My big interview spread in Ya! and a radio program tomorrow

The front page of Ya!

Okay, I’m a little later than I said I would be, but here–finally–is the edition of Ya! newspaper that features an interview with me. I searched online for it, but apparently it’s only available in print. Siwazh. So then I had to go to town and find a copy for myself. I picked up all the copies that they had at Coop Breizh–three! And now I’ve photographed it so you can see it.

The picture on the left is of the front page. Below the fold, on the left, is a pretty good picture of me and a phrase exclaiming, “A meeting with Madeleine Adkins.” I include this both because I like the picture and because I want to show how prominently my interview was featured in the newspaper.

If you want to see this photo in greater detail, just click on it and it should display a bigger image. This is true of all photos that I post, by the way.

The second photo (below) shows the back page of the newspaper, which to my surprise was devoted entirely to the interview with me. The interview had begun in person, during my week-long internship at the Lise Diwan (the Breton language immersion high school) in February. The photos that go with the article were taken at the school. We didn’t have enough time to finish the interview, so the man who interviewed me emailed me the questions (and what he’d already written) and had me write out the answers. I spent a few hours answering the questions, and then spent two hours going over the answers with one of my teachers to correct my errors and make the phrasing more precise. Trugarez vras, Brieg!

The results are on the right. This was a lot of fun to do. I got to talk about why I’m here, and also answer a number of random questions that they like to ask the people that they feature in these interviews. I wish they hadn’t edited a few phrases and changed a few words, as I feel that the changes made some of my responses less clear. But I am not in charge, and so this is the result.

I enjoyed my little moment of fame. At the Breton language gathering a few days later, someone actually recognized me from the article. And my classmates teased me on the day that we took a fieldtrip to the Etel when one of the teachers took out a copy to show people.

Speaking of fame–I may be on the radio tomorrow (i.e. Saturday) morning. Our class took a trip to Karaez, and one of the activities was a sort of treasure hunt around town. A woman from Radio Bro Gwened interviewed some of the participants and followed some of us around as we searched for various sites around the town. I don’t know if the program will include clips of me speaking or reading the questions aloud, but it will definitely include my classmates. And I don’t know the time–just that it’s supposed to be on tomorrow. Here’s the link to the station, if you want to try and listen:

http://radio.bro.gwened.free.fr/fr/index.htm

That’s all for now. Off to dinner with my classmates, and then tomorrow I’m going to participate in a Breton language political event in the capital of Brittany. If you’re in Roazhon/Rennes tomorrow, come join me! And I’ll write about that once I’m back.

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Nevez-Amzer emañ o tont / Spring is a-comin’

Cherry blossoms along the Place de Bretagne

I was riding the bus home one day this week, and out the window I spied these cherry blossoms. What a happy sight! So when I was in town yesterday, I took a couple of photos, including this one. It seems as if it’s been winter for so long now, and I am more than ready for spring to arrive.

They weren’t the first flowers to appear–some narcissus popped up in the garden a week or so ago–but for me the cherry blossom is the true harbinger of spring. It’s also a flower that brings back happy memories of other springs in other lands. I recall enjoying the cherry blossoms near the Lincoln Memorial when–as a college student in DC–I used to take walks around the monuments with my friends.  And I have many fond memories of the cherry blossoms from the time that I lived in Japan. There were many lovely trees were in my neighborhood in Takarazuka, along the ponds that faced the hotel–and in Kyoto, of course, even more lined the temple walks. On my last visit to Japan, a few years ago, I lucked out. My week there just happened to be the week that the cherry blossom trees all burst into bloom along the island of Honshu and I felt as if I were being welcomed back after my long absence.

There are also many cherry blossom trees in Oakland’s Lakeside Park, and during the years that I lived there, I was able to hop down the hill from my apartment in Adams Point and enjoy them as I took walks around Lake Merritt. And even in my childhood, there were some cherry blossoms that I’d see occasionally in my hometown. So they’ve always been there in my life. I didn’t know if I’d see any here in town. I’m glad there are a few for me to enjoy. And soon it really will be spring.

Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise in Lomener

On my bike ride this afternoon, I noticed quite a few cars in the Intermarché parking lot in the nearby village of Lomener. It seemed odd to me because the supermarket is not open on Sundays. I took a quick look at the entrance to verify that it was closed and of course it was. So what was the explanation? It was a lovely–if slightly chilly–winter’s afternoon here on the coast and many people had driven out here from other areas to walk along the coastal path and enjoy the views. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be spending so much time here on the coast, here in a region filled with sparkly white beaches and rocky outcroppings and picturesque ruins. The coast of Plañvour (Ploemeur) is a place that draws weekend visitors for afternoon strolls. In summer, people from other parts of Brittany and other parts of France, as well, descend on the shores for weeks of sunbathing, swimming, sailing, kayaking, and other water sports.

I had begun the weekend by waking up early Saturday and heading out to the beach to watch the sunrise. I brought my camera with me on my walk, and captured some lovely images. At that time of day, standing above the beach halfway between my house and central Lomener, it seemed as if all I had to do was point my camera in the direction of the ocean and I had a wonderful photo. I made my way back to Ar Guerveur, my village, but decided I had a bit more energy, so I continued along the coastal path to the field where the Shetland pony that I met so long ago lives. I said hi to the pony and the two goats with him. Then I walked over to the horse that was standing in the field across from the others. The horse came over to me let me pet him for a while. I headed back home content, and more than ready for breakfast.

Late this afternoon (Sunday), I decided that I had to get out of the house because I had spent all day inside. I got on my bicycle and took a ride east of here, thinking I’d go a little past Lomener. Once I got past the village, I looked for a path that I’d heard of that runs from the beach to the Plañvour town center. After a few false starts, I found it, and ended up following it for a while, exploring a marshy area a little north of there. I didn’t want to head out too far, as it was likely to get cold soon, so I turned around after reaching the pathway that goes under the main road. Then I noticed a small side route, and the sign said ‘Lomener’, so I decided to take this new route. Along the way, I passed through an older village that I had ncver seen before. I detoured a little to follow an old mill road just far enough to be able to say hello to some horses in a small field.

I got back to Lomener, having enjoyed my little adventure. It’s always a pleasure to explore a new road or avenue here, because there are so many old villages and there is so much nature in this area. I decided to extend my voyage a little by taking a longish route home via the coastal path, following the sun, which was by now a big orange ball descending in the west. As I was looking out over a field facing the lighthouse, I caught my last glimpse of the sun as it sank behind a mass of clouds. I hopped back on my bicycle, made my way back to the main road, and stopped in at the bakery in Kerroc’h to pick up some fresh bread and a cookie. I pedaled home the last few yards in the chill evening air, happy to have had two lovely moments this weekend enjoying the sun, nature, and the coast.

Full moon rising

Full moon rising over Ar Gerveur

I saw the full moon rise tonight behind my house. It was a large, stunning yellow ball. I ran in and got my camera so I could share it with you.

Yesterday’s moonrise over Kemper–which I saw as I was heading home from my internship–was gorgeous as well. (No camera with me then.) I started to write a haiku about that one, as it was so lovely in the context of that elegant city of rivers and architectural riches. Once I polish it, I might share it with you all, depending upon how it turns out.

A holiday weekend puzzle

I thought some of you might like a little puzzle to get the ol’ synapses going after the holiday. This is a photo that I took near my maisonette yesterday morning. Not that that information will help you at all to solve the puzzle….

Here’s the puzzle question:

What is wrong with the photo below?

I encourage guesses as well as confident responses, so don’t be shy. Post your answers as comments and I’ll see who is able to divine/figure out/intuit the correct answer.

The first correct response will receive a prize–a picture postcard of Brittany from yours truly. Chañs vat ! (Good luck!)

The puzzle photo

Skeudennoù goañv / Winter photos

It’s winter, and I’m happy to be on a two-week break from school, and to have my sweetheart J here visiting me.

Here are some pictures from walks we’ve been taking in the neighborhood this week. To see a photo in greater detail, click on it. Enjoy!

More fall pictures / Skeudennoù diskar-amzer muioc’h

Folks seemed to enjoy the pictures, so here are a few more. These pictures I took near the school that I attend. Enjoy!

This was taken on a walk around the lake across the street from school. The lake--in truth, part of an estuary--is called Stang ar Ter.
Another view near the lake. This is a field of buckwheat after the harvest.
Some birds who live at the Stang, including a cormorant who was drying off its wings.
Close-up of a mossy wall at the Stang.

A rundown manor that sits on the hill above the school.