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The 14 days of Valentine tribute to the love of couchsurfing continues.  But let’s begin with some disgusting First World problems.  I love it when I click on the “about” section of a blog and the blogger has listed the answers to a few FAQs.  A common one is, “What do you use to take your photos?”  The implication is that the photos are sublime. The answers are always, “Canon F5800 series with a magnesium telephoto funk lens blah blah blah blah FStop blah blah blah filters blah blah blah underwater capability blah blah blah.  How nice it must be.

I was using Firstborn’s fancy Canon during our trip (or asking her to take highly specific photos) but now she is officially done with that.  I’ve been barred from using it and from bossing her around to snap a few shots.  I don’t own a cell phone, iPhone, iPod, iPad or any other i thing with photo capabilities.  I don’t have a camera of any kind.  So how do these photos get on the blog?  I have to beg random people to let me have a hit of their photo device.  I’m like a junkie looking to score and I know I am driving everyone crazy.  Poor, poor me.

I’ve decided to save for a camera of my own.  In the meantime, you might see a few blurry photos taken with Onlyboy’s iPod.  Hey, while we’re talking about First World problems and blurriness, doesn’t it suck when you’re eyes change in your forties and all of a sudden you can’t even really focus properly to take a clear picture?

DAY 3 – (SMALL VILLAGE NEAR) COGNAC, FRANCE

  • HE: Carpenter
  • SHE: English Teacher, Oenology Student

Bouyed by the success of couchsurf 1 and 2, I immediately set up couchsurf #3 to help us wend our way back up to northern France.  Couple #3 demonstrated a curious phenomenon that I later found was common among couchsurfers:  the willingness to open their home to people who have chosen a completely different lifestyle from their own, with generosity and without judgement.  This couple were in the process of building a new eco-home from the ground up.  They had decided that they definitely did not want children yet they welcomed a family with 5(!) children into their home without hesitation.  And they played board games with the kids and were not in the least grumpy or resentful with them.

Ecobuilder wife was an English teacher and had taught in Malaysia for a year so we had lots to talk to her about as we had also recently been there.  She was mystified by people who told her that they could never teach and that she must know so much.  In her opinion, if you could read, you were qualified to teach children.  It is interesting that teachers are either the most supportive or the most threatened by homeschooling.  She certainly fell into the first camp.

We were happy to sit in their living room and hear about the new property they would be building and all the bureaucratic nightmares they were facing because they wanted to build an off-grid home with lots of innovative (or bizarre according to the city planners) design elements.

hat cognac

I knit this hat for Ecobuilder because she is a stylish woman with a strong sense of what she likes.  It is called “Off Center Hat”, designed by Preita Salyer.  It was knit in Berroco Ultra Alpaca Tonal yarn on size 5 mm (US 8) needles.  It is offered as a free Ravelry download.