Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Having a Crêpe time - Wish you were here?

The phone goes. The display says that it is my friendly French family and not some Spanish bloke babbling on about Pepito. “Have you eaten?” I reply that I haven’t and immediately get invited over to eat crepes as it is French pancake day (Not held on the same day as the English Shrove Tuesday, which is 2 or 3 weeks later.) Did I want an egg? I said that I would like an egg. Egg? C is cooking it now, so I shoe and coat-up and head out into the cold.

I arrive and the youngest daughter indicates which chair I should sit on at the kitchen table.

My first crepe has got an egg and cheese inside it. The second one has a generous amount of Gran Marnier liqueur on it, the third has sugar on.

M and I reminisce about the first time we had a crepe with Gran Marnier on and for both of us it was on holiday in the South of France.

I have brought a pack of Happy Families cards along and I teach C and her daughters how to play. I lose. S’no faer.

The next day I am walking up my path towards the house when Madam’s bedroom window opens and she leans out and asks if I want to come in for a coffee. I say okay and wait for her to come downstairs and let me in.

Small dog is pleased to see me and jumps up to be petted. I sit down at the table and the coffee arrives via the microwave. Then a plate of folded up pancakes arrive. I am to help myself, so I eventually have three before leaving. It is still Christmas in her living room, the tree is up and still three quarters decorated, decorations and Christmas ornaments are still scattered under the tree. This is because of her bad back and leg, which is slowing her progress in packing it all away. Every night her flashing Christmas lights pulse their blue light out into the garden, much to the annoyance of at least one neighbour 2 gardens away.

“I’m afraid the lights do not belong to me ” I replied apologetically when asked if those damn lights which flash all evening are mine.. they are my tenant’s.

Following on from yesterday’s post about what I have read over the last couple of months. I also listened to Steig Larsson’s Millennium trilogy “The girl with the dragon tattoo”. “The girl who played with fire” and “The girl who kicked the hornet’s nest”. His writing style really annoyed me, as he kept repeating the same things over and over again, but the storyline was very good. It’s well worth a read, and was voted listeners’ choice 2009 by Audible readers. Altogether, his trilogy has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide (summer of 2009), and he was the second bestselling author in the world 2008. The novels take place in Sweden, mostly in Stockholm. Karl Stig-Erland Larsson (15 August 1954 – 9 November 2004) was a Swedish journalist and writer, born in Skelleftehamn outside Skellefteå. Mr. Larsson died having only published these three volumes. However the main characters Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander (a grown up Pippi Longstocking) will live on in a trilogy of films based on the books.

I also read a two volume novel by Christian Signol based on generations of a wine growing family. 1996 : Les Vignes de Sainte-Colombe, tome 1 (Prix des lecteurs du Livre de Poche)1997 : La Lumière des collines, Les Vignes de Sainte-Colombe, tome 2 (Prix des maisons de la Presse 1997) .

With over 800 pages all written in French this took some time to read. I began it in September last year, and put it aside as the constant theme of history repeating itself, began to get on my wick. However, I finally battered through it recently, and it can now rest in peace. The other French fiction book that I read recently was ”Parce que je t’aime” by Guillaume Musso which turned out to be rather Twilight Zone-ish.

And there was me thinking that I was not doing much. The local cinema has been under excelling itself recently in its choice of films, so the first feature film that I have seen there this year is “Gainsbourg – vie heroique based loosely on the life of French legend Serge Gainsbourg as he puffed his way through a never-ending stream of cigarettes, and close encounters with Ms. Bardot and Jane Birkin.

The film itself was rather long and in places simply bonkers. There are so many clips of the film and other bits and bobs on the web site that there is not much need to go and see the film.

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