Wednesday, May 1, 2013

le 1 mai, muguets et manifestations

It is important to give muguets to the ones you love
Le muguet, or lily-of-the-valley is one of my favourite scents. Today, they will be sold all over Paris by charities and by Romani. For me, they are one of those small spring flowers that I love:bluebells, anemones, grape hyacinths. Store windows have been decorated with chocolate pots with artificial muguets but I will buy the flowers and save the calories.

Today is the first of many jours de congés (holidays) in the month of May. This is a statute holiday (la fête des ouvriers). There will be some processions and manifestations around the city in support of workers and unions. Gatherings are commonplace here. I am living close to the Senate so I pass groups all the time.

Many Paris schools have spring vacation this week and next. I notice that some of the neighbours have disappeared to their country homes. Yesterday was my last lesson with Isabelle because she was taking a few days of holiday to visit her house. Parisians often "faire le pont" and bridge a statute holiday with a week-end.

I will miss my classes with Isabelle. I have reached the point that I need practise with conversation and some reinforcement of basic French sounds. We have had many interesting conversations about all sorts of topics. I have taught Advanced ESL conversation to adults so I suggested a format that worked for me. I chose a topic that interested me and wrote about it in French. I love to write in French. This gave me the vocabulary basis to work from and some ideas for discussion. Then, I read my exposé to Isabelle, she gave me feedback on pronunciation and choice of vocabulary. We spent the rest of the class discussing my topic or my daily impressions of life in Paris. If you are looking for a private conversation teacher, it is important to choose someone who has a solid background in phonetics and who is a lively and interesting person. I would recommend Isabelle. I will try to attend more French activities at home. 

La rue Cherche-Midi is silent today. None of the shops below are open so I don't hear any footsteps on the street. I will miss my Paris life when I leave on Saturday. I have a pleasant routine. Mornings, I read, write, do a bit of laundry or housekeeping (one person in a 500 sq. ft. apartment does not make a mess), study and get ready to go out. Some mornings I walk over to Isabelle's apartment which is just off the rue Mouffetard. After my class, I usually find a restaurant to eat a hearty lunch before exploring an area of Paris, shopping or visiting a museum. I pick up a little dinner, come home, talk to Maman who is in the midst of making a major and unwelcome change in her life. I spend the evening reading and watching an occasional BBC programme on my MacBook. There  are so many areas yet to explore in Paris that I will have to keep visiting.

4 comments:

  1. I posted on muguet, this morning, and wondered if you'd have picked up a little bouquet or two for your apartment.
    I love the sound of your daily routine -- it would suit me very well indeed!

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  2. I love my routine. I have time for reflection and time for new experiences without a rush. I will come back next year as there are so many quartiers of Paris to explore. The muguets and lilacs are my favourite May flowers.

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  3. Your day sounds wonderful to me!
    And I'm here...
    Hmmm...how do you watch BBC programs by the way online..
    I can only listen to the radio same as I did in NYC..
    What a nice area to be in
    Lucky you!
    xCarolg

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    Replies
    1. You have to do iTunes to watch the programmes online but more programmes are available. I have seen all of the first season of Mr. Selfridge although they haven't been broadcast in North America.This area is very upscale but last year, I lived for 5 months on rue St. Jacques just across from Val-de-Grâce. That area is like a small village. When I left, the grocer gave me a framed photo of the neighbourhood.

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