So as I was saying – I’ so sorry about the previous half-story – I meant to click ‘save’ and pressed ‘publish’ ….mmm…just proves the ‘little grey cell story’ I was telling you about…
So to start over…
I looked back to my last post and discovered it was in January! And to make matters worse – it started off with ‘I feel bad, so very very bad…’ so I can’t very well start this one off in the same way now can I? BUT…it doesn’t stop me feeling that way and I really am sorry…I hope you are still with me and haven’t wandered off down another way more interesting footpath, and to be honest, I wouldn’t blame you if you did!
There IS a reason though – so bear with me while I explain….In January (when I last blogged), I had an epiphany! I felt I needed to learn something new, to expand the brain and, to quote a famous French Detective – Monsieur Hercule Poirot – ‘get the little grey cells working’. I figured that if I did that, I would learn to ‘be out there’ a bit more (I’m not a l limelight person and the Dear One has been known to tell me I ‘lurk’ in the background – not sure that I like the work ‘lurk’, but I guess it’s better than ‘skulk’…) and perhaps meet a few people who needed my help, or better yet, learn a bit more french. So – to cut a looong story short, I am now a Qualified Holistic Massage Therapist, Hot Stone Therapist, Aromatherapist, Reflexologist and Certificates in Ayurveda Indian Head Massage and the ‘piece de resistance’ – non-invasive face-lift massage therapy, which is pretty cool with incredible results. Now I tell you all this, not to brag, but to try and give you an insight into how many hours of ‘practical’ work this all needed and how problematic it can become when you have no idea what it all is in the French Language. I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish – I met lots of new people who had to be ‘case studies’ as I kneaded, massaged, stretched, pushed and pressed my way to passing each exam. I improved my French, even if some of the new words were mild expletives and I worked the grey cells so vigorously I nearly burnt them out.
Now is the above not a reason? Let me add to it then…if that wasn’t enough, visitors to the Chateau seemed to want more and more creative dinners and deserts. I thought I’d better expand the patisserie horizon (and in doing so, not expand my waistline)
That was where I left off so let me continue…
So I bought two ‘Be a patisserie Chef at home’ type books and got to work and it has been such fun! From layered mouse desserts to madelines, raspberry mille feuille with white choccie ganache and choucettes – all these wonderful french delights have exited my tiny kitchen – a 2 meter x 50 cm surface, a 50×50 cm fan oven and a kitchen table. My electric beater has never worked so hard and at times slows down as it wades through batter, butter and Italian meringue but together we make it to the end of the day without too many mishaps.
So between cooking up a storm for up to thirty guests at the chateau, massaging them and organising the linen and laundry, life has been a bit busy – hence the REASON for not blogging. But it’s good to be back here again, hoping you’re still on the other side, and hopefully I will be back sooner rather than later.
In between all of that, my two nieces spent 6 weeks here so there was sight seeing to be done, Paris to visit a few times and a very welcome 5 day break down in the Dordogne area, a favourite place of mine – and we went in the middle of a heatwave not experienced in the last 12 years so we boiled and melted around the sites.
The good news is that I can finally and unconsciously understand conversations between two french people who are standing behind me in the supermarket queue or if they greet and chat to each other within ear shot. It’s still a bit fast but the overall meaning is clearer now which then means it’s much easier to make phone calls and explain stuff. It’s a very subtle progress but its there and thanks to that small step, I don’t feel quite so ‘alien’. That. together with the fact that we’re often at the Friday morning market with guests, has led to a good portion of the store holders at the market yelling out ‘Bonjour’ when they see me. or they call me over to chat about something new they’ve grown or have on their stall or ask how we are. It makes France feel a little more like ‘home’.
So – next week is a very busy one and after that, I’ll try my best to get back here. I have lots to tell you, a few deaths happened around the chateau grounds, new life was discovered in the lavender bushes and more ‘thank you’ macarons had to be delivered to neighbours. The dear one is still busy and decided to try his hand at making four of the bushes around the fountain into giant topiary ice-creams before mentioning it to the owner…oh and after 9 years.., the Beloved got the fountain working. But that’s all for next time, I can smell that the guests dinner needs some attention so I will end off here.
Take care, thank you for your patience, tell me your news
A la prochian (genuinely)