French for Brunch

Simply Paris signbrunch m (petit déjeuner tardif et copieux remplaçant le déjeuner).

Today I had brunch with a group of women.  I knew one of the four women but the other three were strangers to me.

These women meet on a regular basis for brunch and French conversation and I was invited to join them today.  Hopefully, they liked me enough to allow me to become part of this group.

Bread

Selection of bread at Simply Paris

My French conversational skills are quite limited, but so then were three of the others.  The fourth woman was the coach/teacher.  This woman was born and raised in Skopje, Macedonia and after deciding that Economics was not for her, she changed to Languages and in particular French for her degree.

She arrived here in the mid 1990s with her two small children and husband, speaking no English.  How hard life must have been for her then.  A new culture, no friends, no way of communicating and two little children.  But  she is a survivor and although I have only met her just once, this is very obvious.

She decided to share her love of the  language with others and runs a series of informal classes teaching others to communicate in French.

As we were leaving and standing at the counter to pay, a complete  stranger came up to me and said “I think you look great”.  What a lovely and totally unexpected compliment.  It rounded off a very pleasant couple of hours.

Do you ever think of paying a stranger a compliment?  I have been known to on occasions but with the effect that this woman’s words had on me, I know that I shall be paying compliments to strangers again.

Then it was time for Lotte and me to go for our walk.  As it was such a lovely day we ventured out to the south coast – 10 minutes in the car.

Inter Islander

Inter Island Ferry

We saw the InterIslander going out from Wellington harbour.  On such a beautiful clear, sunny afternoon  there would have been fantastic views and opportunities for photographs from the upper deck of the ferry.

Rugged coast

This is very rugged coastline and quite dangerous to shipping. This is where one  of New Zealand’s most talked about maritime disasters occurred.  In April 1968 Cyclone Giselle hit Wellington at the same time as another storm which had driven up the West Coast of the South Island from Antarctica. The two storms met over the capital city, creating a single storm just as the inter-island ferry Wahine was crossing Cook Strait.  51 people lost their lives in the sinking.  Click here for TV coverage of the disaster.  It is interesting to hear the coverage and the frightfully BBC type reporting and voice.

Warning sign

We just love signs in New Zealand and this one caught my eye.  Apparently the Moa Point Wastewater Treatment Plant occasionally discharges a mixture of fully and partially treated sewage through its ocean outfall pipe into Cook Strait.  Hence the warning.

Houses

These houses clinging to the shore and the hillside are only about 10 kms from our bustling Capital city.  Wonderful on a day like today but I imagine quite frightening in one of the many strong southerly winds that hit this coast.

Manhole cover

On September 1st (before my gmail problems) Hallysann at Photographic Memories posted some photos of covers and so I thought I would add one of ours.  It’s nowhere near as attractive as those that Hallysann found wandering around Oxford but it’s the best I can do for today.

Lotte tired

By the time we had walked for about 30 minutes and Lotte had done some socialising with other dogs she met on the walk, she was ready to return home.  She is now ensconced in front of the fire – her usual place.

And just because I like this quote I shall finish with it today

I’m an excellent housekeeper. Every time I get a divorce, I keep the house.
~ Zsa Zsa Gabor

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23 responses to “French for Brunch

  1. Never appreciate “partially” treated sewage. It’s like partially treated cancer. Still contaminates everything.

  2. I’ve paid many people compliments. Either on shoes, or their hair or outfit. It makes their day as well as mine.

    Great pictures! What a beautiful area! I could sit for hours by the sea!

  3. Lovely pictures…love the houses nestling on the shorefront.

    • Wellington harbour is like San Francisco. We have houses perched on the hillsides looking from a distance, as if a good puff of wind will dislodge them. 🙂

  4. Cafe au lait et petit panne avec le beurre. C’est bon!

    I often compliment strangers ~ great smile, thanks for the laugh, love that skirt, etc.

  5. I, too, compliment strangers. I’ve always chuckled at that quote by Zsa Zsa. What an interesting group you’ve found, I hope you are invited back. NZ is so pretty! I love the photos you share. The houses on the shore are so tempting, but I’ve decided I don’t want to live any closer to the water. Lotte looks quite cozy on her rug by the fire.

  6. Looks like you had a beautiful day in Wellington–send it up north!

  7. I compliment strangers occasionally by telling them I love their outfit or shoes, etc. and I always love when someone does the same to me. It tends to put you in a good mood for the rest of the day! 🙂
    Beautiful area where you walked today, although I can only imagine what it MUST be like when it storms. Lotte looks so adorable once again and I love that Zsa Zsa Gabor quote, too funny! 🙂

    • As I said to Nancy – it makes our day as well when we give somebody a compliment. Nex time we have a southerly storm here I shall go round to the same place and take some photos. Then we shall be able to compare them.
      And I love Zsa Zsa and her crazy sayings. Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  8. Funny quote. She had enough practice to become an excellent housekeeper!

    The French lunch sounds like fun. I’m glad you were invited to go 🙂

  9. jacquelincangro

    That’s a beautiful view of the harbor!

    I hope you get invited back to the French conversation group. I’d once joined an Italian conversation group but the others were much more fluent than I, so I had trouble keeping up. Did you have any difficulty?

    I love the photo of Lotte on the carpet. It’s almost the the same outline as she is. 🙂

  10. I hadn’t realised the shape of the rug and shape of Lotte. That’s good.
    I hope I get invited back too. I can understand what is being said buy my contribution to the conversation was minimal. 🙂

  11. Hiya, we’ve got a couple of round man-hole covers too, round ones are good. (Ta for the mention). 🙂
    Surprised compliments are nice aren’t they. I find teenagers are most surprised when you pass one on.

  12. Pingback: My Week | I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

  13. Pingback: I Talk To People | I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

  14. Pingback: Saturday Brunch With Friends | I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

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