Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Prepping Photos and Staining Wood

So I've spent a whole week here now.  It seems like it hasn't been that long, time is flying by already.  The party is tomorrow, and we're all getting prepared for that over here.  I know it will be interesting, I hope I don't make a fool out of myself though.  I'm still stumbling over my French.  If I think about what I'm saying and rehearse it in my head a few times before speaking, I can get by all right, but sometimes when I'm trying to speak on the fly I get really tongue tied.  I know I just have to keep trying to get through it, but it's not all that encouraging when I feel like I'm getting worse at the language when I hear myself speak it.  I'm getting much better at understanding it already--I can take directions, nod my head, and say d'accord to everything.  Just have to keep trying.  It's still just the beginning, so I'm looking forward to the weeks to come.  I'm realizing that I have to be more active in asking questions about how to say different things, but it's annoying because I'll remember for a few hours, then I'll forget by the end of the day.  I have to hear something and repeat it a number of times before I finally internalize it; I wish I was quicker on the uptake.

I spent much of the day working on animations in Photoshop. I'm teaching myself how to make .gif images, and it's pretty fun.  I'm glad I can do something a little bit more intellectual than mopping floors.  Here's an image I put together for Pascal, now I just have to find something to do with it besides post it on Facebook.

However, the manual labor is not over.  Pascal's giving me things to fix up around the distillery because I'm the only other male that works here.  I'm not saying that girls can't do the work that I'm doing, I'm just more willing to do it, and Pascal doesn't feel as bad making me do it.

I attached the disheveled grape vines growing above the entrance way to the metal lattice they're growing on.  It was windy today, so some of the younger parts blew off of their tendrils, and I used some wire to fix them up.

The boy-work for today wasn't quite finished after that though.  Pascal also asked me to refinish some of the exposed surfaces of wood outside.  After explaining the surfaces he wanted me to recover, in French no less, he handed me a brush, some stainer, and a red plastic pale.
It's going to be another ongoing task for me, as there are many doors and window frames around the outside of the distillery that need to be refinished.  He wants me to spend about an hour a day for the next week or so working on getting everything done.  Today my main job was the large wooden door at the entrance to the spiral staircase leading up to our apartment.  It's a beautiful old door, and I'm glad to refinish it, because I hope it lasts for many years to come.  I'm going to have to do another layer tomorrow because I want to make sure that it's all sealed up, especially the particularly weathered parts, which are turning white from wind and rain damage.


  1. I remember that beautiful door. Like a castle! Be patient about the manual labor. That's what you're there to do...anything Pascal has in mind for you. It's all learning, all helping, all important.

  2. I like your image of the bottle very much. You definitely should think of something else to do with it. Now I can understand your avatar--I thought it looked rather like a cake server at first (always associating things with food), but it's a part of the distillery's logo (or whatever you'd call that), isn't it? Quite lovely. Wonderful door!

  3. It's actually an absinthe spoon. They are used for placing a sugar cube above a shot of absinthe, then water is dripped over the sugar, and it melts through the spoon into the glass.