So after back and forthing a bit between France and the UK (and being detained AGAIN in an airport.  Ask me about these.  They’re becoming a disturbing habit.) I’m all fixed up in rural Normandy.  For those of you who don’t know, this is the WWOOFing segment of my trip where I trade physical labor for room and board.  I am staying with a potter named Franz whose creativity focuses on Renaissance ceramics.  He has a massive, beautiful garden, a thing for only white flowers, and a very large farm house, of which about half is inhabitable.  Franz speaks lovely, clear French, gesticulates like a true Romance language speaker, is way too in touch with his emotions, and instead of eyebrows, he has a litle tuft of red-gold hair that juts out between his eyes.  I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s the personification of a baby unicorn.

He’s very sweet.

The place is amazing though.  It’s such a bizarre mix of beauty and ruin.   For example, the stones and red brick that pave the kitchen are broken in places, with the dirt coming through, but every piece of furniture within is a lovingly tended antique.  There is no working toilet, but the room with the shower in it is filled with alabaster statues and vases.  My room looks out into both gardens, has crumbing and faded robin’s egg blue walls, a little white table, and an upright piano that does not play but has incredibly intricate woodwork.  It’s fascinating.

I have to go pick blackcurrants now. 

Also: I have a French cellphone now, courtesy of my fantastic Uncle Marc, so if you want to call me (and you should want to call me, cause I miss all ten people that read this blog) email me.  I’ve retained enough sensibility not to post phone numbers on the internet.