Anne is the chef and baker extraordinaire who is constantly creating an occasion out of every meal. Angus was brought up in a wine enthusiasts household with strong childhood memories of his father complaining about a bottle of St-Emilion in St-Emilion! "Mais Monsieur....c`est normale pour St-Emilion!!"
Matching food and wine is what we are all about!!
Here am I resting on the pedestrian bridge over to the Louvre, which is shown in the next photo! The conference was a bit poor in terms of content which was a shame as I had to console mself in the arms of Paris - Brasseries (no not brassieres!) and bars, restaurants and ice creams and finally chocolate.
Who is this super hero? Sarge? ...No. Rosemary, the telephone operator? ...No. Penry, the mild-mannered janitor? ...Could be! Well actually no again, I am just reporting that (after weeks of ambivalent vacillatory activity!) I decided to go for interview yesterday and was subsequently appointed as Clinical Director for Adult Services for our Trust (Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust) which provides services to County Durham and Darlington, Hartlepool, Stockton, Teesside and North East Yorkshire. We are heading for the new NHS business environment and intend to be amongst the earliest of the Foundation Trusts in about 18 mths time when we will all be reconfigured again! So I have supped from the chalice of power and will be drinking from the goblet of domination. Nothing tests character more than ultimate cosmic power but I don`t think I`ll be affected at all as I rule over the petty lives of those minions that will be at my complete beck and call ........ Ooooo hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahaha!
Ruth it turns out was selected not to have (as we thought) just one of her pieces to be on display at Corus HQ but ALL OF THEM. She was subsequently judged to be the best student of her year and none of us were there for the exhibition!! Including Ruth who didn`t think it was a big thing!! Jonny is following in her sisters footsteps! Anyway we are heading off this weekend to various places - Ruth and Nana to London for a girlie shopping weekend, Angus to Paris for a long weekend of conferencing til wednesday, Anne and Debbie to York and James and Jonny wherever!! At the weekend I did my first ever abstract canvas as a part of a contribution to the church`s art exhibition - I used textured paint to get a rough base and then laid on top of that a combination of aerosol acrylic gold and black followed by two types of metallic flakes and then a number of inks in the red/brown range, more gold on top and finally laquering the lot to seal it together. I loved doing it and if time and inspiration allow, will do some more.
Well over the summer big things have happened avec Les Cloches. Ruth got her results and was relieved to get all A's so she can go to the height of cultural and footballing excellence that is Newcastle Uni to do English literature! We are very pleased for her and this means she is not too far away. She subsequently got her accomodation confirmed as being in the flats in Richardson Road which was not her first choice by a long chalk. She moves in on the 24th September. Jonny meanwhile got his AS level results which is kind of halfway - he like his sister is demonatrating a severe attack of artiness and has an A in the bank for Art, B in English and C in Psychology. The way it works these days is that you get each paper marked and reported separately - Jonny got A`s for English apart from one D on an essay which he obviously answered completely wrongly so he is redoing that module next year and you keep the A`s in the bank. Similarly in his psychology he is redoing the weaker result in the coming year so expectations are for an A in art, A in English and B in psychology come next year. Both America and Soul Survivor were immense for him this year and his faith has developed as a result. He has some great stories to tell so ask him directly! He plans to take a year out and work in America in the church for a year from next summer. Debbie is turning into the fashion icon of the family and has had a great summer both in New Wine and with us in France - she loves all cheeses (even the most french stinky ones) and will eat all kinds of fish but almost no meat any more. James is becoming super sociable mostly with those older than him - he enjoyed his cousins and his new friend Evie and surprisingly loved french food and wanted to eat from the main menus rather than the menu enfant!
Well we`re back from a wonderful two and a half weeks of french culture and house decoration with my mother and brother and his two girls! I`m sitting here sipping a Kir, and a bottle of Muscat is chilling in the fridge for later as I reflect on the culinary and linguistic adventures we have recently experienced. Part of getting this house is the challenge of becoming more fluent in french, and we had a great conversation with the carpenter when we were commisioning him to build us a fitted wardrobe in our bedroom - he turned and asked us why we wanted a shelf at the top? Anne replied in her best french that she wanted to keep her blankets there. Unfortunately she thought that by saying blankets in a french accent that he would understand! What he heard was "blanquettes" which either means "stew" or sparkling wine!! He laughed a lot! Anway we have decorated most of the upstairs bedrooms now and I varnished the floors in the dining room and Ruth`s bedroom. The roof leak in the utility has been mended (par moi!) and the railings have been scraped and rustproofed and painted, the oil for the central heating has been delivered (courtesy of the Bretaux brothers) as well as a corner sofa and chairs. Paintings have been put up and we have engaged Serge the electrician to put up the chandeliers!! As well as all this we got out and about discovering this little restaurant in the middle of nowhere called the Poisson Vivant where we had a 3 and a half hour lunch. It is a charming little place run by a young couple near to Flers about 40 mins north of us. She is spanish and Anne taught her how to fold napkins into Lilies with 8 leaves. We had two meals there in the end! We also went cycling on the VeloRail, swimming in the fabulous leisure pool at Flers, calvados tasting, and beach lounging near Mont St Michel.
Culinary highlights were goats cheese ice cream, Creme Brulee of Foie Gras, caramelised apple crumple with calvados and anything from the local markets (see pic!). We still have yet to visit the northern coast, Falaise (William the Conquerors birthplace) and I have been promised a tour of the Loire with my Uncle who knows some wine producers there. So Giverny, Bayeux, Camembert etc are all to come!! For family news see next postings! Le Baron x