Saturday, January 7, 2012

We Don't Want Your Steenking 2012 ...

Dumpster-diving must be pretty unrewarding around this time of year, I imagine. If the big containers up at the top of the road here are anything to go by, their contents are running at about 90% empty chocolate boxes, with the rest being an equal mix of picked-clean turkey carcasses and oyster shells.

Our New Year was kind of quiet: drove the yoof up to Geneva to catch their flight back to Glasgow: of course, by preparing for the worst (autoroute clogged with bloody holiday-makers, and snow) no such thing eventuated, and we arrived early, around 12:30. Missed some quality drinking time, there. Their flight was still marked as being on time, but the preceding one, that should have left at 11:50, was up as being expected around 14:30 ... I assume they got back eventually, will doubtless find out some time.

Margo dropped Jerry off for a party, and I stopped off on the way back for a few rounds with Beckham and Bryan - oh the shame, for the first time in my life I have been kicked out of a bar! Not, I hasten to add, for drunk & disorderly, but simply because Pierre decided he wanted to close early, like around 15:30, and ejected everyone manu miltari.

So we staggered off to somewhere more congenial, like the Café de Paris, and as we sat nursing our restoratives who should stagger up to the bar but the odious little morsel himself. Still, he paid our round of drinks, which was rather unexpected. (Still didn't make up for poor Bryan's heartbreak on seeing Alison, the hot waitress, with her arms draped around him. Doubtless fishing for his wallet.)

And finally, home for a decent meal and a mug of hot chocolate before snuggling into bed to the damp-squib sound of soggy sky-rockets going off (did I mention it was raining heavily?).

Jeremy has moved back in with us, and I must admit that we're already counting the days until he heads off on his next stage. Not that he's unpleasant company or anything - surprisingly human in fact, when I look at what some other people have to put up with - but my god does he stick the food away. Having no great inspiration I made lasagna the other night - enough for six or eight normal people. And Jerry wasn't hungry ... until the munchies set in at midnight, and the rest disappeared with him to school for his lunch. I had rather been counting on leftovers, seems that's a thing of the past.

Dawned gray, overcast and - the first time this winter that I've really felt it - cold today (is half-heartedly trying to snow as I write, small ploppy flakes falling sullenly), but I is made of sterner stuff and anyway, we needed more potatoes at the very least, not to mention wine.

So it was off to the market, and I'm pleased to note that I'm starting to find my way around again. Rediscovered the cheese-monger, and managed to find a second source for my preferred rougette lettuce (just as well as I have not yet found the first source, I know they're there somewhere, but well-hidden).

I said that they'd severely reduced the floor space for the indoor market: this has one unfortunate side-effect (amongst others, but let's not go there) which is that the old hags with their shopping bags trundling approximatively behind them can even more effectively block the traffic. And to be honest, it's not just the old hags. More and more young folk (OK, we're talking 30's, 40's here) seem to be taking to the diabolical things too, and not only do I have to be athletic and all pointy-elbowed in the market, but on the footpaths around as well.

I mean, here I am with a bag of 10kg of meat, fruit, vegetables and dope in each hand, trying to get back to the car as expeditiously as possible and thus striding along at a great rate of knots, and then you get the Young Family ahead of you. The Father with Pram, the Mother with The Shopping Trolley trailing erratically off to one side, and the Small Daughter who is apparently practising an elliptical orbit that would have gladdened Ptolemy's heart.

The road side is of course blocked with double-parked Porsches - not much to do there apart from scratch a key down the side - so your choice is to wait for them to realise that they're in the way (bonus points if you have an air horn in your pocket, or maybe a small airgun), or barge straight through.

Though this may come as a surprise to those of you who know me as a patient man, I'm not inclined to hang around till Doomsday so I usually go for the bulldozer option: this does sometimes occasion collateral damage, usually the Orbiting Child. And a few muttered harsh words rapidly disappearing behind, along the lines of "Well! Did you see how rude that man was! Come here Chloë, I'm sure it's only a flesh wound. No, he wouldn't have rabies."

Such are the delights of the marché. So you can see why I so appreciate the simple pleasures of a little apéro afterwards, if only to get my blood pressure down. Which is why Bryan and I (Beckham being apparently indisposed) found ourselves at Le Petit Bar du Marché, previously known as Le Bar Sans Nom, formerly known as Chez Liddy. (They've definitely gone downhill in the name department. But it remains cheap, warm, and welcoming: everything you want in a bar on a cold January day.)

They've no literary pretensions but there is a shelf of books along one wall, above the heaters: mostly French authors from the 50's but tucked in just beside "The Male Nude" (yes, with photos) there's a 5-cm thick (and apparently much-used, for the spine has split and it's now in two parts) work entitled "Dictionnaire des Mots de Sexe" which, after inspection, turns out to be a rather exhaustive work on the subject. With a very impressive bibliography.

The word ruelle, for instance - which would mean "little street" - actually derives from the space between the master bed and the wall of the room: would have been the warmest spot in the place and was reserved for intimates. Only later, it seems, did it take on its sexual connotations. Which I will leave you to imagine.

It's a good way to pass an idle half-hour or so, even if Bryan did look rather embarrassed.

Sophie is off for the weekend in Paris - at last notice, wandering like a lovestruck mooncalf through the musée d'Orsay. I have to admit that if there were only one museum I could visit in Paris (that would be for reasons of time, not because I've been banned from the Louvre for sticking chewing-gum on the Mona Lisa's titties) it would be that one.

Although there is, somewhere - just have to dig out the trusty old Taride - an honest-to-god museum of erotica, and another which apparently has a fascinating and rather encyclopedic collection of wine corks. One day, when I have the time ...

Rodin may not be your thing, but let's face it, he wasn't limited to sculptures of fat guys with haemorroids: one of the pieces I vaguely remember up on one wall - I think it was supposed to represent the gates of Hell, but I could well be wrong and can't be arsed googling it - was pretty damn impressive. And the Art Nouveau rooms are magnificent. As is the old dining room from back in the Belle Epoque, when the place was a train station - worth going there just for that, in my opinion. So if you're ever around ...

Whatever, she's just gently reminded me that I still owe her one Xmas present, and sooner rather than later - like next weekend - so I'd better go and start brushing up those menus.

No comments:

Post a Comment