1 0 Archive | October, 2005
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I am currently at my friend Carlos´apartment with a group of friends. Carlos, a Mexican exchange student doing the same program that I am doing (but in English), lives on the 5th floor of a very old building near the cathedral here in Clermont-Ferrand, and in order to get up here you have to climb a rickety old spiral staircase. Quite some exercise! Anyways, this evening, two Italian students cooked us some pasta – quite awesome.

my new apartment is great: It is brand new and a 20 minute walk from school; a long way by downtown standards but well worth the walk. At the moment it is completely unfurnished – I am in the process of buying the things I need before Yvonne & Co. arrive mid-November. It´s a lot of work, especially considering things take a long time to achieve in France. For example, the phone line that I ordered last week and the corresponding high speed Internet connection won´t be available until the middle of next month, and the fridge that I ordered that was supposed to arrive on Saturday (I waited all day in my empty apartment for it!) never showed up. But that is just how things are in France it seems – things definitely happen at a different pace than I am used to.

the food and drink here are awesome. Yesterday I bought a box of cookies for a Euro that are some of the best I have tasted – chocolate with orange. So amazing! The coffee here is fantastic, though I can only drink one small cup of the stuff or I´m up twitching all night long. And the cheese… oh the cheese…

also, we have Monday and Tuesday off (French holidays) so that´s always good!

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30. Oct, 2005
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something hard to learn

European accounting standards, taught in French.

they’re just different enough for you to think they’re pretty much the same as in the States and then be thoroughly confused when they aren’t. And all of the French account names are boggling my inner noggings.

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25. Oct, 2005
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today my friend Damien and I climbed the Puy de Dôme; at 1464 meters tall it is the largest of the several inactive volcanoes in the Clermont-Ferrand region. It took us about two hours to hike our way up the mountain and back down again. It was a lot of fun and a good trek, especially after having attended a party last night where there was much eating and drinking (of wine, cheese, paté and foie gras, no less) – the fresh air and the exercise was well worth it.

while up at the top of the mountain we were pretty much inside of a cloud – we ended up soaking wet not from the rain or from sweat but from the cold humidity of the cloud. At the top we had a great view of Clermont-Ferrand and of the surrounding region, though Damien’s camera ran out of batteries before we reached the top (and I left mine in Canada). Nonetheless, I’ll try to post some pictures later.

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baguettes for everyone

I am back in France. The trip was long (from 8AM EST yesterday until about 5PM France time today) and arduous (highlights included sitting in a tiny plane on the runway at Pearson for an hour and a half, and sitting in the train station in Paris for a good three and a half hours – I would have done some good old fashioned ‘splorin’, but I had my suitcases and was already oh so tired).

more news later (when something happens)!

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10. Oct, 2005
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messages in the clouds

sometimes, I think, God sends you a sign.

details and pictures here…

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take a hike

this afternoon I went for a 3 or 4 kilometer hike at Silent Lake Provincial Park, which is located 2 or 3 miles from our new place. I had a really nice walk; the weather was beautiful, the forest smelled crisp in that certain way that only a forest in autumn can smell, and when the wind whistled through the branches of the trees above me I would soon be showered with red and yellow leaves. Even better, I was the only person on the trail that I knew of – it was me, some white tailed deer, and some chipmunks. The park comprises the entirety of Silent Lake itself, so when you’re looking out upon the water you won’t see any dwellings or motorized vehicles. It’s really quite nice.

I took a few pictures (that naturally don’t do the reality justice, yet here they are):

Silent Lake from the beach
A marshy pond along the trail
A view of the trail itself, while walking along it
A beaver dam (note the difference in the water level before and behind it – the water reaches the top of the dam)

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07. Oct, 2005
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I’m back in Canada until next Sunday – had some work I had to do, which has almost been completed. Classes officially start on October 12th (I managed to transfer into a better program, after which I’ll receive 2 Masters degrees – an MBA from South Carolina and an MSc from ESC Clermont).

At any rate, we went to Algonquin Park today, which was a lot of fun. The leaves have been changing, which has been pretty, though they are not quite yet at their zenith. At any rate, here are a few pictures – they’re dark, since it was overcast and somewhat gloomy today, but they still turned out okay:

A nice vista
A beaver lodge (if you’re observant you can find it in the other picture as well)

Also, here are some kid pictures:

Amelia in yellow
Callum picking blueberries (last month)

This evening I’m drinking a little bit of Havana Club Rum. Having lived in the States for the past several years it’s been something I’ve been unable to drink. Cheers!

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03. Oct, 2005