Four kisses

St Martin en Re, very lovely.
St Martin en Re, very lovely.

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.

The old port by night.
The old port of La rochelle by night.

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.

Also St Marin
Also St Marin

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?

I'm not entirely sure this is finished yet. It's a Joanne Fink download, patterned and coloured using Promarkers and Gelly Rolls.
I’m not entirely sure this is finished yet. It’s a Joanne Fink download, patterned and coloured using Promarkers and Gelly Rolls.

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.

Windfarm, Trio and Morf
Windfarm, Trio and Morf

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.

DC 235a 001

DC 235b Curved stripes 001

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.

 

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6 thoughts on “Four kisses

  1. Actually, I WAS wondering where you were. I decided you were still in France, out and about instead of sitting in your hotel room tangling and/or you had dodgy wifi. Hats off to you being brave enough to install a new version of Windows all by yourself. When I bought a “new” lap top 2 years ago, it came with Windows 8. We ended up returning that for one with Windows 7. We were on our way to Southeast Asia and I didn’t feel like having a learning curve in Laos. (Imagine trying to reach tech support in India from Laos). Like you, once I’m convinced Windows 10 isn’t secretly issued by a Russian money laundering cartel, I’ll upgrade to that despite Microsoft (or someone who says they’re Microsoft) imploring me to upgrade now. (BTW, next time you can feel one of your daughters rolling her eyes through the telephone at your tech questions, remind her that you taught her to use a spoon!) I like both your Diva tiles—the straight line OCDish one and the one where you let your whimsy go and curved your lines. 😉 (I think the tiny cross-hatching on the cubine was more of an OCD giveaway than the straightish lines.)

    It looks like we will be in Birmingham at the beginning of May 2016 where Mr. Excitement will be attending a mesothelioma research meeting. I hope I’ll finally have the chance to meet you IRL (if you’re not in France or Tenerife or somewhere). I shall spend the intervening months trying to decide how many times I should kiss you on how many cheeks. 😉

  2. Love this post… made me chuckle many times, you have such a way with words. And lovely tangles too. I rather like your straight lines one.. it’s clever and deceptively simple.
    We’re still on windows 7 and can’t see us moving in the near future. Hope all progresses well.
    Ax

  3. Oh, I love your tiles, especially the last one!!! The kissing part of this post made ma laugh. I never was a person to kiss much people outside my family and very close friends, but then I started an administrative job in daycare. Well, that’s a place were EVERYONE kisses everyone. Like each other or ‘hate’ each other, Kissing is what you do in many (and I mean MANY) occasions. I worked there for 25 years and never got used to it. Tried to avoid it as much as I could for instance in the beginning of the year. So …… I have kissed my boss (all of them over the years) 🙂
    We have Windows 7 and are not going to 10 (yet?). My son, who know a lot about computers, advised me not to do.

  4. Your blog cheered me up, it always does as you have a great sense of humour. I remembered you were on holiday so didn’t worry, just missed the cheery post at the beginning of the week. I echo everyone else, you did right to choose 7 and not 8. Apart from anything else 8 is so ascetically unpleasing with its large tiles. You are going to love Windows 7 after being used to Vista. Vista was a huge pain in the butt, and sooo slooow! It is odd how every other Windows is hopeless. 98 was great, Millenium and Me hopeless, XP great, Vista hopeless, 7 great. 7 is as far as I have got, I am definitely skipping 8 and waiting until 10 has been out for a while. Even then I shall probably wait to buy a computer with it preinstalled – if I ever do – I am so attached to my iPad.

  5. Hi Margaret,Love the xxxx blog.Glad your computer is now fixed up ok. Am getting fibre optic broadband from Talk-Talk next week. It’s free but I have to fix the new box etc myself so I feel my bum and brain will be numb with the effort.My brother, Chris, lives in Paris so I smiled at the kissing ritual.  Really I think it’s a case of the more kissing the better.Take care, see you soon.Ann x

  6. I was wondering where you’d got to as well. Apart from your art, your comments always give me a chuckle and today’s no exception. Thankyou

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