Every Tuesday I intend to do a quick review of some of the posts from the last week that have made me smile, made me chuckle or, even…. just made me think.
Some of these you may have seen yourselves.
And some of them you may have missed.
I don’t think of these in any competitive sense at all.
This isn’t a top-ten listing.
They’re merely the posts that have stuck in my head.
1). I’m mentioning Abbé Henri Proust at Éminence Rouge for his complete and continuing dedication to his project of documenting the (to use his own words)… “unique IDEAL CITY built originally for Armand-Jean du Plessis, cardinal duc de Richelieu, to designs of Jacques Lemercier and his brothers between the years 1631 and 1642 : to British readers in the rule of Charles I, and just before the English Civil War: to North Americans at the time of the French colonial initiatives in ‘Acadie’ (Nova Scotia) and of the English in Virginia.”
I’ll almost certainly never go there myself but, if I did chance happen to get lost going to somewhere else (always a hazard with me) and ended up there…
It would feel like my home town!
I think more people should be inspired by Abbé Henri Proust’s fine work and…
Attempt something similar….
For their home in France.
In fact, wouldn’t a France Through Our Eyes Website/Book Collaborative Project be an excellent idea?
2). And, for a totally different reason, I’m mentioning Steph at Blog in France who warned us of the dangers… Lurking in the Medicine Cabinet – Outdated radiation Drugs
What started out as a semi-serious evaluation of the propensity of french doctors to over prescribe for all ailments…
Quickly turned, in the comments section…
To a discussion about the relationship between Steph’s childrens’ behaviour and their the location of a local Nuclear Power Station and…
The pleasure of…
Now (and not a lot of people know this), the Galette is the cornerstone of a healthy and nutritious diet and, no mater how much butter you smear on them…
They are guaranteed to make you lose weight!
At least, that’s what we kid ourselves here in Brittany!
4). Peggy at Rue Rice was on track to win the This Week’s Award For The Photo of The Prettiest Girlies Standing in a Field of Sunflowers that Michel at Our House in Provence won a couple of weeks ago…
Until Mrs A Taste Of Garlic pointed out…
That there was a slight lack of Pretty Girls in Peggy’s photos!
Peggy, you’re going to have to try harder than that, you know!
Still, they are very nice photos in your post about Sunshine and I’m sure you’ll get that house in the country one day!
By the way…
I’ve notice that if you pour a couple of glasses of Ricard (or you can use the cheap stuff?) over your GPS unit on the dashboard…
It’ll be sending you down Random Roads all the time!
Just a thought?
5). Much along the same lines, Ange at Signed by Ange made a desperate attempt to win this week’s Award for a Bikini Wearing Bodalicious Babe! but, somehow, her subject managed to put her bottom on back to front!
Now, Ange has taken herself off to Welsh Wales for a little break so we are free to discuss Coming or Going? behind her back to our hearts content!
Although I do think it would be rude if anyone mentioned that….
The post was written at 8.24 in the morning and Ange hadn’t even got round to having her shower yet!
Ooh, stinky poos!
OK – now all that stuff is out of the way, let’s get on to the really important stuff…
Of course, it’s Awards Time!
And, I am proud to announce a new winner of the Blog of the Week Award!
This is awarded to the Blog post that has tickled my fancy the most during the past seven days.
This week’s Blog of the Week has been won by Mary Hague for her new and wonderfully retro Isn’t That The Trailer Tent?
I said, last week, that if any blog deserves to be made into a film (preferably a Carry On film), this is it!
Like this one from June 4th 1975 where her daughter Sarah (also a minor blogger herself; obviously following in her mum’s footsteps?) eats snails and enjoys them and then, in a restaurant had steak… “very under-done, so we wrapped it in paper hankies and then in the plastic bag which I’d fortunately remembered to bring.”
And for tea?
Yes, you know it.. they retrieved the steak from the plastic bag and cooked that up!
