Friday 20 July 2007

I have my suspicions about 'Tripous', though.

I have invented a game to play at restaurants here called 'French Roulette'. To play, you require a menu, and a very hazy grasp of the French language. Then, rather than doing what I used to do, and having one of the four or five things I could identify, you pick the most impenetrable looking phrase, ask for it, and cross your fingers it isn't liver. Yesterday, for instance, I went for 'coquilles de Saint-Jacques', on the grounds that they sounded like they might well be holy relics. In fact, they were bits of fish on a stick. But very nice bits of fish. Then I ordered 'coupe de fraises', probably because the word 'coupe' had subconciously made me expect something rather special- as if the chef had turned to the sous-chef and said 'You know, Serge, I think I've pulled off something of a coup with these fraises!' Then they turned up. And I realised that if so, the rest of the conversation would have gone like this:

SERGE: Really, Jean-Claude? Why, what have you done with them?
JEAN-CLAUDE: Well, I've cut them in halves...
SERGE: Mon Dieu!
JEAN-CLAUDE: Let me finish, Serge! I've cut them into halves... and then I've put them in a bowl.
SERGE: You, mon ami, are a culinary genius. But aren't those the fraises we've had in the freezer for two years?
JEAN-CLAUDE: The very same. And what I've rather cleverly done is only let them three-quarters thaw, so there's still a little frozen bit in the middle of each one. Like a baked Alaska in fruit form.
SERGE: Maestro. You stand alone.

Tuesday 17 July 2007

That ç, by the way, is the nearest thing I can find on this keyboard to a question mark.

I'm away at the moment, going down the Dordogne in a canoe, because that's how middle class I am. Though having said that, earlier this year I spent a week in a holiday complex in Lanzarote; and later some chums and I are going to spend a week in a chateau. So who knows what class I amç (Answer: I do. I'm middle class, and there's nothing I can do about it.)

Anyway, it's going well so far - the water level is very high, which is good for not having to carry my canoe over dried up bits, but bad for making the rapids very rapid indeed. I had no idea I could swear so hard at water.

I shall try to put something up here whenever I get on line. Got to go now, it's half past twelve, so naturally the shop-owner is impatient to shut up shop and embark on his five hour lunch.