Thursday, November 26, 2009

Mama said, you can't hurry conversion, no you just have to...

Lost in Conversion

My room, as you may or may not know is quite European. It has a nice window without a screen (European) and a beautiful view of a provençal town (European/French) with walls made of stone (European) and is the size of a sardine can (albeit clean but EUROPEAN). Well, in order to make it a little more homey and since all my friends and family failed me (I received ZERO pictures) I decided to print off pictures to put up on my wall and add some flare (at least fifteen pieces).

So I pick them and cannot wait to have them up on my wall. I go to fnac to print them off one day before class. Slightly in a hurry, and go through the motions. I pick the smallest size that is a 6x8 because they don’t need to be big and at home the smallest is always big enough.

I return two days later to pick them up. Josh is with me, I pay and go out side and open the package…..


Yeah, so 6x8. 6cm by 8cm. Equals A LOT smaller than I pictured n my mind. They are teeeeeeny. About the sixe of a wallet photo. Now because I ordered about 35 o them it isn’t a big deal. I can plaster them all over without my wall looking like my camera puked all over it. Concise, right? Neat, right?

Yeah, we’ll stick with that. Josh said that my face when I open my package will forever be engrained in his mind. I’m guessing t was funny and not because I was light up with joy or ecstasy.

So here is my wall of pictures.

And here is one with some scale. Mmmmm, scale...

Ohhhhh the metric system. Don’t ever be in a hurry when converting.


Song: "Take me Home" Phil Collins

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bright Eyes and Foncée hit Europe

Hello, quite sorry. Well More just feel like I have to say that, because I've been having the time of my life with my sister over here in France. Except for that one moment where we bickered over what to wear to Monaco. But without some bickering we wouldn't be Grace and Claire. And to give us some credit we were headed to a different country with 4 minutes to spare and a couple of wine glasses in...

So I've been MIA. With my Bucky Dun Gun just Comin' Around. Ish. I've spent the last week (glowing as Caitlin put it) happy as a clam with my sister at my side. We went hiking, we played (DOMINATED) soccer, went to a french wine party at my school, marché-ed, got grace sufficiently high on coffee, late-night-kebab-ed-it, got Grace hit on my some HOT boys (then some that weren't so hot and got stood up for by some chivalrous french men) and all in all a wonderful week in Aix.

NEXT? A weekend in Nice with the one and only Lord Maximilian, el toro himself. :) We took the train to Nice on 3 hours of sleep and I dozed from the gentle swaying of the train and turned my dreams to turqoise blue water. I woke up gazing through my reflection in the window out to the Mediterranean Sea, crashing and pulsing.

Headed down to Old Nice or Veuille Nice as the french fly. We wandered through the streets there, lost in time and each other's company. The thing about being with Grace is this underlying yet overwhelming sense of timelessness. She has always been in my life, and always will. One moment I feel 8 again with my older sister telling me what to do and all the things we're going to do and I'm giddy like an 8 year old. Then I feel 37 where I can see us walking arm in arm in some other magnificent city discussing those crazy years in Utah. Then I'm 16 arguing with her because she is trying to do what is best for me and all I do is pick fights. If you read Harry Potter, sometimes I feel like my head got stuck in one of those time balls like teh death eater in the Department of Mysteries. If you don't read Harry potter, I am probably not friends with you and you don't get any of this anyway ( :D).

I was so utterly happy, just exploring cool leather shops, neat pottery places, tunisien patries, and of course some french bread. Then we headed back to the hotel to meet up with Max!! I felt like the luckiest girl alive. I was in Nice with Grace and Max! I knew a good weekend was on it's way.

To go through all the sights, conversations, laughs, smells, bathroom searching, 100-euro-winning moments would take longer than the weekend we actually spent together. We walked and drank and sat on teh beach watching NUMEROUS swimmers (Cold??) just sort of frog (no pun intended) around in the water. It was a blast from the past, yet so full of promise. Max and I were discussing our next weekend away, and helping Grace plan her trip here in the Spring. It was one of those short moments that you know are just a bead threaded on a long line of string that stretches across the years. Many more to come, each one trumping the last. As I said goodbye to my sister for 5 months and Max for shorter I still couldn't help but smiling. The smile lasted all the way back to the beach where I sat again for the last time this trip, soaking up the sun and waiting for my train. These feelings, moments, sights, stories, THESE are what we live for. Not the ones that are so obviously good. Walking along the beach int eh French Riviera with your sister and favorite Austrian, no. The moments I live for are when those people have left, you're leaving and you technically should be sad. But you can't be. You cannot be sad because you are so full of love and happiness and optimism. Beating the odds, overcoming the situation, that's when you know happiness has permeated your life.

Claire Winter Foncée Gorton
Song: "Electric Avenue" Eddy Grant
Pictures are just a few, don't have all of them yet. Enjoy!Family Dinner for Grace!
L'unic meet Grace, Grace, l'Unic.
:DMount Saint Victoire ain't got nothing us.

Friday, November 13, 2009

La Ciotat

Yesterday went to la Ciotat. Which, is a smaller french city just East of Cassis. We wandered. We ate. We drank coffee. We ate some more (it is a common activity). See the Moules below. Mmmmmm.

We sang Ariel by the sea, Avery style. It was a lovely meandering day. Just to the whims and fancies of Team Awesome (as roby call us). The drive there was spectacular. A day well spent. And well fed, as Joshi woke up earl(ier than he had to)y to buy us croissants and make us a tartine.

Above is the oldest cinéma in the world. First movie ever shown/made. It was 50 seconds long. But how cool is that? Below is the poster for the first movie ever shown.


