It’s Christmas vacation! I had an awful week, in terms of morale at work, and am hoping the vacation will bring me back up. Since Poitiers’ Place D’Armes/Place Leclerc was finished last summer, the town is back to normal in terms of Christmas decorations:

Christmas season 2011 in Poitiers

Here is an explanation of all the Christmas activities in Poitiers. There’s no ice rink this year but the chalets de Noël are back on the Place D’Armes along with a beautiful, huge carousel and a big Christmas tree. The crèche vivante on the Place Notre Dame has a camel (a dromedaire in French where they make the distinction between an animal with one hump and an animal with two) and a baudet de Poitou, an endangered species. We stopped by to see the hairy baudet and he was in the process of eating one of the Christmas trees that had been placed not very thoughtfully right next to his stable.

It is a mess getting into and out of Poitiers in a car right now. I think I’m actually going to start parking my car at the parcobus and taking the bus in. Tomorrow I hope to do some exceptional Sunday grocery shopping and then head into town to grade papers at What’s Up Coffee which has very yummy bagel sandwiches. I discovered the yumminess of the bagel sandwiches yesterday when I went into town to pick up my new carte de séjour. The Vienne prefecture has been renovated as have the cartes de séjour, which are now credit-card-sized and biometric! I found this excessively exciting. As every year, I paid a completely different amount in stamp taxes from every other year I’ve had a carte de séjour.

Otherwise, J gets back from his week in Picardie tomorrow late because of a rock-climbing competition in Arnas this weekend, and we PACS first thing Monday morning. Then I have two whole weeks of nothing, except for grading/lesson planning and spending Christmas with J’s family, because I’m not going home this year! This will be my first French Christmas! Even my assistant year I managed to escape to England.


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