or village or what have you. In our case, I guess you'd have to call it, "Out on the Bastide" which is what Hank and I proceeded to do last night. As fun as it was at the time, I'm not sure that my head thinks that bar hopping on a Saturday night at this age is such a great idea. Caleigh had gone to spend the night at a friends and as Hank and I snacked yet again on fine cheese, fois gras and a crusty baguette (geez, I'm getting so tired of this diet!) and shared a glass of wine, we thought it would be fun to check out some of the local happenings in Eymet (a quaint little village about 10 minutes away). It was Saturday night and we knew of at least 3 bistros/pubs around the square that we had never been to; with one often having live performances. So that's where we started, but rather than live music, we walked into a full room of mostly silent people listening to someone read. The kind proprietor tried to explain that they were in the middle of a "lecture," but that we were welcome to stay if we liked. Hank was all for it, so I somewhat awkwardly agreed, and as much as I found it fascinating to sit in silence listening to someone read from a book I knew nothing about and in a language I could barely understand, I couldn't help but also feel a bit intrusive. Was this basically the local book club night and were we foreign crashers? But, we were soon brought out a glass of red wine and since everyone pretty much ignored us, we just sat and listened to the beautiful language being recited and bid adieu after about 45 minutes when there was a comfortable lull in the readings.
Then, just a few doors down we entered a local haunt with pool tables and one other patron and proceeded to play a game which I quickly lost. Not the most happening place this evening, so we we headed town to the town pub where we knew a lot of Brits often hang out as they have pints of ale and fish and chips on Thursdays. But, for this evening, no Brits and only a few locals and friendly French bartender who we later found out was the boyfriend of an Irish woman who owns the local wine shop (someone we met last year). By this time, I start to realize that ordering my third glass of wine of the evening, was probably not the smartest idea, but it had been a very long week and I think we both just needed to unwind and we ended up talking about all of the things that we had accomplished.
We had begun chipping away at the "crepe" on our blackened, exterior walls and discovered that underneath were beautiful stones. Thanks to speaking with our Notaire earlier in the week, we found out that she had put herself through school by renovating an old farmhouse this way and she explained just how to remove the material and refinish with equal parts of lime, sand and cimet. We had continued clearing out our barns of debris and plan to make quite a few runs to the decheterrie (dump) next week. We also met some new neighbors who sold us a beautiful 1860's claw foot tub. We signed comodats (type of legal contract) so our lands would be maintained for the next year, but not inadvertantly "given" away to a local farmer. We bought a new (used) car that we'll pick up next week and continued working on the process to acquire some type of health care (as soon as you get one form filled out correctly, you realize that you need another signed by your doctor, not to mention, we drove to the necessary office 30 km away just to find that it is closed on Wednesdays which reminds me that I have got to put together a chart of the dates and times that places are open). We found a great place to buy fruit trees for half the cost we have been seeing and visited our first Brico Depot (smaller, more expensive version of Home Depot). We received our first phone bill in shock as 85 euros were tacked on for some special French Telecom "ichat" feature that wasn't part of our plan and it took two days just to find someone who spoke some english to explain the charge and then thankfully offer to waive our next bill. Which brings me to the fear I already have of receiving our electric bill after our first winter reading as all we have are these terribly inefficient electric wall heaters that we have to keep on most of the time to keep us from freezing. In fact, I really need to sit down and read our washer and dryer manuals so I can figure out how to program them to run in the middle of the night (less expensive consumption), not to mention, re-read our mobile phone and fixed phone instructions to try and figure out how to program voicemail in french over the phone. Lots and lots of little challenges every day, but so far, we seem to be figuring it all out slowly and really look forward to beginning a brand new week and hopefully learning some more.