Week 10 (6–12 March 2023)

A less busy/intense week than the last, and I'm enjoying the rest. We bouldered less (our gym is closed until next weekend because they're setting routes for a competition, and there's only a cramped training gym available as a replacement), stayed home more. Sun and rain are alternating these days, I don't mind, sun is good for the mind and rain is good for the soil. It's getting warmer.

Lots of good weed

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

We joined a workshop about wild plants that took place in our living room (F had agreed to host it before we moved in). A dozen people showed up, mostly ladies above 50.

We learned the names, properties, and health benefits of more than a dozen edible plants that grow in the wild around here, plus the differences between them and ways to eat them (mostly raw in mesclun salads, sometimes cooked like you'd cook spinach). There were classics that I knew already1: pissenlit, nombril de vénus, plantain, orties, poireau sauvage. I'd never heard the name of most: lamier, crépi, laiture Saint-Joseph, porcelle, pimprenelle, cousteline, silène, cressonnette, oseille acetosella, stellaire, bourse à pasteur, lampsane. N, who was giving the workshop, had found all of these the previous day in her garden, and we passed the plants around the table, observing, smelling, tasting on the way. THE reference book is Cueillir et cuisiner les plantes sauvages, written by N's teacher Mireille Sicard. On the list.

After a fantastic potluck lunch (people really like food around here), we headed towards E's house (where we spent a night last week) to try and find some of the plants we'd learned about. A few steps out of the house, on the side of the road, we'd already found a dozen varieties! N likes to say that we're all stepping in salad.

The next day, we had trouble trying to recall the plants—let alone differentiating them—with F. Fortunately, the tl;dr is that you can make salad with pretty much anything that grows here.

Opening a bank account

In Berlin, I opened an account online in about 5min and before even arriving, by getting an N26 card delivered at a friend's.

I could keep using N26 here (they operate across the EU) but (1) I wanted to switch to a bank that I can be sure doesn't invest in industries like fossil fuels2, (2) C and I kind of wanted to open a joint bank account, and (3) N26 conditions in FR are not as nice as in DE (no free card, not as many free withdrawals, etc). So we turned to a traditional bank, and after some research online3, we picked La Banque Postale.

The bad thing with traditional banks is that some operations still have to be done in person, and opening a joint account is one of those things. The good thing with La Banque Postale is that it's tied to the French postal services, and there's a post office in Largentière, a 15min drive from here. The other bad thing is that the Largentière post office doesn't do bank stuff anymore, so we had to make an appointment and drive 45min to Les Vans on a Wednesday morning, the only available slot in a 2-week+ window (and we were lucky that someone cancelled).

So do we have a bank account now? No. We were missing a couple of forms and documents. But we do have the phone number of our dedicated bank advisor (I've never had one!), so we should be able to sort it out soonish.


  • Three Colors: White (1994) by Krzysztof Kieślowski. Second feature of the trilogy, that we started watching last week, showing on MUBI. After liberty, this one is on equality. Different cast, different story (although loosely—and very nicely—connected to the first), different genre almost (White is almost a comedy, a far cry from Blue's drama). Loved the white symbolic (bright light, bird poop in one of the first scenes). I read a nice article about the trilogy in the MUBI Notebook.
  • The Terminator (1984) by James Cameron. A rewatch, obviously4. It's hard to judge classics! I've seen better time paradox/AI apocalypse movies, but how much do they owe to The Terminator? Was it pioneering the genre, back in 1984? I'll find out and report back next week. One thing that struck me in this rewatch is how much of a slasher horror/B-movie vibe the film has. I can completely see it come out in the golden days of exploitation films.

We watched both of these on our new projection screen! Even nicer than our white wall back in Berlin (colors are noticeably brighter). When we unroll the screen, put our speakers in front of it, and stack the projector on books on a shaky chair, we have a makeshift home cinema!

Also it's the Oscars ceremony tomorrow! I've watched 7 out of 10 movies nominated for Best Picture (missing All Quiet on the Western Front, The Fabelmans, and Women Talking). If I were awarding Best Picture, it would go to Aftersun (with Everything Everywhere All At Once and Triangle of Sadness close seconds). And I'd saw the Oscar for Best Actress in two to give half to Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All At Once) and half to Cate Blanchett (Tár).


Less reading this week. More comics, short ones. Another Bastien Vivès, La bande dessinée: short, simple strips, very different from his graphic novels. A reread of Delisle's Albert et les autres, also short, wordless but very expressive. I prefer both authors' other work.


  1. all plant names in French, sorry

  2. no idea whether N26 does that. But since they're not saying that they're not doing it, maybe we can assume that they are? (Who'd pass on the free branding boost)

  3. change-de-banque.org is a nice website showing which French banks have the worst climate impact. (Ironically their homepage loads a fullscreen video, so the site consumes as much energy every year as more than 5000km in an electric car, assuming 10k monthly visits—source.)

  4. actually, C had never seen it!