Many.Enjoy.I did.
Claire Winter Gorton
Song: "So Long,Lonesome" By Explosions in the Sky

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Every morning I wake up and I immediately look out my window (well, it isn't really a task, seeing as my bed faces the window and then there really isn't anything else to look at in my room, or anywhere to look in shortage) and I see THIS...

And then I immediately ALWAYS want to listen to these songs... It is seriously unavoidable.


Bonjour to you all! I've got a beautiful feeling about this life of mine.
Yeah...^ those ones.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Yeah. I know. Again. But this time I scored immediately after (A goal, Jess) so we'll call it square.

So tonight I played better ( was playing with the guys), I felt I was in except I realize that playing with the girls at the other level really does hurt me sometimes. My first touch can get sloppy because there is no need for haste when playing with them. But with the guys, it is back to normal where the first touch needs to be in the direction of the next play. I will just have to push harder when playing with the girls.

Hmmmm, although I played better, one of the more embarressing moments of my life happened. The ball went over the fence, and there was a spot to crawl under that was pulled up quite high. Well, I slide under no problem, grab the ball toss it over. Go to slide under again, get under and



My hair.

My f-ing hair is caught on the fence. It was simply nothing less than absolutely mortifying. Three guys immediately rush over to help me, I don't know which ones they are as I am stuck on my hands and knees, attached to teh fence, though I believe one was Irish because a "bloody hell" was thrown around (in English, obviously) but one of the French guys said, this is just like prison break. I really could have died. They struggled with my hair for about 1 minute (which was ETERNITY) until I said, yeah, screw this and just ripped it off, I think I left a few behind.....

As I entered the pitch again I said "ça, c'est le différence entre le foot aux garçons et aux filles, non? C'est les cheveux" (this is the difference between guys and girls soccer then eh? It's hair" Agreement was all around. I don't get embarressed very easily, but this is up there in those "crawl under a rock" (NOT a fence) moments. Though, I got back to playing and soon forgot about it. Although, as I was crawling into bed last night, I cringed at the memory...

And later, while scrimmaging, I went for challenge against the 6'6'' tall man who has a solid body...I did not fall over and I think even won the ball, but man I felt like I was playing hockey. One guy, who doesn't really speak to me all that much (or even that much in general) said "Bon joue Claire, bon joue!" I was quite surprised and but knew I would be bruising soon...aaaaaaaandI'm sorrrrrrrre. Pretty much all over, as I have also pulled my left quad. Hmmm. Futsal tourney Thursday night...wish me luck!
Song: "Love you madly" Cake

Sunday, November 1, 2009

It's good to be sore

Yesterday, I went to the olive grove/farm of Roxanne and Nico Derni. They produce olive oil, in addition to small amounts of tapenade and figue vinaigre, but they are mostly olive oil people. They lived in Wisconsin for most of their adult career lives, and decided to retire to a quiet, french town of Salon de Provence to bottle their own olive oil. Yesterday, I saw the magic happen.

I went to the grove with a few dear friends to explore this opportunity that had been presented to me. Steven, The owner of Liberty Heights Fresh (where my lovely sister works) had hooked me up with Roxanne when he discovered that I was to live in Aix. He was actually traveling with his dad, and we got to spend the day together on the grove. We arrive and Rox tells us that two will go into the grove to help Nico and one will join her to make lunch. She chooses me to make lunch so we can chat and catch up a little, and we create a wonderful lunch of amazing french rolls, butter and saucisson, jambon cru, et jambon. Then some clémentins de corsica and for the after bit a big thermos of coffee. yum yum yummmm.
We go out into the fields and eat lunch with my friends and all those working and then I get to work with everyone as well. First we group teh olives that have been shaken off the tree by Nico, and then sort out the big stems and leaves. Then Steven goes along with the blower and sucks out all the smaller leaves. We then follow and case the olives by putting them in crates for Nico to take away on the tractor. next we pick up teh nets and carry the crates to the tractor. Mind you this is a grove of nearly 1400 trees, so this doesn't take 4-50 minutes. We were out there from 11:30 to about 6. But it was so good for the body, mind and soul, I wouldn't have rather done anything else on my Saturday.This property where they live, is literally idyllic. You look out upon the rolling hills of Southern France, over the rows of olive trees, to the rows of almond trees, then to the ancient roman walls built into the hillside. I will never forget that day as long as I live. In addition to the activities, as well as the setting, my comrades left nothing to be desired. Steven was interjecting quips about olives and food and places to go and intermittently asking us questions about Aix, to then proceed to inform us about favorite drinking games. Nico was full of smiles and laughs as he had free labor and happy ones at that, though he did want to kick the Australian out....for obvious reasons.... (BOGES). Though, Caitlin and I were adding real flavour to the situation with our heart (or maybe gut) wrenching renditions of Christmas carols and Disney favourites. Robyn, as always, was just the perfect company for this occasion as she lends her knowledge of agriculture and wit to our new profession of olive harvesters. Yes, we're currently looking for property to buy.We also were fortunate enough to snag a taste of the raw olives...

We ended our fantastic day with some olive oil, tapenade, and cured olive tasting that was one of the most enjoyable situations I have thus experienced in France. I learned so much, and enjoyed myself to the fullest extent. And then! Only more festivities to come as the bât 4 crew hit the town as the cast of Peter Pan....Halloween 2009: Too good to be true.

Claire Winter Gorton
Song: "Upon encountering the crippled elephant" by Clap your hands say Yeah
(not the right song...but it is not on youtube...the right band though)