France, Summer 2012

Paris

My goal was to reach the Cordon Bleu school to talk about scheduling a demonstration. I also met my friend Valerie and discussed possibilities of doing a food event with the French Heritage Society or other organization in Paris. I had a lovely dinner with Valerie and her husband. They have a beautiful apartment near Ecole Militaire, looking at the Eiffel Tower. It was quite a treat. As I looked at the Eiffel Tower in the sunset I felt that I was a very lucky girl.

I finally reached Sandra Messier whom I will meet in October to work on the food project at the Cordon Bleu school.

I met my friend Patricia who runs a salon in Paris where people meet to discuss subjects from the “Hollande Love Triangle,” to Japan nuclear crisis, to Jazz improvisation, to tasting petits fours. She is the Madame Sevigne of the 21st century.

I was happy to join again after many years of silence my Russian friend Suzanne. We laughed and played and met extraordinary people in the streets of Paris. Following the canal near Bastille, we met a “secret agent”, James Bond style. He had so many stories to tell. He was handsome too! What a treat! I joined Antoine, Suzanne’s son. I will describe him as a bunch of super ideas with a Slavic charm. I met his partner, Louise. She is involved in creating concerts for a worthy cause near Lausanne. Maybe next year I will participate by helping with a food demonstration.

 

Segonzac

It is a long and winding story. It started 2 years ago when I read an article in the newspaper Le Monde about the Slow Town called Segonzac, la Ville Lente. I called the mayor’s office leaving a message. I got no answer, no reply. I tried a few times. Time went by but I am very stubborn and or perseverant. Finally, I just jumped on the train with two changes and a taxi and I arrived at the syndicat d’initiatives of Segonzac. On the main square, near the cafe, the bakery and the church is a beautiful shop with a display of all the local products. The lady in charge was extremely friendly and helpful, so was the charming taxi driver who brought me there. It is the Cognac region, and Segonzac is the number one level quality of Cognac. I was advised to eat in Bassac where there are two excellent restaurants. The best and more casual is the l’Auberge de Conde, a relaxed bistro with a shaded garden where everybody was eating when I arrived at 1:30 pm. I met two cheery British couples who were seated next to my table. They own a house nearby. They are locals! After all, they are coming to the old territory. History turns in a circle- La guerre de cent ans est finie!

 

Andernos

It is near Arcichon. It is very famous for oysters. My mother and I went by train for a very special occasion- the 80th birthday of two cousins. The whole family and all the relatives came from different parts of France. It was a surprise! Their children lead them to go on a day outing in a boat in order to have them out of the house to prepare for the party (setting up the tables in the garden, the bar, the buffet, the music, etc.) It was so moving to see my cousin Didier in tears of emotion, not believing his eyes when he saw all of us in his garden. His wife, Monique, more subdued usually, could not help shedding one tear. It was a superb day ending with a game of Petanque.

Thank you Brigitte, Philippe, Francis, and their spouses and Thomas the son.

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