As requested by like one person… Here’s my first blog about moving from Canada as a white girl to Rural as heck Normandy. Hold onto your hats as it’s windy here and always raining.
January. New year, new me. That’s how it goes right? So my new beginning is moving back to Europe from the wonderfully snowy north known as Canada. Of course, I am at the time, looking forward to the desperate lack of snow and cold weather, as a Brit I know the harshness of the UK winter is just under zero. Pretty frightful. But alas the UK was not to be my final stop, just a small hop from the island where I grew up, over to the continent of Europe. To be more specific, La Belle Pays of France.
France in film and TV is romantic. Parisian romance, sandy beaches and blue skies of Marseilles, and the perfect fluffy powder snow of the Alps. Alas, I am not subjected to any of these places, as I happen to now live in the rural arm of La Manche in the “it’s not raining all the time I promise” area of Normandy. I’m yet to be convinced of the rain aspect though due to the fact that since I arrived here on the 25th of January, it has literally precipitated every single day. If you have seen the movie marvel that is Forest Gump, you would be familiar with the scene where our dear Forest talks about the rain in Vietnam, the big fat rain the skinny rain, the never-ending rain… Anyways that is basically Normandy in Winter. And spring, and some of the summer. Oh and like maybe 80% of autumn. To say the least, it’s very moist here.
Anywho, what’s the perfect thing to do on a rainy day? Aesthetically speaking, curling up with a book by the rain-drenched window with a nice hot cup of tea, coffee, or chocolate, surrounded by cats and dogs with a warm crackling fire. That’s something I can do seeing as we have copious amounts of hot drink potential, many animals, and two wood burners to keep the house all roasty toasty. But if I’m not at home I have to venture out and about in the streets of the local towns and find a bar or café to quench my hot drink thirst.
Previously on “le blog” I have written a piece about coffee culture and the continent, and that sentiment still holds strong in my region. Independent cafes and bars litter the streets, the only Starbucks I’ve seen is at Charles de Gaulle airport. The quality of coffee here is remarkable, compared to the hot watery plant drink that is offered elsewhere. However. Coffee should be handled with CARE. Traditionally coffee is a digestif for after a meal. That should be all I need to tell you. If you are not used to the digestif strength coffee, you are in for a treat. (That was most definitely sarcasm). Be sure you know where the public toilets are, as you may have a wee brown-hued accident. (I pray to the deities this will not happen to me, a near miss is enough to thank you but that is another story that involves cheese).
Long gone are my days of frivolous flavored lattes and expensive low-fat vanilla almond milk, hold the foam, lattes with an extra shot of espresso. Instead, a simple coffee with a singular cube of sugar tickles my fancy, with special occasions calling for a cafe liegois. But that’s only the really special occasions. So Saturdays in Granville. Coffee at home is also a grand affair here, cafetières or french presses as they are known in the North Americas, are a common kitchen feature, as well as various coffee makers. Over the years I have become familiar with many different styles of coffee making, such as drip coffee, machine coffee, instant, you name it, but nothing for me beats a fresh cafetière in the morning.