Life in France

A not every day story of normal people trying to live their dream in France starting at the beginning and ending?

Sunday, December 25, 2005

A Winters Tale

Today was a lovely day, restful, laidback, calm, just like any other day here really. Luscious is oiut at work in the restuarant as they are fully booked and the as the French don't really do christmas we will have our christmas dinner tonight. A nice starter of foie gra, followed by grilled rack of deer with parsnips, brussels etc etc and finish of with christmas pud with custard. Yummy! i thought i would decorate the table with some holly as we have an abundance of it in the fields and the berries will lok nice against the white tablecloth with pictures of snowmen on. HMMMM nice idea but, the blackbirds around here who are all looking remarkably healthy have had other ideas. I cannot find one sprig of holly with a berry on, not one! oh yes, there are plenty of empty stalks but no berries. The birds have stripped the bushes and now i know why they are looking so healthy. It is MY berries they have eaten!
Plan b was to cut some mistletoe, hah! same problem something has eaten that as well. It is not the same having mistletoe hanging up without the berries. The chestnuts on the ground have long gone, the deer, badgers, foxes, wild boar have made sure of that! Lesson learn't is get in early to beat the local wildlife!!!!
A merry christmas to all and a happy new year. I'm off to break out a sherry and to cut up the deer.......... Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 16, 2005

Never again

I think these two cats which belong to a friend have already been on the christmas punch. They have both promised to never drink again and vow that next time it will be orange juice only.
I wonder if cats get hangovers? Still, at least they managed to get to the bathroom and didn't end up fighting their way out of a wardrobe! Long story for another day!
Happy, anyone up for a mouse burger to get rid of this awful taste in my mouth? Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Eating Road Kill

You may remeber that luschious was branded a murderer for accidentely killing a hare which eneded up in the feezer of the restuarant where she works? Well, thursday night was the night selected to eat this free meal. The people here let nothing like this go to waste especially as hare is considered a real treat. It had been taken out of the freezer and allowed to thaw out in the cold store and then hung for four days in the garage to tenderise the meat. When we arrived on the thursday evening it had been partially skinned and put onto a small spit as it was to be cooked in front of a log fire on a rotating spit. The head was left on and the fur on the legs and tail was also left on!
The other guests arrived and as we sat down for the starter, a delicious soupe au fromage ( a cheese and cabbage soup that isn't a soup!) the hare was brought out and put in front of the fire to cook. Every now and then the chef would get up and baste it in the juices coming from the hare. As we finished the starter he put a metal cone on a long rod into the fire to heat up and when red hot added a huge dollop of beef fat into it, set fire to it and as the liquid burning fat trickles out of a small hole in the bottom of the cone he pours it across the top of the rotating hare.
This is done 3 or 4 times and then after "cooking" for about half an hour the hare is taken of the spit and jointed and served up on a big platter complete with the head and tail as decoration.
The meat was quite tender and shall we say not at all well done! but very very very tasty. All washed down with an excellent 1999 bottle of extremely good red wine. ahh yummy.
Next was the cheese and more red wine followed by desert which is always accompanied by champagne. I do like these local customs!!
All in all a very good evening and as it was the first time i or luscious have eaten hare a different experience.
Bon appetit. Hopefully eventually we will have some pictures of the flaming fat being poured.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Keep music LIVE!

Well that was an interesting week. On monday i received a telephone call from a friend who plays in the band that i was asked to join to say that Friday night there was a booking to play a couple of tunes for the Telethon and would i be interested in going to see them and having a quick practise with them to see if they thought i good enough to play with them next year.
The Telethon is a big thing in France, the whole weekend is dedicated to raising money for various charities. I said yes ok, what would we be playing? "oh, simple stuff, "oh when the saints go marching in", is that ok"? "Fine says i, Friday it is then. Friday night we meet at the local bar, of course! then off to Lacaune about 30mins away. Meet the rest of the band and the conductor but before we play anything its down to the serious stuff. First a large Pastis and a chat then another Pastis followed by a meal with wine and coffee to finish. One and a half hours later its time for a practise. Duly played the tune and seemed to be ok, next thing i know i am being given a band sweatshirt and told "ok, your in' now its of to the church to play in front of about 100 or so people. "errr, hang on, i don't know any of the music!" " oh that doesn't matter, play it by ear, you will get the hang of it!"
So that's how i came to be playing in a brassband of sorts in front of all those people. Nerveracking to say the least and to cap it all we didn't play "oh when the saints" which is the only tune i knew!!! still at least i didn't play when i shouldn't have so that is something i suppose.
Worrying postscript though, as the only person playing the cornet, the rest play trumpets, saxaphones, drums etc the chef de banda asked if i had ever played solo?
what has he got lined up for me?????