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_VALEO_
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“In my green days”

Sunday, May 23, 2010

After being back from Paris, it made me realize that I could never be able to live in this city anymore (how did I manage to live there? it puzzles me!) or any big city. Like any city, it is too noisy, too crowded, everything goes too fast even when the traffic is slow, and there is not enough space and nature.
Talking about going fast, I have really lost my “Parisian” way of driving or walking, and got some “toots” as I was no longer moving at the right pace. It was great to see my friends and former colleagues, though.


Our garden is still an on-going project. The garden has been a waste land for more than 15 years. We should have taken some before photos, just to see how much we’ve done so far. I planted the strawberries and the raspberries. We've already had 2 strawberries (yes, T-W-O!), we were very excited and ate them right away; to be honest, they could have used more sun.

I am reading books about gardening and how to perfectly match plants. I’ve been drawing some plans under Excel to see where I can plant, I now know that my cabbages have to be far from the strawberries which don’t like them, that carrots love leeks. I’m about to be a Plant Matchmaker!


On a different green note, I joined our local golf a few weeks ago, and DH has teased me about it till I mentioned that with my membership I have a free access to the tennis court where he can come freely as my guest. He has never played golf, but he thinks that golf is for snobs. I used to play golf when I was at uni, needless to say that my swing is no longer up to par (not sure it has ever been good!), and I’m currently taking a few group lessons.
We had to practice sports at Uni, it counts for 1 credit, the fees for any sports were something like 2€, and we could pick more than 1 sport if we wanted, (the current annual fees of university is about 300€, health insurrance included); so I took yoga, archery and golf—I was the only one coming from the Humanities department, all the other students were in the medicine department, it seems like golf was mandatory to be a doctor! :D
So we went golfing for 2€ a year in the most expensive golfs around Paris, but noisy and very flat.

The golf here is not flat at all; we’re in the mountains, so the change in altitude is important, but the environment is fabulous, we’re surrounded by a beautiful landscape and absolutely no noise at all. The atmosphere is also very different, it is a friendly atmosphere, not posh at all; and the fees are way less expensive than the golfs around big cities—that being said, we can’t go golfing all year round with our harsh winter.



They have some kind of surprise guest who invites himself from time to time: a wild board. Apparently this season it is always the same loner who pays the golfers a visit. I’d better be ready to race with my caddy to the club house, and DH who dares to say that golf is not a “real” sport.

Talking about caddy, I received my golf equipment and we had to assemble the cart. It seems too huge, and I thought I won’t have the use of it; after all, I am capable of carrying my own equipment on my back… That was before I did the 18 holes yesterday!

What a walk!



What a climb!





There is something on this cart which really puzzled DH and I when we assembled it. On its handle there is a hole with a basket: DH and I had no idea what it was for. Obviously not for the balls, the basket is too loose. Suddenly, it made sense to me when I read on the instructions “designed in the US”: the hole is a can-holder!! Or whatever you call it. It is going to be totally useless as I don’t drink sodas, and my bottle of water, due to its size, doesn’t fit in.



It reminds me the first time I went to the US and rent a car with a friend.
We were totally puzzled about this beverage-holder-thing, it took us some time before figuring out what those two holes were for; we had to see, in another car parked, a MacDonald beverage sitting in this hole to understand its use.

We already had hard time with the automatic car; our car was not driving smoothly to the exit of the car rental parking lot, but was madly hopping as if it had some kind of crazy hiccuts.
We could have asked how to drive an automatic car, but too proud and fearing that they might not rent us the car, we simply didn’t. In that case, you can easily understand that we definitely couldn’t ask for those 2 holes, the last thing we wanted was to look like two bumpkins, even if the way we were trying to drive might have given us anyway.

My father recently bought a German car, and I saw this feature in his car:

ME:“Oh, they now have that in European cars.”

HIM: “I haven't a clue of what THAT thing is.”

ME: “It’s for your beverage. You can put your beverage here.”

HIM, with his irrefutable logic: “But we aren’t allowed to eat and drink while driving. Besides, I can’t put my cup of coffee here, and if I’m thirsty I stop at the service station.” (looking at me, as if I was telling him the craziest thing on earth. To his defense, we don’t drink coffee in mugs but in tiny cups, expresso-size. We have service stations about every 30 km on our highways and there are clear road signs informing us in advance about the distance to the next stations and the prices of gasoline.)

