here comes the sun

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single woman in possession of a good fortune, must be in need of more wine. In a pinch, a half-decent fortune will do. Or in times of great need any spare change in the wallet will suffice. You know, whatever is available can always be converted, magically, into a bottle of ambrosia. With the change in seasons – a whopping 22°C (or 72°f) this weekend – I’ve been on the hunt for lighter reds and more whites. Fortunately both temperature and opportunity conspire fortuitously to bring Alsace to the Médoc, in the form of a visit by Becker wines – the same that seem to keep cropping up in my blog and on my wine shelf – and otherwise an outdoorsy weekend in the sun.

Scenes around Bordeaux: my morning run to the river; sheep safely graze on campus, an old Romanesque church in Moulis-en-Médoc glistens in the sun. The Garonne River mirrors the lights from Place de la Bourse. And is that a giant sundial or the helical obelisk in Place de la Victoire? What time is it...? Time for a drink!

Scenes around Bordeaux: my morning run to the river; sheep may safely graze on campus, an old Romanesque church in Moulis-en-Médoc glistens in the sun. The Garonne River mirrors the lights from Place de la Bourse. And is that a giant sundial or the helical obelisk in Place de la Victoire – what time is it, you ask…? Time for a drink!

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let’s kippis!

Tram B, not unlike the New York subway system in the summer, has its own special micro-climate (technical term). Described by some as ‘surprisingly tropical’ it is consistently a departure – and somehow always surprisingly so – from the weather conditions on the outside of the tram, particularly during early morning journeys to school.  Dressing oneself in the morning is a careful exercise of selecting clothing appropriate for the walking portion of the trip, but that can also be divested quickly and with a minimum of arm movement, as once inside the tram, one is hemmed in on all four sides by other students drawn, like mosquitos to light, to the various campuses in Pessac.  (Mosquitos are clearly still on the brain chez moi.  N.B. The plugins are far more effective than the sprays.)

The infamous Tram B passing the opera house. My morning walk takes me across this field.

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school is now (v)in session

I took chemistry once.  It was fifteen years ago, during first year of university.  “Baby Chem,” as it was nicknamed, (not even Chem for Dummies or Chem 101) represented the bare minimum amount of science I needed to progress to Intro to Food Science (aka. cooking class) and then to the restaurant course (which also had a real name that nobody ever used).  From that initial chemistry course, my vague recollections indicate that carbon chains exist, and are somewhat important, but the remaining details seem to have escaped me.  I’m sure it’ll all come back very organically.

This idyllic scene from week one has been replaced by this terrifying depiction of tannin polymers in week two.

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one in Emilion

I dined and dashed yesterday.  It was a strange experience for someone who is typically physically uncomfortable with leaving less than a 20% tip. (Yes; if you see me ill outside of a KFC, it’s because I couldn’t tip.  No follow up questions, please.)  In my defense, it was less dash and more saunter, but let me backtrack: I had ordered oysters and a glass of wine, which took half an hour to arrive.  I didn’t mind it because it was a lazy afternoon, and one is supposed to enjoy a slower pace of life over here, one hears, and one was also catching up on writing and email correspondence (not to mention studying up on how to refer to oneself in the third person). Read More