Published: June 13th 2012June 12th 2012 Sunday 10th
Julia and Charlotte
The dinner ended up being for 13, and finished at 2 a.m! They eat late and go to bed late these Frogs. I swear I should've been born here - I'm in my element!
This morning, the 2 young daughters of some friends had their Communion and Confirmation respectively.
Followed by a party for 40 guests, nuns and all, at the parents' home.
Met some more really lovely people, and it's getting a little easier as my French improves. Chatted to the two nuns, who were nurses, though it was tricky, cos they spoke French with thick Spanish accents. I think
I got most of it, but there was a certain amount of nodding and trying to smile prettily, hoping what they were saying didn't require a proper answer! More delicious traditional local dishes, and some fabulous champagne, brought by a family member who owns the winery.
Ten people were gathered round the TV to watch the first couple of sets of the French Open final - punctuated by typical French outcries!
It was Election Day, so off to the polling booths after the party, to see Eugénie cast her first vote!
Then to see Lisa
(Les belles soeurs)
and Armelle for their birthday, and more sitting around chatting!
I still find it a bit stressful and uncomfortable at times, not being very fluent, but as they say, No pain - no gain, so I persevere. Monday 11th
A relatively quiet day today. Watched the end of the tennis with Eugénie, which was interesting. Their sports coverage is quite different here. And there are some funny shows when you flick around the Pay TV channels, eg: "Sexy Car Wash", and even "Hawaiian Sexy Car Wash", which consist of no story, just a gorgeous bikini clad girl making cars really, really
clean! Usually just in one patch, and actually more suds end up on the girl than on the car, but, whatever - maybe I'm not their target audience!
Started to make a banana cake, but got interrupted by the a 2 hour power cut! Apparently the first time in 17 years or so...
It was a challenge to match up similar ingredients, as they don't use exactly the same things here as we do, but it worked out ok.
Pascale's students were putting on a concert in the evening, at the local
The remains of the Croque en Bouche
'Cultural Centre', so 3 of us went along to that, after casually having Confit of Duck for dinner, something I've only ever had a couple of times, in pricey restaurants!
Interesting concert, then home for banana cake and local cider with visitors. It was Pascale's brother, Frédéric, who works in their 85-year-old-mother's restaurant in Paris, his wife, Florence, and his uncle, Jacques, who lives on the outskirts of Bordeaux and brought some of his homegrown cherries and champignons!
The next challenge was to write out the cake recipe, in French, for Florence - God knows how the cake will turn out..!! Tuesday 12th
Michel drove Eugénie and me to Bilbao in Spain today, to see the Guggenheim museum they have there. Funny - the weather changed instantly
from cold and overcast to warm and sunny, the second
we crossed into Spain!
The whole city of Bilbao was apparently going downhill fast, when the mayor commissioned this incredible art museum to built, 15 years ago. It is the most INCREDIBLE building, housing some wonderful pieces, and has single-handedly raised the city up to being the second biggest tourist destination in Spain, second only to Seville!
There is a
massive David Hockney exhibition there for the summer, and I have new respect for him after seeing it.
Home by 21:30, in plenty of time for dinner :P of melon + a special local kind of prosciutto; baked salmon with Jacque's champignons; cheeses; and then more local gateaux!
Lucky I'm doing plenty of walking..!
I'll try not to bore you with too many photos, but it's hard!
There are more photos below