Thursday, 16 August 2012

A fresh start again

I'd like to introduce you to my new town. After living in my studio in Cafeolait I am now living in a much bigger apartment in a small town.

It was originally the home of the counts of Montfort and Amaury. Although the Montforts were an important family and m town was an important duchy up through the 17th century, its location on the fringes of its greater neighbours of Chartres and Nantes left it somewhat passed over for a time. The population is between 5000 and 6000 inhabitants. While it still retains its provincial character with the stone houses and shops, my town has a fast-growing high-tech industrial center (3100 of 3400 jobs are in the industrial sector). One of the largest employers is Bristol-Myers Squibb, the pharmaceutical giant. Their manufacturing plant, built in 1960, employs 300 people in the production of cardiovascular and anti-fungal medicines.

I wandered around the town by foot though it's too big to do the lot easily without a car. I located the Town Hall and decided to pop in and explain I was a new resident and ask for information. The lady at receptions was lovely and friendly and wondered if I'd like to arrange to vote in the local elections but I explained I'm not eligible.

I went away with a smile on my face because I enjoyed my visit there, was able to communicate adequately and had a handful of brochures. As I read through them later I pondered if there might be a hobby i could take up. There's no bellydancing, of course, but there is Jazz Ballet. Unfortunately I gave that up years ago because of my back problems so I'm not sure that's a good thing.

There are violin classes but I need to think if I want to get heavily into such a commitment even though my instrument has been languishing for decades - food for thought though. I want to find some way to integrate myself into this town more fully than I was able to in Cafeolait

In the meantime I make the most of wandering the town. My apartment is further away from the centre than I was in Cafeolait but it means I get to walk about a bit and look at people's homes, the shops, the market on Saturdays (quite small). This seems like a town that will expand in the future. I already enjoy the supermarket and DYI store here. I've located the branch of my bank. I need to find a doctor and dentist and the government agencies. There are also things like the church and a museum to visit. That'll have to wait until I get back from my cruise.


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