Tag Archive | Normandy

An Open Letter to Summer

Dear Summer,

You’ve been here for twenty days already, and yet you still fail to make your presence known to us. Yes yes, I know that here in Normandy we’re not supposed to get high expectations about your three month visit, but we still have some hopes come the 21st of June. We can give you a couple weeks to settle in, but then you’re supposed to warm our hearts and souls (and, um, skin and hair, but those parts are slightly less romantic) and make us sing with joy at being able to run through the fields and lay in the grass laughing. Instead, you appear to be being bullied by the other seasons, thus depriving us of some much needed alone time with the giant apricot in the sky.

Today when I got up, I put on shorts and a t-shirt and trudged into the bathroom to brush my hair and do other stuff that you don’t need to know about. About 156 seconds later I emerged from the room looking like I had just come from the Arctic Circle and had only seen wolverines for the past fifteen days (you heard me: a wolverine. Not nearly as muscly as Hugh Jackman, more of a Ron Weasley type (because a wolverine is a weasel. Get it? Yeah I find myself smart). Gosh, I can’t remember what I was talking about… Oh right, I was cold). I dashed back into my room and changed into pants, a long sleeved shirt and a sweatshirt.  Summer, it’s the 11th of July. Even for our harsh climate, frostbite inducing weather is not normal.

In this spirit, please show the following advice (by which I mean orders) to Winter, Spring and Autumn:
Winter; you have no right to butt in right now. You know we love you and your snow and holidays, but this isn’t the time. How would you like it if at Christmas Summer didn’t let you make it snow anywhere in the Northern hemisphere by turning your snowflakes into rain? Not good huh? No. So leave June, July and September alone.
Spring; you bring hope and color with you when you come, but now we don’t want to just hope anymore. Don’t push your timeline on other people, it’s not nice.
Autumn; as much as I love you, it most certainly isn’t your turn yet. You have the least right to impose yourself on Summer because it’s your time to shine afterwards anyway. Stop being hyperactive and trying to steal Summer’s months of glory.

Guys, it’s raining, I’m cold and about as tanned as a dying walrus. Will someone please send me on vacation to some exotic island already?

Live long and prosper \V/
Sincerely,
The Mostly Confused Teenager.

PS: Upon re-reading this post, it seems necessary to indicate that the giant apricot in the sky is the sun, since you aren’t all sociopaths who can read my mind. If you are, then you people have really great covers. Although… they do say ‘stranger danger’… I should stop writing now.

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Summer Delights

I love summer. It’s my second favorite season, just after winter (why? because in winter it’s harder to sweat profusely when talking to someone you reeeeally like). And there are certain things that make summer freakin’ awesome in this humble teenager’s opinion. So here goes; what makes summer so special to me.

#1 : Vacation

I think most teenagers will agree with me on this one. Summer vacation is the time to kick back, catch up on some sleep, lose sleep because of Star Wars marathons, and relax. No homework or teachers that smell like coffee and cigarettes: awesomeness!  The only down side is that it’s awfully rough not seeing your friends for two months. For some it may be a hard bridge to cross in the relationship area, but because I am single (AND HAPPY) I have no sympathy for those people. Sorry.

#2 : Warmth and Sun

I live in Normandy during the summer months, and to those of you who don’t know the area, let me clear it up for you:

Guess where I live on the map?

Guess where I am on the map?

But in the summertime, we mostly/sometimes/only kind of sort of get sunny days! And warmth means showing some skin (Don’t fret Mom, I’m not a slut. Far from it. Not that I’m a prude. Oh shut up Confused Teen you’re just ridiculing yourself) and getting a tan. Of course I have to put obscene amounts of sun screen on because I burn to a brighter red than Rudolph the Reindeer’s nose. And you know, the tan disappears as soon as autumn arrives, but in the moment that you’re lying outside, wrapped in a cocoon of warmth, it’s all worth it.

#3 : Drinks

Once again Mom, don’t get ahead of yourself. I’m not talking about alcohol here. There’s something about summer beverages that make them different from any other old drinks. Iced tea, lemonade and smoothies during the day make my taste buds go YAAAAAY (that’s figurative –> I’d freak out if my taste buds could talk.) and after dinner a sprig of mint from the garden and dollop of honey made from our bees dunked in some boiling water make an intoxicating (in a good way, again Mom, no alcohol) cup of mint tea.

