Sunday, November 13, 2011

The same old song

(Almost) all the leaves are brown
And the sky is grey
And I've been for a walk on an autumn's day
I'd be safe and warm
If I was in AL
Alabama dreamin'
On such an autumn's day!

Fall seems to make me more nostalgic for my home country. This season in general makes me turn inward, as if I'm mentally huddling down, hugging my scarf next to my face. In the evening I'm content more than ever to be a homebody as I pull the curtains on a prematurely dark world. And in the day I study the afternoon light that seems more intense, even if there's less of it, and it makes me think of the sunbeams in my mom's kitchen at this time of year. Maybe it's also Thanksgiving and Christmas coming around the corner. And fall was definitely my favorite season in AL, a respite from the stifling heat, as I'm sure I've said before.

I've been wishing I could teleport myself back to those places I know so well, to make a batch of cookies in that kitchen, to hug the necks of the people I'm missing. But school will keep me busy for the next eight months, so dreams of a cozy day back home are put on hold. But we've been trying to create our own coziness on this side of the pond. Making banana muffins (and I put a square of chocolate in the middle of each muffin before cooking them to give them a little kick!) and taking a few walks in foggy forests. Here are a few pics.

So I lied. Not all the leaves are brown. I love seeing a spot of color on a grey day.

So there are some sunny days! This is me being artsy taking my picture in a mirror. Remi got me this red coat two Christmases ago. I never would have picked it out myself, but now I say, why not. And putting on red on a dull grey day makes me feel immediately warmer.

Do you see what's wrong with this picture? In fact this is not a real store but just a big piece of fabric with the image of a storefront airbrushed on it. Took it near my school.

There's nothing like a chocolate iPhone to warm you up on a chilly day.

So, school has been nothing short of insane in terms of work load. I've come to the conclusion I just can't learn everything, so I'm trying to just prioritize. Almost done with the communication project for French which has really eaten up a lot of time. And I mean a lot. Then there's the research paper for French. And then all the scientific subjects which are, duh, very important. We've been doing lots of labs that analyze food products, like measuring the acidity in a Coca-Cola or the sugar content in milk. And in microbiology we've been given an unknown bacterial strain we must identify by doing a whole bunch of tests. Interesting but lots of work and I hope I'll remember it all for the exams and the lab exams which I'm totally dreading. That's where they give you a protocol and you must do it in four hours while teachers watch you! Can you say stress?

Juliette's a handful but then she'll say something so cute and cock her head to one side that I'll forgive her for all her cranky moments. She's getting into all the cartoons we can watch on the Disney channel in English. Did you know they changed the Mickey Mouse song? It's by They Might Be Giants and just as stick-in-your-heady as the old one. And now she's crept up into my lap and is asking if she can watch Elmo, please? Guess that's my cue to sign off!


Crystal said...

I always hated tests and examens in school. My nerves always got the best of me! But you'll do know your stuff. Just breathe and take your time.

P.S. I really like the red coat! Max is always telling me to wear more colour, but when I shop for myself, I always come home with the same earth tones and black!

Jenenz said...

Autumn looks very chilly and pretty in your part of France. Very pretty. Glad Juliette loves you and can bring a warm smile to your face amidst the school madness.

There is a new documentary about Kevin Clash, the muppeteer who is Elmo. The film was doing the independent film festivals last year. Now it's coming out on DVD. I'm very interested in seeing it, being a fan of muppets and sesame street.

Lindle said...

This time of year makes many of us melancholy--in spite of the beauty of autumn. Why is it that it does trigger all these memories of the past? A season of letting go too.

Love the faux store screen and the images of a French fall, especially a Hello Kitty topped lil' girl. Glad that Disney can work its magic all the way over there for her. We miss you too.