It’s always an unexpected pleasure to find a Word of the Day that I am unacquainted with, and this one struck me as … suggestive. I’ll try and slip it into casual conversation one of these days.

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My charges for the duration … it’s a little difficult balancing my time between those two, especially now that I’m alone. Monty (the dog) pretty much monopolizes my attention during the day, because I have to let him out to do his business in the garden multiple times a day, and walk him and play catch with him, and he tends to tease the cat if she’s in the vicinity. It’s a little silly how guilty I feel when I’m occupied with one of them and the other comes slinking around and looks reproachfully at me.

My tentative plan is to spend time with Monty during the day and then let Geordie (the cat) into my room for a couple of hours at night and in the early morning after and before I let the dog out of his night cage, respectively; it’ll serve as structure for down time, casual reading and pre/post-sleep routine.

Both of them are exceptionally easy pets to care for – excellent for my utter lack of expertise. Monty doesn’t shed or smell, is small and affectionate and doesn’t require much grooming or bathing. Geordie has exquisitely soft fur and is an absolute sedentary darling, with none of the spitefulness or clawing or antisocial independence cats seem to be associated with.

While I have always intellectually understood that pets are a huge responsibility and one shouldn’t keep any if unprepared to deal with that responsibility, taking care of these two relatively low-maintenance animals has impressed upon me the real weight of that statement. My desire to have a pet in the foreseeable future has waned (and any subconscious desire to have children has positively plummeted) somewhat. The initial novelty – that giddy glee – of having Monty around dissipated after two days, and the routine of walking him feels a little repetitive, now. I’m usefully incorporating that routine into my work schedule currently, but I suspect that I’m restless enough at heart that I can’t imagine that kind of settled commitment for longer periods of time.

The low-maintenance level of a cat seems more suitable, but it wouldn’t stand up to the frequent moving I envision my adult life to be, either. They’ve both still adorable  – I’ll try to get better photos of them – and I would love to take care of more pets in general, but having my own isn’t a decision I see myself making in the next decade, I think.

In any case, lots of amateur scenery shots of the countryside that the house is in. It’s in Languedoc-Rousillon, the largest wine region in the world, apparently, so all the fields around are vineyards. I walk the dog along these routes. If there’s anything I’m fascinated by, it is clearly the sky here. I love the endless, ineffable expanse of sky here, and the unfathomable cloud patterns. 

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PhotobucketDriving down these country roads that first night the house owner picked me up from the train station reminded me of Pearson and those Metchosin roads. No street lights either. Just rolling fields and winding roads.

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For some reason, I find the metaphor of that tree exquisite. Not particularly well-taken photos, but it does provide a reasonable impression of the majesty of the sky, particularly at dusk. Reminds me of this poem I once shared in French class:

Demain, dès l’aube, à l’heure où blanchit la campagne,
Je partirai. Vois-tu, je sais que tu m’attends.
J’irai par la forêt, j’irai par la montagne.
Je ne puis demeurer loin de toi plus longtemps.

Je marcherai les yeux fixés sur mes pensées,
Sans rien voir au dehors, sans entendre aucun bruit,
Seul, inconnu, le dos courbé, les mains croisées,
Triste, et le jour pour moi sera comme la nuit.

Je ne regarderai ni l’or du soir qui tombe,
Ni les voiles au loin descendant vers Harfleur,
Et quand j’arriverai, je mettrai sur ta tombe
Un bouquet de houx vert et de bruyère en fleur.

Photobucket   PhotobucketPhotobucketThe house is just out of sight in the bottom-right of the photo. I’ve only met the neighbours once, when I accidentally lobbed a ball into their garden and had to go retrieve it. I was very proud of myself for using the verb jeter correctly. The sky is breathtaking at times. I think I’ve already said that.

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