Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Today is a beautiful mercredi morning.  I just ate my oatmeal and read some Newsweek and decided since I am not bringing my computer with me, I would write an update and explain some fun things that are going to happen.

There is an event called "Le CRIT".  Don't ask me what it stands for because I cannot remember. It is a nation-wide competition of all the political institutes in France.  Many sports are competing and we take our own load of pom-pom girls! Who cheer for all the teams, including the girls.  Pretty stoked about that.  We leave on Thursday night at 6 pm and then have a 14 hour drive to Strasbourg. We are there until Sunday.

Now, I've heard this is half sport competition and half GIANT PARTY.  I mean honestly.  The fee for our way was 110 Euro, but that includes transport, ALL food, lodging AND alcohol.  And yesterday in the informational meeting, someone yelled out "do we get hard stuff too, or are you only buying beer??" and our organizers responded, "yes yes, we have hard alcohol don't worry".  WTF?? I mean this event has so many things that would NEVER be allowed to happen in UT or at the U of U.  I think not even at other schools that don't have a dry campus.  WOW.  The US really needs to catch up with the times in regards to alcohol.  My aussie friends have A UNI BAR.  YES! A UNIversity BAR.  On campus, yes yes yes, you heard me. 

But It is Wednesday and  am leaving tomorrow and believe me we are going to be taking pictures.  We have a party last night for my team (a pre-crit party) and I had to wear soccer socks, a mini-skirt and my soccer shoes. Honestly? Yes.  And no I did not take pictures - quite purposefully. 

So here's to France and their alcoholic university sponsored events.  Santé!

Claire Winter
"Easy Skanking" Bob Marley

Monday, March 22, 2010

my most important skyper

A call home.

I really don't understand people who don't like dogs.*

Today it is raining and I am eating lunch while listening to Cold Mountain (OST).  I went for a run this morning and at the end I stopped and picked some wild flowers. Yes, I like Mondays.

Claire Winter Gorton
Song: Anthem by Gabriel Yared on the Cold Mountain OST

*dogs don't include things that resemble overgrown rats

Friday, March 19, 2010

Wind from the East

Another Tuesday of fabulous eating.

I found Orzo! In the Greek restaurant.  ???

I love her and I think she loved it.

I'm missing something, not quite sure what it is.  Honestly, it might be Grace.  But I think it is something more, maybe even one of those things that I haven't had yet, but I feel the primal longing.  Like a home or shelter.  But I can't put a finger on it.

Romeo and Juliet by Dire Straits

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mixed Reviews

I went to Monaco on Sunday.

It was a gorgeous day with some truly spring sunshine falling all over the place. Located on these fantastic seaside cliffs overlooking the blue, blue sea, Monaco couldn't have been topped by many places for a day trip on a Sunday in March.

We wandered through Monaco.  We went to the océanographie musée.  We had coffee overlooking teh Mediterranean.  We walked in and out of cultured spring gardens.  Overall it was a fabulous day spent with good friends, and it got us out of Aix on a Sunday - which can be increasingly like a boat and give you cabin fever after the Winter months. Good friends, drinks, and sunshine in the Mediterranean is not bad.

 cocktails à Café de Paris

Here are some memories.

Although Monaco was lovely, and I enjoyed myself.  I was drowning in all the flexing and I was choking on the superficial exploits that line Monaco's every metaphorical and literal corner and street side. So much money. What's the point?

But beautiful nonetheless.

The End by The Doors

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How to live the good life on a stipend and a microwave.

Living in France, people are always asking "how is the food?"

The food is good.  There are many things which are just not so easily attainable in the U.S. The bread has a different outlook on being eaten.  The shops that dot teh streets offer delicacies for the eyes an stomach, but it is understood you don't need to charge up the nose for them.  I will surely miss a crêpe stand at every corner. Or the fresh rabbit stew that is made daily in the market and wafts up through the streets to me sitting in University. 

But observing all these things, one realizes you cannot eat a crêpe, or baguette, or even rabbit stew too often.  Variety is teh spice of my life. And luckily I live with some very ambitious and food driven exchange students.  We actually love food more than a lot of things.  We seek quality out on a daily basis.  We drool over the thought of having a proper oven or (dare I dream) a food processor. But alas we live in a building where sometimes the windows are broken and shattered for days on end.  Or your heat just doesn't work.  And it is a guarantee that there are cigarette butts all over your cooking space.

