... aber unsere Liebe nicht. It's an old German pop song, from back in the sixties, and it popped up in my brain because I am about to bake a Marmorkuchen, a marbled cake. I have not baked this kind of cake in a long time. I would not be surprised to find out I have never baked it since I moved here. So why now?
We have a staff meeting on the calendar for tomorrow morning, and I asked my manager if there would be cake. At first he responded with a firm NO, but then he added that, you know what, yes, there SHOULD be cake.
I said I would take this as my action item. Hmmm, what to bake? Last time I made lemon pound cake, with the super lemony trick. Breton apple cake sounds good, but I don't have enough apples at home. Oh, right. I have not made Marmorkuchen, marbled cake, in a loooong time, and it's a German specialty. Alright then. Marmorkuchen it is.
And it is later now, after 11:30pm, and the cake is almost done, while far away in France, Joaquim Rodriguez has won the stage up the Plateau des Beilles, soaking wet in the pouring rain.
Not enough hours in the day. ESPECIALLY in the evening. Le sigh.
I had a cup of coffee after lunch, took off for my training session at the gym, and arrived yawning. After having coffee, fer Chrissakes!
The trainer asked if I was stressed. And how I'd slept the night before. Nothing out of the ordinary, far as I can tell. But the Tour de France is quite a time commitment, I have to say. Two and a half, or three and a half hours every evening. We're at the halfway point now; they'll race into Paris on Sunday the 26th, and then I'll race into the finish line for Camp NaNoWriMo.
But it's Bastille Day, and I am watching the peloton ride through the beautiful French country side. They are in the Pyrenees, near the Spanish border. This is the first day in the South of France, after the first week in the Netherlands and Belgium, and then in Normandy and Brittany. I keep picking out villages to vacation in, and castles to lord over. Hard to decide what to settle on.
Really, I just want to sit on a balcony with a breeze fluttering the curtains, a croissant on my plate and a big bowl of café au lait right under my nose.
Makes me think of a morning just like that, when I was - gasp! - hitchhiking back home from the Mediterranean. I forget where I was exactly, but I can see the picture in my mind - the clear blue bright light, green pastures, and the Massif Central rising in the background. Was that the Puy de Dôme? And the guy who gave me a long ride through half the country in his Peugeot, what was his name again? He lived near Marseilles, and worked in some manufacturing plant. I sure got lucky to get a long pull like that.
Back to the Tour de France. I was going to go with a couple of my coworkers three or four years ago, but then I pulled out of the planning when my cat got diagnosed with diabetes, because I had no idea what to expect in terms of her care and my finances. Now that she is gone, we are talking about a French vacation again. I have a reminder in my calendar for mid-October, after the route for next year gets announced; then we'll get together and start talking about plans.
Where to go?
Alps, Pyrenees? Normandy or Brittany? Paris at the end? La Manche? The Grand Départ has been announced for Mont Saint Michel, near the English Channel. Visiting the Channel Islands, Guernsey and Jersey, that would be interesting too.
I know, I know, I'm lagging. Getting nowhere near the average word count I need to make it to 10,000 by the end of the month.
But I'm blaming all my shortcomings this month on the Tour de France. I get up in the morning and check out the finish of the day's stage. Then I work a long day, I come home, feed the children and myself, and then I sit down and watch the day's stage in its entirety. This is of course quite a time commitment: the coverage is about 4 hours long, and even with me fast-forwarding through all the commercials and through some of the coverage when "nothing is happening", I still watch TV every day for about two and a half to three hours.
And when I'm done, my brain is full. Or empty, rather.
Today is the second time that my Apple Watch showed the "I'm not connected to the iPhone" icon even though the iPhone was nearby and both had Bluetooth turned on.
The first time this happened, I didn't even notice. I got a Low Power notice from the watch, and concluded, incorrectly, that the watch probably had not been placed properly on the charger the night before and had failed to charge, and that the devices had disconnected because the watch was out of juice. However, the next day my watch was running low on power again, without me having changed any settings, and after verifying that it was fully charged in the morning. Therefore I conclude the watch was running out of power because it kept looking for the iPhone to connect to. (Usually one charge lasts me easily through the day; I use up about half its charge.)
I couldn't figure out how to connect them again, and ended up resetting the watch, losing my activity progress for the day. No big deal, it's not like I'm training for the Olympics or going for a Guinness Book of Records record, but still annoying.
So when I noticed it again today, and saw that my iPhone strangely claimed it was connected, but the watch said, "I know you are, but what am I?", I thought I better ask the interwebs.
I watched the Jack Reacher movie. You know, the one with Tom Cruise, that got so much flak for casting short Tom Cruise as six foot six Jack Reacher.
Imagine my surprise when there was Werner Herzog. WERNER FUCKING HERZOG!!! As a bad guy!!! I did not much care for the movie, but Herzog was good fun to watch delivering bad guy lines and still sounding like he was voice-overing The Grizzly Man. Good waste of two hours if you have nothing better to do.
Of course it didn't have the thing I enjoyed about the Jack Reacher novels that I've read - this oft-repeated sentence: