A French friend told me years ago that there is a code to how many times you kiss people when you greet or leave them. (I like the way they explain it on this map too, but I’m not so sure about it. I like my friend’s way better. http://gadling.com/2008/06/23/french-kissing-just-how-many-cheek-kisses-to-give/ ) Apparently, never kiss your boss. (Never wanted to but perhaps that’s just me.) Kiss not so close friends twice, right cheek first. Kiss friends and family four times, also right cheek first.
Men don’t kiss men unless very close. Women kiss anyone they like and nobody minds.
So while we were in La Rochelle we stayed at an Ibis budget hotel. Cheapish, clean, comfortable and including continental breakfast. One morning at breakfast, I asked a lady if the seat next to her was occupied and we got into conversation. You know the sort of thing: weather, where we were going, using local transport, weather, restaurants we’d found, the Town Hall burning down , weather… And it turned out she too was a late blossoming artist, devoted to floral water colours and her garden. We had a very pleasant hour or so discussing the joys of discovering our latent creativity, then the loved one and I went our way and she went hers.
The following breakfast time we met again and I gave her a little ZIA with my blog address on the back and, as we were all leaving that day, we walked with her to her bus stop, then we continued into town. When it came to leaving her, I held out my hand to shake it, which she did, but she then did the kiss thing, four times. Ooo, I thought, good friends, eh? So then she kissed the loved one four times as well and he had barely taken part in the conversation at all. (He doesn’t speak French, so his contribution was smiles and nods for the most part. Anyway, it obviously worked, since he got four kisses just for beaming fatuously.) Maybe my friend didn’t explain it properly?
So now we’re home and I’m sure you’re wondering why it has taken me until Wednesday to post my blog and the response to this week’s Diva Challenge. (Don’t deny it, I know there are people out there deeply concerned. Aren’t there? What? Not ANYBODY? Bugger.)
Anyway, I’m afraid I’m going through a prolonged Technophobia period. You see, we were running our PC on Windows Vista and decided to update it to Windows 7 or 8. Since 7 was cheaper, that’s what we bought but the intention is maybe to update later to 10. So I backed everything up on an external hard drive , tidied it up a bit and then proceeded to install the new operating system. Do I sound as if I know what I’m talking about? Don’t be fooled, I’m parroting what my son in law the techspert tells me.
Well it took hours and hours and I spent much of the time on the phone to anyone who would listen asking them what to do. I think both my daughters have divorced me. And then, having got my lovely, shiny, new operating system installed, I had to reinstall -EVERYTHING. Office, the printer, Chrome, my games (The Sims still haven’t finished loading and it’s been days. Well, it feels like days.) my emails, the blog, camera; oh Lord, it goes on and on.
I’ve spent so much time sitting up here watching a blue screen that my bum has gone numb. (And that’s a lot of numb, believe me.) And I daren’t leave it; it might ask me a question or need another bloody password or something.
So, if ever I needed the Zen part of Zentangle, it’s now. I had been practising Windfarm lately and then discovered Morf, which is fun and I tend to find Trio difficult, so I had a practice with the three of them and this is what I came up with. The Trio is improving, I think but the Windfarm isn’t right.
And then the Diva Challenge was to use stripes, which divides me because one part of me wants to be OCD and do ruler straight stripes and the other side wants to break the rules as many ways as possible. So I did a bit of both, although I did manage to avoid the ruler. Just.
I used just three old favourites in the first one, with a bit of shading but the second one, the curvy one, was shaded to within an inch of its life. This was a fun challenge and it reminded me to go back and look at some of the first patterns I taught myself.
As for the Zen, did it work? Amazingly, yes. I’m significantly more relaxed and the PC may well be allowed to stay on the desk and not be jettisoned through the nearest window.