fields of lavender.

The sea-side.

The pool with deck chairs.

Oh goodness.

Such deliciousness awaits, strolls with my friend in the dusk, after dinner when she ends her day of study.

Farmer’s markets, flower markets, and I’m sure I’ll stumble upon some art.

I usually manage.

Second.

It will not be with a man who I am in an unrequited love relationship with.

Nope.

No thank you.

I was deleting some files earlier and stumbled across a section of photos of the two of us in LA last summer and my heart banged around in my chest and I felt some sorrow, a sweep of sadness.

I deleted some of them, but I kept the majority.

I don’t have to wallow in something that never came to fruition, but there was love there and to be reminded of having been loved and having loved another, is a great blessing, even if it was a painful experience.

My.

Oh.

Fucking.

My.

How I did grow.

So.

Yes.

Yes, please, another experience with my dearest Paris.

And my first time going to Provence.

I have been to the South of France, Toulouse, to be exact, but not since 2002 and it was just three days and well, I was tipping back the cocktails a wee bit, so my experience I dare say this time around will be much sweeter, happier, and joyful.

I knew I was going to be going back to France again, I just wasn’t expecting the conversation to pop up today.

How glad I am it did.

It colored everything with delight.

My sweet, sweet life.

Ma vie en rose.

(My life in the pink)

How lucky am I?

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

 


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