#4 : Ice Cream

Actually forget it, I eat ice cream no matter what time of the year it is.

#5 : Nostril Flaring

Because of the smells. The freshly cut grass being turned into half a tonne hay bales that I have tried rather unsuccessfully to roll around, the scented candles that we put out to ward the bugs away, the salt when we come back from the beach, barbecuing steaks and then roasting marshmallows… Isn’t that an odd word, barbecuing? If you say barbecue in French it means bearded butt. Just thought that I should put that out there.

#6: Baseball Every Single Day

Awesome right? Of course being in France I don’t have the opportunity to watch many of the games, much less go to them, but I love waking up each morning wondering if the Mets won or lost the night before (our record speaks for itself) and eagerly checking the score.  And every afternoon we all grab our gloves and go play catch out on a part of the lawn that is called “the football field” and where no trees will ever be planted, for fear of assaulting them with a baseball bat. Not that that should happen. Intentionally.

#7 : Starry Nights

I have a strange fascination with the stars up above. Being claustrophobic means that I can’t be an astronaut, but I’d sure like to go up there some day. When the night is clear, I wrap myself in a blanket and tiptoe out to the hammock, where I can lie for hours, staring up at the sparkling arm of the Milky Way sweeping across the sky. I find the different constellations, the planets and spy the satellites and shooting stars. I can only describe it as magical.

#8 : Enjoying Yourself by Doing Nothing

Ah, to wake up in the late morning/early afternoon… and knowing that apart from a few necessary chores, you have nothing planned out for the day. Summer is my time for reading sappy romance novels and wishing that I wasn’t alone. It’s my time to watch videos of hot guys made by awesome friends. And it’s also my time to discover new tv series, such as Awkward. Awkward was recommended to me by the only two friends who I told about my blog, and I’ve become addicted. In a week I’ve watched all the episodes. Should I have taken my time? Yes. Do I regret that I’m done? Yes. If I went back, would I do again? Without a doubt.

#9 : My Birthday 🙂

People of the Internet, I shall turn 16 on September 5th. And yes, that’s still summer.

So good citizens of the planet known as Apricot Land, that’s about it. What about you guys? What do you love about summer?

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager.

PS: my mom does not know that I have a blog.

I Left my Heart in the Coffin (and no, I’m not suicidal)

I live in a town called the Coffin. Don’t laugh and turn away, I’m quite serious! Our town’s name is le Cercueil which translates literally to “coffin”. My house’s name (here we have names not numbers, we treat our houses with respect, only not really) is the Suffering. And my parents thought that it would be a good idea to raise two children here. HA! I don’t even want to think about what they’d been drinking the night they made the transaction.

I’ve known my home ever since I was a baby, and although now we only go to the house on weekends because my brother and I go to school in Paris, my heart belongs there. Isn’t that a weird thing to say? My heart belongs in the Suffering of the Coffin. People might think I’m dark or something, but actually, no. I love it here and I wouldn’t change the odd consequences of my being here for anything.

The picture above is of the main part of our house, which is 400 years old and hasn’t changed much since I’ve known it. In fact the little girl at the table on the front lawn is me! I knooow right?

Anywho, I guess I owe you an explanation as to why the town is called the Coffin. In a time far far away, the Gauls (original French people) were fighting the Romans around here during the Gallo-Roman wars. The battle fought on the very grounds where I sit typing this was a bloody (hence the suffering part) and costly one, with a high number of victims. The Gauls won, and their victory allowed them the right to bury their dead. So they buried them right here on the land that they had fought for and the town earned the name Sarcophagus. Over time as no one used the word sarcophagus anymore the term became ‘coffin’. The Romans, forced to retreat, did not get the luxury of burying their dead, instead having to pile them up and burn them. The village neighboring ours is called Montmerrei, which in Latin signifies ‘mountain of the dead’. I kid you not.

You can still see the trenches left over from World War I in the forest, and our old neighbor saw the Germans set up camp in our fields because we had a water well there during World War II. After the Germans came the Americans, and finally the British. When I go down there, I try to imagine what the scene would have looked like and how different from my reality things were.

