A Taste of Garlic

It’s All Downhill From Here - Rhône-Alpes

rhone alpes  Its All Downhill From Here   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceIt’s All Downhill From Here is the blog of someone called misplacedperson.

I really do wonder about parents who call their kids funny names like that – must be all down to too many drugs in the seventies?

Anyway misplacedperson seems to have survived even if she does describe herself as a (in her own words)….

“waster and a layabout. I have failed to make any sensible use of my expensive university education, neglected to produce grandchildren to delight my parents’ old age and at the same time continue not to set the world on fire in any way which might justify these shortcomings.

On the plus side, I can speak French (sort of), ski and snowboard (ditto), cook (not too badly really) and I have finally more or less got to grips with the art of indulging in social interaction without being called ‘abrasive’. Scraping the barrel here, I know, but it’s the best I can muster.

I live in a small market town in rural France with a half-French ex-accounts assistant turned ski bum. We have two and a half cats, which means I waste far too much of my life picking fluff off the rugs. When not messing with the internet or falling down hills, I spend my time attempting the Telegraph’s crossword and listening to Radio 4. I buy far too many books, and am consequently running out of shelf space, though the books make good insulation, which is handy when you live in the Alps in a house with no central heating.”

Well, that’s a pretty good start, isn’t it?

I found my way here from her foodie blog, Dinner with the Omnivore, (have you ever noticed that everyone has got a foodie blog these days? I really ought to get one myself but, by the time I did that, it would be old hat and I’d be too late! And it’d be like wearing flares in 1986 – everyone would be laughing at me all over again!)

On her foodlie blog, Dinner with the Omnivore, she says that… “Did you know that all those I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (Mainly Because I Had All My Tastebuds Removed At The Same Time As The Lobotomy) spreads are made of diesel and dead dogs? Well they are.”

I just knew that I was going to like her!

And, before you ask, I do have a sneaking suspicion that misplacedperson is really called Christa but calls herself misplacedperson just to get back at her parents who may,or may not, have taken too many drugs in the seventies. I’ve never met them, you see, so I wouldn’t know.  And I can’t really trust the word of someone who starts her blog with a post on…..

What does she start off with, then?

Well, if you must know, she starts off this blog with a post about hurling herself down a snowy hill stood on two little fibreglass planks (which I find a strange enough obsession) only to  seek out and collide with one of the organisers of the aforementioned ski race!

Which, in football terms, is a bit like Paul Gascgoine being picked to play for England (another sporting anomaly – almost as silly as skiing!)  then, just after singing the national anthem, head-butting the ref in the goolies!

misplacedperson (or Christa, whatever you call yourself these days!), you’ll never win skiing races by crashing into the officials you know!

Now, after all that, you’d expect misplacedperson to calm down a bit, wouldn’t you?  Not a bit of it!

She dives into recounting her experiences as a checkout chick at Marché U!

She kindly passes on some advice to her customers (or supermarket customers anywhere, I suppose?)… The one I liked (well I liked them all,really) was… Parents: if your child is making that high-pitched ear-splitting squealing noise, either shut it up or get rid of it. Now!”

From there, the blog trundles on through some advice about wine buying (Plastic bottles: really don’t. No, really. Even the hardened winos don’t drink that – when it says cooking wine it seriously means it!) and mad cow disease (where, apparently, skiers negotiating crowded pistes in peak season are likely to be accosted by a purple cow on skis, dishing out chocolates – as if there wasn’t enough to worry about!) until we get the news… please sit down, it’s bad news!

Yes, Christa buys a car!

And, given the choice of all the Citroen 2CV or Dyanes that she could have picked a nice run around from, she decides on a Renault Twingo!

Some people just have no taste!  And I don’t care that you can fold all the seats flat into a makeshift double bed in a Twingo.  In a 2CV you can roll back the roof and take your pet giraffe for a drive!  And look cool doing so!

Moving swiftly along to a slightly less emotional subject…

Which I found in the excellent blog post called…  How to live in France without becoming a miserable git!

This is such a good post that it ought to be turned into a poster and placed on the docks at Calais and St. Malo!

In my opinion you shouldn’t be allowed to enter France unless you can recite, by heart, all ten of the rules detailed in the post.  My favourite being….