So today, I took my cart with me, and one of my partners, who is also new to golf, was staring at my cart. I knew he was itching to ask THE question, and he did ask me eventually what the hole was for?

He gave me the same look as my father, and I’m not even sure he believed me as he pointed out to me that our bottles of water cannot fit in. Yes, my dear, you’re right but it is not meant for our regular 1 liter plastic bottles of water but for sodas… Geez, aren’t those bumpkins annoying? :D

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • v MEDDYPEDDY
    About those mug holders... I would really love one for my car but my cars are too old and too erupean to have them. I envy your surroundings!
    2221 days ago
  • v VICD25
    Mikiio! Your course looks BEAUTIFUL, and challenging. Those sloping fairways. You must need to be very accurate!

    The course I play most often is about 15min away, 27 holes. Not very difficult, not many hills. Good for the ego! In addition there are 3-4 other public courses that (as a senior) we play for $17 per 18 holes.

    Love your carry cart. Fancy-schmancy as we would say! I actually bought my DH an attachable drink holder. I use a clip on my water bottle.

    Hope your summer is allowing you some good days to golf. Mine's been AWESOME!
    emoticon
    2247 days ago
  • v LOLAGEEK
    What a fun update. I wish you had taken pics to document the amazing garden transformation. The story of the drink cup holder is hilarious. In the U. S. we are able to have obscene amounts of liquids in our cars. We have a newer Honda fit and the drink holders are not big but we have an obscene number of them around the interior.

    Enjoy the spring!
    2276 days ago
  • v WILLBOYWONDER
    Fabulous. I loved the pics. Thank you so much for sharing. Nature is the best thing for stress or a bad mood or just the general feeling of the blahs. It's so beautiful and serene.
    2279 days ago
  • v DDOORN
    Thx for sharing the beautiful pics!

    We started up a garden for the first time last year. It was a bust: the tomato blight wiped us out and not much esalse grew either. This year we've just packed too much "stuff" into our itinerary, biking trips, visits with son and other family...just not going to be able to do much of anything with our garden. VERY sad over that, but...pleased to be doing the OTHER THINGS...!

    Don
    2279 days ago
  • v SHEENADEE
    As always, I thorough enjoyed reading your blog. You are a great story teller & the pics are great. I laughed out loud about the cup holder. I did not realize that this was mostly a US kind of thing. Too funny. Although I must say that I think may of our golfers will put beer in the holder instead of soda. hehehe


    2282 days ago
  • v ROYALETBONE
    Matchmaker- I like that allusion. Nice. My Grandfather & Daddy were organic gardeners, and knew how to balance the plants... I wish I remembered all the things they knew. My Daddy & I had a HUGE garden- enough that we never bought vegetables, with 12 people fed from it. Now- I'm a container girl for a while. This too shall pass.
    I've always enjoyed golf. Love the walking, the birds, the greens- and watching my ball soar. Your course looks marvelous.

    2286 days ago
  • v BIGGIRL2082010
    Hahaha, Valerie, that's PRICELESS! I hadn't thought about how odd it must seem to a non-soda-guzzling nation to have those "holes" in everything. Now that I think about it, DUH! I think, though, this is one of those "conveniences" that makes it SO easy to be obese in North America - after all, why walk to the store or restaurant and actually take a few minutes out of your BUSY day? Just so you can eat or drink and maybe have a quick conversation or a tiny, short walk?

    Sigh.

    Never mind. I'll get off the soapbox now.

    Love the PINK! :)

    Cheers,
    Maya

    2286 days ago
  • v JERSEYGIRL24
    As always I love your humor, and I love your pictures as well. I am not a golfer, but I know that people love it, and I certainly can appreciate the course for its beauty. When I visited my folks in Palm Desert last year I loved walking on the golf course early in the morning. That said, I would never pick up a club.