Well, I’m pretty sure our whole county is haunted, but in a town without any shops or commercial activity where a sparsely distributed 130 people live, no one pays much attention to the tales of our old homes’ glory days. Although, on nights when the ancient house creaks in the wind and lashing rain, it sure is pretty freakin’ scary to think of all those stories.

The Coffin has a lot of historical baggage (not to mention psychological, I mean I pity the shrink that has to deal with the town called the Coffin), but to everyone around here, it’s just another little sleepy hollow. Explaining it to visitors, however, can be a little more challenging. And no, there are no old bones lying around. To my knowledge. Then again, my dog might have eaten them all.

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager

*awkward singing* You’ve Got a Friend in Me

My friends are an extremely important part of my life. I haven’t always had them, and I guess that that makes me all the more grateful for the ones I do have. They’re always there for me, whether it’s to listen to me rant, help me with a difficult math problem (UGH) or buy me a pack of cookies and slip it to me in class when I miss lunch. I have the best friends in the Universe, and I love them all to bits.

From 1st to 3rd grade I went to a tiny country school  in Normandy with about 30 kids in total, ranging from 2 year old’s just starting to get weaned off their mothers to 12 year old’s getting ready to graduate to middle school. We were separated into 3 different classrooms and all shared a small recess court with a sandbox in the corner. Being a small number of students, we were all friends. We had our fair share of trivial yelling matches and feuds, but all in all, we were a tight knit community. That was before anyone had Facebook or anything, and the school was shut down by the government soon after I left, so I never found out what happened to a lot of my old friends.

I left in the middle of the year because my teacher suicided. No one knows why, but they found his burning car on the edge of a cliff. The school being so small, it affected a lot of people, and my parents decided that it wouldn’t be a good thing for me to stay. I moved to a larger school in the closest ‘big city’ about 30 minutes away. Although at first the kids there were all over me, they heard my story and left me alone. I spent most of the second half of 3rd grade pretending that I was a horse and galloping around the recess court. On second thought, maybe people didn’t interact with me because I was weird. Who knows?

In 4th grade I met 3 of my best friends and from then to 6th grade, I experienced my first sleepover, the singing and dancing around the living room, the long hours spent discussing important subjects such as why our 30 year old teacher wasn’t married yet (Was something wrong with her? Why did no one want to marry her? Ah, innocent minds. Of course, she did end up getting married and we felt very pleased with ourselves, as if we’d somehow engineered the whole deal). I love those girls with all my might and I’m glad to be able to call them my friends.

Then, at the start of 7th grade, I moved to Paris. What a shocker that was. I did not want to go. But I made new friends there too, and we spent our time walking around outside in circles until people cataloged us as the crazy girls who had a problem with standing still. We would talk on the phone until 11 pm (were my parents ever mad when they saw the bill) about cute boys that we had spotted during the day, or the sore throat that the principle had that made him sound like Darth Vader. I developed a lot with them, both mentally and um… *blushes* physically.

Last year, I had to leave them too to go to my first bilingual school, the EABJM, where I am now. And once again, I’ve met the most awesomesauce people. I love being able to mix English and French in a way that doesn’t work at all, spending math class listening to my friend make boat noises, and trying to get our fingers to go through the table in Physics because our teacher told us that there was an itsy bitsy possibility that that could happen. Hint: don’t waste your time. We spent hours trying, it doesn’t work.

Friends are fun. Friends are loving. Friends tell you your hair looks fine even though you have concrete proof that it looks like a bird got caught in it and wrestled its way out. Friends comfort you when you’re feeling down. Friends are crazy. Friends are like stars, even though sometimes you can’t see them, you know they’re there. You can make fun of your friends and they won’t care (most of the time ^^). Friends don’t care (and are grateful) that you’re not Sheldon Cooper. Friends will never give up on you, despite your weird obsession with cookies and sports. Friends are awesome.

Friends are people who you meet on your blog and feel instantly connected to. In a totally non creepy way. I’ll leave you with a quote from a certain philosophical little kangaroo in Winnie the Pooh: “Friends can be new, Friends can be old; all of them are as precious as Gold.”

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager.