Learning a new language…and I think it is Noël time!

And no I am not referring to French but rather ‘build-speak’.  I have a French-English dictionary of building terms, which is very helpful- but it seems more and more when I look up a word I don’t even know the English meaning.

So things like “plaque de plâtre ignifugée” (fireproofed plasterboard)  and “pieux battus en fonte ductile” (driven piles in ductile iron) are becoming part of my new vocabulary.

Each day I have to get my head around a new set of terms…masonry, plumbing, electrical, gardening, and swimming pool engineering (don’t ask…it is sliding down the hill apparently and requires big heavy machinery to shore up the foundations to keep it in place – it will be absolutely lovely when it is finished, and practically brand new).

For all of this renovation fun – a very very important word I need to focus on is ‘patience’. This is clearly what is required when doing renovations in any country, but I think even more so here in rural France. As I have noted before, things here move at a very different pace than in London.  Which, I keep reminding myself, is why we moved here…  There has been a lot of talking, quotes for work, coffees, visiting places, meeting the ‘artisans’, touring the local window manufacturing studio (which was really interesting!) and stone yard. What there hasn’t been a lot of is actual work.

In the meantime, Christmas is coming, so time to get out the baubles!  …and a few key Noël words:

  • Sapin – Christmas Tree
  • Sucres d’orge – Candy Cane
  • Bonnhomme pain d’épice – Gingerbread Man
  • Santon – Christmas crib/nativity figure (from Provence)
  • Réveillon – the big Christmas meal- eaten on Christmas eve.  Hmmm, we may have to have two big meals then 😉

And I am looking forward to getting stocked up for the serious indulgence in France that is Christmas (seems like a lot of fizz, lobster, oysters and foie gras are being sold right now)….and looking forward to adding a few ‘new’ traditions to my current mix of American, English and German.  So bring on the Christmas stockings, Christmas carols, advent calendars, tinsel and Glühwein!

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