But we could never give up our good food.  We don't give in to raman or pre-made quiches or cassolette. We have heart. If even in the simplest ways. I can give you our recipes, and instructions but they're pretty cuques-specific. But last night we made empanadas. YUM.

Ready for the hot cooking thing that we have to use as an oven

Filling-beef, cumin, potatoes, peas, eggs, lemon, worcht, and sage.


Living in the res, as poor, penniless foreigners. We still eat - it is a source of life for us in more ways than biology. It is our nourishment.

MASTERPIECE COLLECTION (I recently downloaded this mélange of amazing masterpieces and it makes me so very happy.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Avignon - A day trip

Whilst eating dinner on Friday night, my friend told me of our plans to visit Avignon the next day.  I hadn't really any plans, so I agreed.  I mean it IS Avignon, rich with history and beautiful sights (maybe a Russel Crowe or Marion Cotillard?)

We get up the next morning around 6 as we had decided to head into town early and grab some coffee and pastries for a nice toast to the day.  It was a good idea and we were soon on our bus at 8:30 to Avignon.  For those of you who don't know a lot of Catholic history, at one point the Papacy was in Avignon.  I am not sure exactly how many popes passed through there, but it was a respectable amount.

Here is a picture of the Palais du Papes and the square that sits in front of it.  We sat here and marinated in our imaginations, giving life to our fanciful thoughts while being kissed by the strong sun of the South of France. 

After moseying around teh numerous gardens and towers surrounding the palace.  We made our way to a lunch spot that had been recommended.  It's inside was simple, charming and well lit. A perfect spot for a lovely afternoon lunch.  Although we didn't get our menus for about 20+ minutes, the meal turned out to be delectable and a wonderful medium for enjoying our day trip.  Below are pictures of my wares from the meal.

Tarte Provençale

Gateau de Fromage Blanc with a raspberry glaze and sorbet

After Lunch we contentedly walked over to the famous bridge of Avignon from which the famous nursery rhyme was born. It was made around the 11th Century and unfortunately half was washed away in the 1600's.  Shame.  It was 3.50 Euro just to walk on it, and so we declined though Josh was severely disappointed. Below are the lyrics.
Sur le pont d’Avignon
L'on y danse, l'on y danse
Sur le pont d’Avignon
L'on y danse tous en rond
On the bridge of Avignon
We all dance there, we all dance there
On the bridge of Avignon
We all dance there in a ring.

The Bridge from the Palace

The Bridge

The finish the day off we wach had wandered around the streets of Avignon which had completely filled up since we had last been in the main area.  And Avignon is essentially a bigger Aix en Provence.  Literally has everything Aix has, but then more of the same.  Also not as much of the bourgeoisie (charm?)...feel as Aix has.  Although, it does have this MASSIVE wall surrounding the old city.  I wish Aix had that.  It makes the city so easily imagined sitting there 700 years earlier.  Truly an illustration of time.  I think I want to go back to Avignon....maybe to live.

Time for a run!
Song"King of Rodeo" Kings of Leon (hunh, never noticed that)

Friday, March 5, 2010

I didn't know ecstasy could be sent by post.

No emoticon can describe my feelings right now.
This picture maybe explains it a little.

But I think there is only ONE word:

I love you two. 

Happiness is edible.
Claire Winter Gorton
Song "All of Me" Michael Bublé

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I used to love her....

....a while ago....
Peaked out
....but now it is something stronger

sister calire
"why don't we do it in teh road" Dana Fuchs

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Just not enough

I woke up this morning 45 minutes early, and the sun was shining in through my window and it was blue skies.  I smiled, checked the time and closed my eyes feeling content with my remaining cat nap.

I woke up again on time and it was wrong.

I hate mealy apples.

Don't underestimate it.

I want to be here.

Take me.
"Holiday" Vampire Weekend

Monday, March 1, 2010


Rio de Gio
Ricky Bobby
stole my heart
simply - an extension of myself
Cleaning, list making, email writing, tea drinking, and window gazing.  Everything is improved when you have four legs and a wag around. 

Song: "How the heart approaches what it yearns"
Paul Simon