2. People are not dying to make friends with freaky foreigners. Sorry to break the news, but you’re really quite scary. You’ve just arrived from planet Basingstoke, bought some hovel no-one in their right mind would look at and installed half a zoo. Add to that the fact that you only speak three words of French and can’t explain yourself. Are you surprised people are shy? You’re the immigrant here, it’s going to be up to you to make the effort. Every single time. I know, it’s tiring. Get used to it.

I do have to disagree with Rule  10, though!  There’s is nothing nicer that simply chewing on a nice piece of andouillette!

I do worry that this blog is going from bad to worse (in a sick is good sort of way)…..

You just need to look at the following posts (and I’ll summarise them for those of you with weak stomachs!)

We had to make our own entertainment in those days –   All about karaoke!  Yes, the modern equivalent of Morris Dancing and Incest – to be avoided at all costs!

Road closed due to escaped lunatics – Men in Lycra! Yes, the modern equivalent of Morris Dancing and Incest – to be avoided at all costs!

Serious Saturday Morning sense of humour failure –  Another men in Lycra post.  This time with bananas up their bums!  You couldn’t make this up, could you?

If things go on this way, we’ll be reading  misplacedperson complaining about all those skiers who spend all their time anally raping purple cows (on skis, no less) whilst skiing downhill wearing Lycra and singing (out of tune – it has to be out of tune!)  I shall Survive!

Now, that’s something to look forward to, isn’t it?

So, summing up……

misplacedperson (or Christa – I can’t keep up with all her name changes, you know!) runs a very interesting blog.

It can be rather bolshy in areas but that does add to its attractions.

It’s All Downhill From Here is an essential read for anyone who has ever had any inclination to throw themselves down steep hills in the cold, cold winter – just hoping and preying a Wild Boar or a Purple Cow on Skis doesn’t get in the way!

It’s also a pretty good read for anyone far too intelligent to even consider taking up skiing!

But, don’t take my word for it… Slalom over to It’s All Downhill From Here and take a good look round.

And try not to say anything nasty about the car – even if she could have bought a proper 2CV for half the price!

And me?  Well, having already insulted Christa’s parents (by questioning whether they may, or may not, have taken drugs in the seventies) and by calling into question Christa’s taste (or, extreme lack of it!) by buying a horrible car when she could have bought the most beautiful car in the world (the Citroen 2CV, just in case this is your first visit to A Taste of Garlic!), I think that it might be altogether appropriate for me to stay out of the way for a while.

Thus, I’m going to investigate that age old question… What Ski Resort?  It’s all about mud… and the naked ladies!

Hmmm… Mud and naked ladies!  Perhaps there is something to that skiing after all!

All the best

rhone alpes  Its All Downhill From Here   because we all love reading blogs about life in France


  • By miplacedperson, July 23, 2010 @ 7:58 pm

    Keith, I cannot believe you dissed my Twingo. How rude!

  • By Keith Eckstein, July 23, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

    MPP (or whatever you’re calling yourself these days) – cars are a very personal thing and we all have our preferences. I have to live with driving an immaculate Astra Turbo Diesel Sports (with alloys and low profile tires) whilst lusting after a decent (blue, has got to be blue) 2CV.

    I can’t though, for the life of me, imagine why anyone would buy a Twingo when a 2CV would go half as fast!

    You’d have been better sticking with the Lada, in my opinion.

    I had a Lada once and it was brilliant! Built like a tank! Nothing to go wrong and when it did, you could fix it with a sledgehammer and a monkey wrench!

    All the best


    P.S. You’re just grumpy ‘cos for the rest of eternity people are going to be searching Google for Mud, Near-Naked Ladies and Lycra and turning up, chez toi!

    P.P.S. What really worries me, I suppose, is that you were upset about me dissing your car but you didn’t say anything about my suggesting that your parents might have partaken of a few too many recreational substances back in the seventies! I’m not sure what to make of that but… make of that, something I shall! Hope you have a great weekend!

    P.P.P.S. Rude is my middle name, apparently. I was repeatedly beaten for it during my youth but it doesn’t seem to have done the trick. You’ll just have to blame my parents! You see, they were quite keen on far too many recreational substances back in the….

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