samedi 31 décembre 2011
Another 30 minutes left of 2011, a year I'll be glad to see the last of.
For some reason, even years always seem better for me than odd years.

We didn't do anything exciting for Christmas this year. I didn't take any time off, as I want to save my vacation days for further exam studying and perhaps a trip to the US this summer.

Christmas day we spent at my in-laws. Alain's parents, grandparents, aunt, and cousin were there. Alain's sister Lucie, her husband Nicolas and their two daughters were not though, as Anna the youngest had chicken pox and Alain's grandparents had not had it.

Tomorrow we are going to his aunt's house, as Alain's mother and aunt trade off Christmas meal/ New Year's meal every year. I suppose at some point Lucie and I will have to take over. I hope everyone likes spagetti and tuna.

Happy 2012!
samedi 3 décembre 2011
Been rather absent from the blogging scene lately.

I joined a gym for the month of November. It is a great location, right between where I park my car and work. I was going a few times a week before work, since they open at 8. They had an okay number of equipment and machines. Didn't enjoy the lukewarm showers that last a minute before you have to hit the button for the water to come back on again. Also, they wouldn't let me leave my gym stuff in the lockers. I don't want to be carrying a big bulky gym back to and from work every day! I secretely would leave my stuff in a locker from Monday morning to Friday afternoon, figuring who is really going to paw through sweaty gym clothes. However, last time when I went to pick up my bag to bring it home to wash my stuff over the weekend, it was gone. I looked in the other lockers, thinking someone had moved it to annoy me. Nothing. Went down to the front desk and asked. Yep, they had confiscated it. The guy gave me back my bag, reminding me that it was not allowed to leave stuff in between sessions. Ah well. What's worse, is that the place is falling apart. Another company is buying the gym, then they are going to close for a few months and renovate. I'll check it out again when it re-opens.

I have figured out that the best way to keep our apartment clean is to invite people over every two weeks. Then we have no choice and have to clean.

Last weekend, we invited an old colleague of mine from my former job and his wife and daughter (they are from argentina), and Alain's colleague and his girlfriend from Italy. Quite an international group. We all spoke French. I made the poppy seed covered salmon recipe, and they all seemed to like it. They left around midnight, then we spent Sunday morning doing dishes and straightening up.

Sunday afternoon we went downtown Marseille to the Christmas market. The Foire aux Santons was going on, so we went and bought another to add to our collection. We buy one each year. So far, we have baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the three wise men, a donkey, and the newest addition, a camel. Yay!

It is now officially winter. To me, the first sign of winter is when the roasted chestnut sellers appear. The first sign of summer is when I notice the cicadas for the first time. The first sign of autumn is when we put a blanket on our bed. And the first sign of spring is when I put away my scarves and gloves.

What are your personal seasonal signs?

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