I am writing this post early last week – a few days before the King’s fete – from a sunny balcony overlooking the mountains. The Englishman and I have escaped to the Virginia countryside for a few days, allowing for a lazy afternoon spent writing and throwing seeds to the birds.
Or, should I say, nourrier des l’oiseaux. You see, over the past 3 weeks I have been studying French daily. Using a few iPhone apps, a workbook, and the help of some very kind friends (merci beaucoup!), I am slowly grasping la langue francais.
When I was a young girl, my school taught Spanish – and so, for the next ten years, the natural progression seemed to be a continuation of Spanish. Even at university, when I had full control and decision making power over my courses, I chose Spanish. But the thing is… I always wanted to learn French.
Have you seen that video where Gwyneth Paltrow responds to French reporters’ questions in perfect, clear, fluent french? And Robert Downey Jr. sits next to her looking like uncultured swine? I love that. LOVE THAT. Say what you want about Gwynnie, but that video had me smitten.
In addition to Gwyneth Paltrow’s example, I love many aspects of the French culture – food, style, life. I love the joy that they seem to have in everyday circumstances. J’aime le joie du vivre!
So here I am. Learning French. To practice, I am using DuoLingo, Lingvist, and FluentU along with a simple workbook I picked up on Amazon. I am sending e-mails to a friend using my new French knowledge. In addition, I am watching children’s shows on YouTube dubbed in French (think Peppa Pig, Sofia the First) and rewatching Amelie for the 1000th time – without subtitles!
In other news this week…
What I’m Trying… Vichy Laboratories Thermal Spa Water
When I bought this last week, I was 99.9% sure I just spent $15 on a spray can of Evian. On first application, it was really refreshing and soothing – but was it doing anything? Apparently so. Within a few days, people were asking if I had been getting more sleep and commented on my new glow. I spray this on at night before bed, and wake up looking like Sleeping Beauty. Try it for yourself.
What I’m Reading… Yours, E.R. by Terence Blacker
A friend sent this book, knowing I would love it – and I do! It is a fictional set of letters parodying Queen Elizabeth. From 2012-2014, “Elizabeth” sent a series of letters to her “advisor” commenting about the goings-on of the world. It is really interesting to see the world from the eyes of an 89-year-old Queen. Each letter has me reflecting on our modern culture, and wondering how I can make life more royal and refined. Check it out on Amazon UK.
What I’m Eating… Peaches!!
Little known fact – I grew up in Georgia, land of glorious, golden, plump, delicious peaches. Every summer, I cannot wait for the grocery shops to fill with their unmistakeable aroma. It is one of the very few good points of the summer season. I’m currently snacking on a bowl of fresh peach, raspberry and sliced banana.