Wednesday, 19 November 2008

16 November 2008 Sunday – l’aperitif

Another sunny day. We have not seen the new tenant’s parents for about three days now, so they must have finally gone home.
He did his own washing and hung it out on the line yesterday.
Although it is sunny outside, we find it difficult to get out of bed and it is not until after 11am that we finally plant our feet on the lino.
We decide to have our main meal at lunchtime today so while I sweep and wash the staircase, S makes the chicken stew.
We stay in and continue getting the flat into shape.
In the evening we set off to Rene and Jeanette’s house for our aperitif visit.
We walk up the lane past the sleeping pigeon safe in their wooden barn. When I ask Rene about them, he tells me that their owner collects them. They are special pigeons and are not for eating or for racing. They stay in their barn all the time. The collector or breeder has no idea how many pigeons he has.
We go through the side gate which has been left open for us, at about 6pm and are greeted with bises etc at the door.
We are led into a sitting / dining room which has a roaring log fire. So this is what warm heating feels like. At the flat, we average between 61 and 63 degrees Farenheight. I have not had a heating bill yet, and when one comes it will probably be big… so I am trying to minimise my expenditure in the electrical department as much as possible.
Back to the story:
Various whiskeys, Martini and some liqueurs are produced along with some Pringles, nuts, small crackers with sausage on etc.
S being a whisky fan opts for Glenmorangie, I decide to try the Aveze, which is a liqueur made from yellow Gentian, and which our hosts describe as special.
Here is what I found out about Aveze later on the Internet:
Gentian roots from the
Auvergne region of France are the basis for Gentiane, an apéritif (liqueur). L´Avèze, created in 1929 in Auvergne

• AVÈZE Avèze est la seule boisson à base de gentiane obtenue par macération prolongée (9 mois) des racines fraîches broyées dans un mélange d'eau et d'alcool.Elle est fabriquée exclusivement à partir de racines de gentiane prélevées manuellement, comme le veut la tradition, sur le territoire du Parc Naturel Régional des Volcans d'Auvergne.Pour assurer le meilleur renouvellement de la plante, un délai de 15 ans est respecté entre deux arrachages sur la même parcelle.Ainsi, l'Avèze est la première liqueur de gentiane à avoir obtenu la marque "Parc Naturel Régional des Volcans d'Auvergne". Elle est fabriquée à Riom-ès-Montagnes (Cantal) depuis 1929.

We talked about the choir, their family, all sorts of things. The conversation was mostly in French. Jeanette may have a Scottish name, but despite going to English lessons in France for 7 years, cannot speak it.
We understand most of it and I don’t think we said the wrong thing while we were there.
The door chimes went and a young, pregnant neighbour arrived. She is expecting a baby in December, and teaches Spanish.
Conversation then speeded up and covered people giving birth in shepherd’s huts which had no electricity or running water, the right kind of sheep dog (I think that the white ones might be the best but I am not sure) etc.
Strangely not topics regularly aired back in the UK I suspect.
We had a second drink, the neighbour left and approx 2 hours after our arrival, we left too. We found out that Rene is 86, but he does not look it.

So we had an enjoyable first French house-visiting aperitif.

1 comment:

  1. I love these kinds of stories! by sharing we help each other find our way a bit.

    by the way, I tagged your blog, hope you don't mind!


Feel free to send me your comments or suggestions