Anyone French or Quebecois coming to this place might well wonder why an Anglophone from Vancouver Island gave his website a French name, eh.
I admit it, from the get-go, I am a bit of a Francophile, something about the music in the words and cadence of French, or maybe it was hiking through the streets of Strasbourg way back in my wild and somewhat wayward youth. Or maybe it was seeing Catherine Deneuve, Alain Delon and more recently Sophie Marceau on the silver screen (I am a wicked movie buff too...). Something just clicked and even after 12 years in rural southwestern Ontario, deep in German - Dutch country, the first Joelle I heard in the Byward Market this summer gave me a smile and a feeling of being somewhat 'at home'.
I live in Ottawa, more particularly North Nepean, where English and French mix on a daily basis. Not the Parisian French we learned in high school, but an everyday French, the kind you would expect good friends to share over coffee or passing in the street. Chien chaude is un hot dog here, and though purists might recoil it is the French of the people, alive, vibrant and meaningful. And as much as I only latch onto about 20% of what I am hearing you can hear the pride of language.
My French is rusty, or perhaps beyond rusty, it has been many years since I lived in Montreal, but I am working on it and one day I hope to spend the entire day 'en Francais' - even better if Sam can share the entire day with me.
A couple nights ago I popped down to the local MacEwans gas bar to pick up a pack of nicotine bon-bons (filthy habit I know but I don't take drugs of any kind or drink alcohol so :P :P ).
Behind the counter was the usual Saturday evening clerk, I think he might be Lebanese (?), where the second official language is French. Anyway long story short, as he was reaching under the counter he asked "Le Bleu ou Rouge?". Not even thinking I answered "Oui, toujours le Bleu!".
And it went from there. I bought my cigarettes and was halfway home when I realized the entire transaction had taken place in French. It felt damned cool I can tell you.
So this is mon atelier - my workshop, where I will continue to work on code, weather stuff, genealogy, and my French.