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Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
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Monday, 1 June 2015

Elegance traduced

Why France?

Not for the wine (I do better with The Wine Society in the good old UK). Not for the food (More and more restaurants there are rebranding themselves as pizzerias). Not for the scenery (NZ is superior). Not for the politics (Francois Hollande shrinks every living day). Not for the movies (They may have invented the phrase Film noir but they've only occasionally followed it up). Not for their public coveniences (They haven't got rid of all their asiatiques).

So what's left? Just this: the French, unlike the Brits, willingly listen to me speaking French. Which is a great treat.

But it's a treat that can weigh heavily.

On the way down to Autignac last Friday we stopped at a hotel in Chevilly, near Orléans. RR and VR in a room on the ground floor, OS, spouse and Zach on the first floor. OS was lollygagging with us while spouse was attending to Zach. It was quite late. Suddenly hands appeared outside our window, it was spouse. He'd been unable to reach our room since the dining room - the only conduit - was now locked. Risking his all he'd exited the hotel (without any means of re-entering) hoping to communicate with us by sign language. Our window was quite high, hence the disembodied hands. OS, ever efficient, found a way of admitting him but he (and she) still had no means of returning to their room.

I rang the patron who resolved the problem.

One learns French to discuss rhyming alexandrines, Foucault of pendulum fame, the bicameral parliamentary system, and de Gaulle's certaine idée. Not this sort of stuff. I was not only fatigued but somewhat betrayed.

My offspring applauded ironically.

Pic: Zach tackles saucisse in Béziers


  1. "There is a French widow in every bedroom..."

  2. Well, at least you can speak the lingo, RR. Might have been awkward otherwise.

    I certainly agree that NZ beats the rest of the world when it comes to variety of scenery.

  3. I have heard that their postage system was a useful invention ...

  4. Fed: One reason why I enjoy Veuve Clicquot.

    Avus: Mercifully the subjunctive wasn't required.

    Blonde Two: You know, when you're gnomic you're really gnomic

  5. Are you sure about that subjunctive? Sounds like a classic case for 'il faut'.

    At least the poor child wasn't forced to tackle an andouillette.

  6. Lucy: Subj. - I dare say. The line was throwaway.

    On a previous holiday in France I encouraged spouse (Zach's Dad) to try an andouillette. He's gutsy enough but one bite defeated him. Masterfully I cut off a much larger chunk to show him how. And had to spit it out. I've enjoyed these peculiarly French perversions in Troyes but this one tasted like putrefaction. I may have eaten my last. Z's saucisse was, in contrast excellent.

  7. What does one drink with such a magnificent saucisse?