    I agree with you about city life. I am a true suburbanite. I was born in New York, and my grandparents were the consummate New Yorkers. They never owned a home even though they could have afforded to buy one because my grandfather would never have moved out of the city. He was really hung up about not wanting to be a slave to a train schedule. The only reason we moved to New Jersey was because my father always lived in a house and wanted to buy one. When I was growing up I always aspired to move to New York, and I think my mother even wanted to move back after we were grown. But of course it never happened. And at this point, I would rather live in the country if I had to give up suburbia. I think New York and Paris are very similar. There is an excitement in New York that you certainly don't get outside of it, but it is hard to be surrounded by it 24/7.

    I love your cup holder story. Nowadays the cup holders are a big selling point in cars. If I had a baby at this point, I'd probably love a cup holder in the stroller. But for some reason it makes me think of the time we stayed in a hotel and brought our dog. We woke up to find him staring at himself in the mirror, and I think he couldn't figure out who that handsome guy was on the other end. I also thought of the episode in Third Rock from the Sun (a show about aliens who come to earth even though they look like humans) when they discovered a mini bar in a hotel room and made a comment that some very small people must have stayed there!
    2286 days ago
  • v EMBBEAR
    Congrats on the garden! If ever you have a gardening question about matchmaking you could email my mother, here is her blog spot: www.risashome.blogspot.com/

    I loved the pictures! You're cup holder story was so funny I had to tell my boyfriend Alex who golfs. My car cup holder's don't seem to fit my giant size coffee mug so even though I have them I have to put my coffee between my legs while I drive. Hey whatever works, and at least you'll never catch me eating in my car.
    2287 days ago
  • v ZELLAZM
    Funny!

    What a beautiful course! I've never played golf, but have often admired the courses as nice nature preserves. I'm sure you'll enjoy your membership.

    Blessings
    Mic
    helle
    2287 days ago
  • v DARINGR8LY
    I have always wanted to play golf. I have been absolutely terrible even at minature golf. Playing it on Wii is no different. I'm glad you are able to enjoy learning how to excel in it. Maybe there's hope for me andd others. :)

    Loved the story about the two holes in the car. I feel lost without mine. In of my cars I remember when I had only one. I thought it was so terrible. Safety never entered my mind as to why there was only one.
    2287 days ago
  • v RAYLINSTEPHENS
    Too funny about the cup holders!

    Great pictures, thank you for sharing!!

    I can't ever live in the city anymore - I guess I should say I prefer not to ever again.

    Enjoy your strawberries and raspberries (pick morning & night or the birds will get them) and the rest of your garden!

    Love,
    Linda
    2287 days ago
  • v 100LBLIGHTER
    My Car...which is nine years old has a cup holder that adjusts like a spring....anyway my water bottles fit fine but because they are tall...they fall over....or flip out on the floor boards of the car when going around turns. I am not sure it is legal to eat and drive here but I am sure people do it all the time. I am sure fast food drive through...has something to do with having cup holders. DH has a Coffee mug with a leak proof top that he uses when taking long trips and it fits also.

    I love your country views. Nature is so beautiful...and I love the hills and mountains.

    Enjoy your sport of golf....and I am sure your swing will improve with practice. Blessings to my far away friend. Grace
    2288 days ago
  • v MISS_VIV
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    Love the pictures of the land. What a great place to sit and watch golfers chase that little ball. So glad you enjoy it. I'll sit under the tree with my drink and watch.
    2288 days ago
  • v SCRAPHAPPY94
    Your photos are amazing. I'm coming to visit haha. You do live in a beautiful place.

    I've only lived in the US and in Canada (but in Canada only for the first 6 months of my life so I don't remember it) and I've travelled to Mexico many times (we have family friends there). I have a strong desire to travel and will one day. One of my favorite things is learning how other countries are different from my own. I just assumed every car had a cup holder. I think they need to change the size of their holders - I too don't drink soda and so my water bottle is always on the seat next to me. :)
    2288 days ago
  • v TIME_FLIES
    That is a beautiful golf course. Thankd for the pictures.
    2288 days ago
  • v LOPEYP
    Wow, what a beautiful golf course. Most of our courses are pretty flat with some rolling hills. You must have gotten a great workout!
    That's funny about the cup holder. Yes, we have them in every thing. emoticon
    2288 days ago
  • v CSDAYS
    Nice pictures!
    2288 days ago
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