I said “tomorrow” but I really meant the day after tomorrow and then the day after that… Who am I kidding?
In fact I’ve spent the last couple of days sorting out a little explicit profile problem from visitors to my Multiply site. In the end, I decided to start moving the blog part from that site to this one, basically the bits missing on here from Sept 2005 to May 2006. But more of that anon…
The morning of the BBQ for my expat group dawned grey and horrible. We were in two minds whether to cook the meal outside on the BBQ or inside in the oven. We had already decided to eat inside.
In the end I decided to set up a fire in the BBQ – which luckily didn’t take so long with the aid of some sirot branches we keep just for that purpose. Thumpah prepared the meats and put them in the griddle – and so I started to cook the meats on the BBQ. Luckily I am stood under a tree cooking because it starts to rain, and even more luckily the fire stayed burning.
Then there was a cry from the kitchen. Thumpah couldn’t get our hi-tech halogen hob to work. In fact it’s that hi-tech that we can only use 2 of the 4 hobs, the other two gave up the ghost long ago. We’d also had it repaired something like 6 years ago at great expense. So we were without hob.
She was left with no choice but to finish off the ratatouille in the oven and cook the rice in the microwave (which was surprisingly good). As we were doing this, one of our guests, Mari, rang to say she couldn’t get a train to the nearest station to us. So Thumpah had to leave and travel the 15km into Corbeil-Essonnes to go and pick her up (the RER trains are every 15 mins there and every hour out here from Paris).
Before she left and as I was finishing the meats, Ewa and Adam our Polish friends arrived so I was left alone with them whil Thumpah went off to Corbeil.
They got the usual tour of the work we had done around the house, the neighbours building their house next to us, the 9m of 7m high laurel hedge we’d had to get rid of so they could build their house. The space we’d cleared at the back of the garage, and the gap where we will eventually put up a new fence once we can borrow a pneumatic drill!
By this time Thumpah had returned with Mari in the car – and so we could all introduce ourselves. The food was cooked so it was time to make a start with an apéro. Beer for me and Ewa and it seemed softdrinks for everyone else.
As usual we had done too much, always that fear of there never being enough. But it was a really nice meal. Thumpah had made a terrine with turkey breasts and smoked ham on top (a Weight Watchers recipie) and melon for those that wanted it.
Followed by chipolatas, marinated chicken, mergueuz, rice and the ratatouille. Then some cheese, followed by fondant au chocolat with crème anglaise. By this time we were all full. Much of the time was spent talking about the French language and speaking it, Adams interview the following day (he still lives in Poland). I realise that I can be a bit self concious when speaking French and this is when I make mistakes. As Ewa said to me – if I just speak without realising, I can speak an excellent French. She was also very generous in giving us a basic mobile phone to use. I had put out an appeal on one of the expat groups on the lookout for a basic mobile. Thumpah had lost mine, and now hers won’t receive. So now at least, thanks to Ewa, we have a mobile that works using the SIM card from Thumpah’s phone.
Before long, it was time for everyone to go, Ewa kindly ran Mari home to Paris before they heading back to Yvelines.
We had a wonderful meet up – and I’m looking forward to the next one, in September, this time in Paris because it’s just not practicle to have them here in Fontenay… (sadly)
Photo round the table : Ewa, Adam, Isa & Mari