Monday, January 12, 2009

January gloom

January 12th 2009

In the last three months, life here has become 35% more expensive purely because the pound is so much weaker than the euro at the moment. A weekly shop for a family of four at the supermarket is 200 euros, suddenly that is £200 rather than £170. I'm just looking through my bill...a large bottle of Ariel, 13 euros, dishwasher liquid, 6.50, a tin of coconut milk, 4 euros, and 350g of lean mince meat (so the girls can make lasagne) 5.55. That is over a fiver for a packet of mince! Even wine, which used to be so much cheaper than the UK, is now 5-7 euros a bottle for something drinkable, while the really nice Chablis and Sancerres are the same price as in the UK. I'm trying to think if there is anything here that is cheaper.....nope, don't think so.
Usually I food shop with gay abandon, because no matter how gloomy the economy, good food (and wine) is what keeps you going when all else is dire misery. I'd rather not eat out for six months than penny pinch on my groceries but I have decided to be a bit less cavalier for a while. It took me twice as long to do the shop while I searched out the best buys and I still racked up 217 euros (including a cheeky bottle of reduced 11 euro Champagne, which I couldn't resist.) It's just like dieting - as soon as you say that word, you are doomed to fantasising about all the chocolate, curries and cakes you can't have and bingo, it's all over.
Bless my little garden, there are tons of ripe oranges waiting to be picked, so at least the OJ bill will be smaller. Issy and I squeezed 48 and made four glasses of fantastic, pulp-free free orange juice.
Went for my first club run on Saturday morning since November. I was dreading it as I have lost so much fitness since being off with a chest infection but it's mid January, the London Marathon is three mere months away and if I want to do it in under four and a half hours (which I do) then I have to get cracking. Antoine met me at the top of my hill, I was already puffing before I reached him, and we took off to the next village before looping back. That's 8 kilometres in total, which used to be a walk in the park for me. Twice I had to walk, I hated that, and Antoine kept shouting back at me, ca va Karen?
I said oui, mais je sens terrible, je sens comme je vais mourir (I feel terrible, I feel like I'm going to die). By the last kilometre, as we approached the village, bathed in early morning sunshine with snow-capped peaks in the distance, I felt amazing and told Antoine, maintenant, je sens fabuleuse. Then I realised that the verb I was using sentir, means to smell (obviously, at the end of 8k, that last sentence was completely untrue.)