But if you lift your eyes from the dog turds in the gutters (or, considerably less unsavoury, ladies' chest appendages) roofs and things can actually look quite nice. And at least architecture doesn't shuffle to the back to try and get out of the photo, probably due to its notorious lack of motility. Nor does it blink at the wrong moment, or have some really wierd grimace that is its "smile for photos" and makes it look like a complete twat, or some sort of alien reptile.
Margo took Malyon off to Decathlon the other day to get all that interesting stuff like a decent backpack, hiking boots, wet-weather gear, warm-weather gear, water bottles, frog repellent ... everything necessary for the Well-Equipped Student in The Great Outdoors.
So the boot of the car was kinda full when I dropped her off to Geneva airport on Tuesday. At least she remembered to put the pocket-knife into the backpack as checked baggage, so it didn't get confiscated.
(Which is what happened to me last time we came back to Noo Zild - completely forgot that in my laptop bag was my little leatherman-style multi-function wotsit that i always like to carry about for disassembling computers should that become necessary. it got found and dumped when we boarded. What a pain.)
But could someone please explain to me why in hell the "café gourmand" has become THE thing to offer - and to order - for dessert? I mean yes, it can be quite nice and the ones at le Modesto or l'Atelier are decently presented, but as a general rule it's still just a couple of chocolates onna plate with a coffee when it all comes down to it. With honourable exceptions.
And although I am not one to diss a tarte au citron meringuée and other such delights, a bit of originality would be nice. Hell, we have strawberries AND cherries right now: so what's wrong with a salad of those, marinated with a bit of grand marnier? Can't do much simpler. Or better.
Come to that, peaches halved and stuffed with a mix of crushed amaretti, butter, sugar and cinnamon then baked with orange juice until it goes syrupy are pretty bloody good too. And peaches are now in season. What are these people waiting for?
So the menu is, apparently, fricassée de poulet, tomates farcis à la provençale and tarte aux fraises.
He even made up a shopping list, after rooting through the contents of the cupboards: once I'd pointed out that I was not going to buy crème patissière in a sachet and he could bloody well make it from scratch (god nose we've enough recipes around here) and offered a few other helpful criticisms of that nature it boiled down to chicken legs and strawberries (he forgot the tomatos, lucky I didn't I suppose).
Placed the order on Monday, expedited Tuesday, Wednesday check up on the tracking n° and it is "undergoing delivery". So far so good, then I arrive home that night, no parcel ... and the bloody thing is back at Chambery because the address was "insufficient or inaccurate". WTF? The bloody Chronopost delivery van couldn't find our street - not that St Pierre is particularly enormous or complicated to get around in. Probably has difficulty finding his arse with both hands, too.
Still, Margo now has her shiny new camera (a little Olympus as it happens, with more megapixels than you can shake a stick at, but i am not jealous 'cos at least mine has decent optics, size isn't everything you know) which will doubtless make her very happy, when she gets her paws on it.
Personally I've never got the hang of shooting with a screen rather than a viewfinder, and the little thing feels completely lost in my paws anyway.
Although to be quite honest, sometimes I think that the interest in rasta is mainly because of the emphasis on the medicinal uses of grass, something in which I've never really seen the point. If I'm going to kill off a few billion brain cells I'll do it the good old-fashioned way thank you very much, with alcohol. Or formaldehyde. Depending on whose brain it is.
(This covetousness is probably why I'm planning on being around on Sunday, probably to steal from the collection plate. I'm given to understand that along with a number of other personality traits I happen to have, including but not limited to lust, sloth and a fondness for alcohol, its possession apparently disqualifies one from sticking a needle in the eye of a camel, or something. Well tough, I didn't really want to do that anyway, and even if camels are gross beasts it still sounds cruel to me.)
Oh, and just on the offchance you've not yet come across it, the CDC's advice on being ready for a zombie attack may well come in useful. Especially if you're not a floater, and get left behind when (insert deity of choice) pulls the chain.
(Update: heavens just opened, waiting for arrival of Ark. No signs of ascensions though - maybe it doesn't work for Catholics.)