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Sunday, 24 August 2014

Flying high

Forget the reason. It's just a day, prefigured by two people going to bed in November 1934 and, as sad epilogue, getting divorced about fifteen years later.

If you feel like responding please celebrate the inventiveness and hard work of my immediate family (and a partner) who combined and turned the day - yet to happen, if the truth be known - into something unique.

It was Daniel, grand-daughter Bella's partner who had the original idea. "Let's re-create the Fly Restaurant," he said. The official name of the Fly Restaurant is Snack-Grill les Tilleuls, close to the wild and wonderful cliffs of Cirque de Navacelles, about 50 km north-east of Montpellier in southern France. More on this establishment will appear in the following post which - for self-evident reasons - will be in French.

FR cuisine is predominantly barbecue, cooked on one of those giant cheminées the French favour. Hence the cake. The colours of the table napkins and place mats, visible in the photo taken by Occasional Speeder during our last visit, were faithfully reproduced. Flies made of plastic dotted the groaning board.

Much thought went into duplicating what the FR offers (especially the mutton chops) and to devising a menu - subsequently laminated - which looked authentic. Bella swears the typeface is an exact replica. The only omission is an octopus dish which none of us has ever ordered. If the translation of the snack-grill's name is a bit ropy, I for one don't mind.

No one patronises the FR because of the wine cellar and my normal tipple is a can of Heineken, ordered faute de mieux. Chez Robinson, we did rather better.

I find it hard to acknowledge I deserved this which no doubt sounds like mock-modesty but it isn't. A moving occasion.


  1. Still a few days left to go, so I won't actually say it yet. You know how we Germanically-inclined ones are with timing. The giant cheminées is a new discovery for me and quite thrilling because it reminds me of the yakitori grills of western Japan. (Now a restaurant pops into my mind I would very much like to re-create.) They also had an octopus dish nobody would order. The Fly Restaurant transplanted is truly to be celebrated. The detail! Down to the menu typeface and the little plastic flies. I am smiling! Prost to Daniel for this superb idea! I'm now going to brush up on my French for your next post.

  2. "Life is uncertain," the excuse I use to order dessert first at times, and the excuse I use today to wish you many happy returns...whenever that day arrives.

    The restaurant-themed celebration is a fun idea, especially the flies.

  3. You really don't seem like the "mock-modesty" type.

  4. Would it seem odd to say that the flies made it for me?

    And am I the only person here who actually did order the octopus?

  5. RW (zS): On your behalf I've prosted Daniel but he, being a monoglot, has responded merely with a quizzical expression.

    The Crow: You and Blonde Two appear to be on the same wavelength.

    MikeM: Gimme a break, willya? I'm a different person to different people. It makes sense to be bombastic. inflated, swollen, bloated, tumid, turgid, flatulent, stuffy and/or stilted when I'm dealing with you. With others I get more mileage out of being obsequious, truckling, red, ruddy, shamefaced, etc. Horses for courses as we say here in jolly old UK.

    Blonde Two: Look, you're a contrarian; I'd expect no less from you. Why not keep your diary free on Tuesday June 2 2015, pop over to les Tilleuls about 1300 hr, and join our argumentative lot. The place is easy to find, on the southern outskirts of St Maurice de Navacelles; only feeble conversationalists need fear the experience and I doubt you'd fail on that score.

  6. But did you get any response from Les Patrons?

  7. Happy birthday, Robbie, whenever it is/was, and congratulations to your wondrously inventive, enterprising and attentive family for this beautiful surprise (it was a surprise, right?). I am extremely envious because such a thing has never been plotted for any of my innumerable birthdays. But I'm glad it happened for you and hope many more delightful birthdays are yet to come.