Friday 21 October, 2005

Compose your own pizza

Filed under: Jim's Entries — claire @ 10:38 pm

No such thing as a Hawiian or a Supreme or the need to order Meat Lovers hold the salami here. Pizza restuarants and take aways in Lille offer you a pen and a menu with a list of all available ingredients, just tick the boxes. Its make up your own, one price, as many ingredients as you like and as well a choice of crusts. C’est bon!

The great part is the best pizza place in town is directly across the road from our place (we’re marked with an x on the map above) .

Bon appetit

Thursday 20 October, 2005


Filed under: Claire's Entries — claire @ 6:56 pm

Getting into this blog is a bit like getting into a cold pool on a hot day. You know you want to and you know it will be fine and you should just dive in, but I’m a toe first, inch by inch kinda girl. So if anyone has passed by and wondered what if anything is happening here just hang on abit we’re getting there! I, like all wannabe good hostesses, want the place to look just right before we have guests. It’s like we’ve moved into this great place but we’ve got people over before we’ve unpacked. But hopefully very shortly we’ll have some pictures up, including some of our wedding and a few other bits and pieces. But enough with the analogies.


I arrived home to beautiful Autumn weather and a fabulous new apartment, (We look back with wonderment on how we survived as well as we did in our last one). Jim was in Sweden on a conference and wasnt getting back until late that night, but he left me a note titled “Chores”. First on the list was to make myself a cup of tea, he left out my favourite french ceramic cup and my snazzy one cup tea strainer. Second was to sit in the comfy chair and third press play on the CD, he put in a special song to listen to. He’d also left a fresh pot of flowers on the table and Belgium chocolate in the fridge……if your reading this Jim dont stop doing all the good stuff I promise I wont divulge all!!!

The next few days were spent unpacking and getting the apartment sorted. What is it about blokes, left alone they can make any home look like across between an office, adolescent boys room and a work room? The weekend was spent relaxing in domesticity, the most pleasurable of our weekly routines is the Sunday market, all the fabulous fresh produce and everyone out with their dogs buying flowers and gorgeous cakes to take visiting. I took some photos and will try and post them soon once I get a handle on it. The most promising of purchases was a melange de champignon, you have never seen so many varities, all different shapes, colours and textures. But best of all was the taste, I sauted them with garlic, butter and a lemon infused olive oil (a gift from Montalto winery in Red Hill South, thanks mum!). Served simply, so as not to disturb the flavour of the mushrooms, just with pasta, sea salt, cracked pepper and a small amount of grated vieux comte and a squeeze of fresh lemon, it was superbe!

I warn you don’t drop by if you dont like reading about food.

I have also been chasing up job leeds, which involve me practising my blurb in french on my mini recorder and then ringing Jim at work and playing it down the phone so he can confirm its ok before I leave it on someones voicemail! Meanwhile my husband is giving tutorials and running prac classes in French…….what is there to say!!!! Il est exceptionalle. I’m also trying to find a french class I can enroll in but it is proving difficult as Lille is not typically a place English speakers come to learn French. We are having lunch on Sunday with the English teacher from Jims uni, and his wife, he may have some work for me and as well maybe able to point me in the right direction with lessons. My preference would be to learn in a group so I can interact with people. In the meantime my French amie, Christina is coming for lunch on Friday so I will be forced to interact in as much French as possible.

Other than that there is always paper chasing here, my visa, drivers licease, health cover, translation of documents etc etc. We only just got the phone on, Jim has being trying since his return in early September. Each person would come, claim they could not find the cables and then leave, one guy did find them but said he could do nothing with them? Jim screamed what could be expected when they rock up with nothing but a bum bag. Frenchmen love a bum bag!?!

a bientot

Wednesday 19 October, 2005


Filed under: Claire's Entries — claire @ 2:02 pm

Well I have been home a week and all is good….except my body clock.

I’ve never been good at getting over jetlag, Jim will testify to that all to readily! So last night after fighting to stay up to a reasonable hour, sans daytime nap, I gave in at 9pm. Waking at some later stage I noted keenly a darkish sky, but we are heading into a European winter and with a neighbours light on (long past allocated wee time), I think there is a good chance I might of slept through finally. Not wanting to disturb the employed half of this partnership I need to make the call without light for a time check. Should I roll over and cling to the tail end of sleep and beg it to take me back or can I spring up for a cuppa and read The Age online? Surely the neighbour is getting ready for work; quitely I’m up, door shut and slowly I turn to the clock. Noooo 4:30!! Bollocks! I know why I’m up……I wonder why my neighbour is?

Friday 14 October, 2005

A New Family

Filed under: Uncategorized — claire @ 8:23 pm

We were thrilled to hear of the safe arrival of Harry and Connie’s new little man….baby Costa. Congratulations to all!!! It warms our hearts to think of our dear cousins now cocooned in family life.

What we would give to be able to visit and have a cuddle of baby Costa and a whiff of that gorgeous new born baby smell…..aaaaaaaaaahhh

All our love
Jim and Claire xxxx

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