Actually, the blog seems to revolve around eating (with the odd minor disaster thrown in every now and again – and believe me, some of them really are rather odd! I mean, who comes to France on holiday but doesn’t bring a corkscrew?) as you can see from this entry from June 5th 1975 (my birthday, actually – I spent that one on a family holiday in Welsh Wales having our own minor disasters!)…
“David C came over with a kilo of mussels and prepared moules marinières. He divided the mussels into two pans, then added a glass of muscadet, half a medium onion chopped finely, a shallot ditto, pepper, salt. These were then cooked for five minutes, a teaspoon of chopped parsley being added one minute before they were ready. Taste was absolutely gorgeous – we gobbled it all up greedily, supping the juice from the shells. Andrew didn’t have any of course, but Sarah did and Gareth. Followed this with the trout, cooked in butter and almonds, with new potatoes, courgettes, again delicious, then strawberries. A heavenly meal!”
A gorgeous blog and one that everyone who has ever been on a family camping holiday (or rather suspects that they might, one day, plan a family camping holiday), really MUST READ!
Mary, if you’d like to place your award on your blog sidebar just email me and I’ll send you the code.
New blogs on the block….
Closed for Lunch! is Katie’s blog and Katie is Australian living with her family in Dordogne.
Katie has been in France since February and has been blogging since March.
And it looks pretty good so far!
A Mother in France is Nikki’s blog about her life in the Midi-Pyrenees with 5 (yes, I think she’s counted them) children!
A seriously funny but, at the same time, sensible blog is, for me, typified by posts like…
The blog has been going since June and, as soon as Nikki adds another 12 or so posts…
I’ll be casting my evil reviewer’s eye all over it!
You know, there’s a nice edge to French Confessions which is Lindsay’s blog about life in Paris and is the result of 12 years spent over here – as she would say… all her adult life!
The blog has only been going since July but I think it’s going to a rather interesting one…
Not least because Lindsay works in the fashion industry…
More specifically, she’s Head of Communication for a Lingerie Firm!
Now, if only I could persuade her to write an article about her work….
And somehow include some Citroen 2CVs (blue ones, because they go faster) and..
A nun, or two!
thejesspress is Jess‘s blog about her life in Toulouse….
Although, just to confuse me, she’s currently broadcasting from Lyon?
Jess says of herself… “I’m a fresh-faced American girl who jumped off the tracks towards 7 years of indentured PhD servitude in the US and have made my nest in Toulouse, France with a wonderful frenchman called Edd. A midwestern renaissance woman, I’ve worked with art, books, kids, flowers, languages, and museums. Among my great passions in life: food and Joni Mitchell.”
I’m not so sure about the Joni Mitchell bit but the rest looks OK!
A nice blog; well written and lots of great photos!
Once again it seems to have been a quite week for expats in France. Amber doesn’t appear to have run any poor unfortunate scooter riders off the road (well, she probably has but is just keeping quiet about it) and I’m struggling a bit to highlight some of the more exciting major news events.
Guys, good for you!
Any particular reason or did you just trip over an unopened bottle of Ricard and…
Thought… “Why not?”
“was woken up at about 07.00 by the noise of mopeds and what seemed to be a dustbin lorry together with shouting Frenchmen clanging metal containers.”
Sue, I can’t help you with the Dustmen but if you want to get rid of the moped riders all you have to do is invite Amber down to stay and they’ll all be scared sh*tless and…
You’ll be able to have a lie in!
Worth a thought?
He says… “Every summer they have a big show where hundreds of people gather to watch a day long display – as well as to eat, drink and generally have a good time. The highlight for us has always been when they load up the planes with sweets attached to parachutes and the local kids stand on the runway and try to grab the bon bons as they fall to earth.”
And up here in slightly rural and rather backward Brittany…
Our summer excitement consists of an agricultural fair!
Take Colin and Elizabeth from In and Around Braye-Sous-Faye!
They enjoy that lovely pastime of roundabout spotting and tells us about their exciting hobby in Magic Roundabout 5.
Now, that all seems to be a bit energetic for me but…
Each to his own?
Now for the rest of the awards….
The Romke Soldaat Award For Being Romke Soldaat was won this week, in a surprising turn up for the books by… Romke Soldaat from Frogsmoke himself!
Obviously, no one else really stood a chance when Romke produced a post like… Voyeuristic Microscopy: The Science of Boobs
And, should anyone really be surprised that this Boob study is being undertaken in South-West Brittany?
Congratulation, Romke, on giving us the low down on this!
It’s interesting to note that the first person with a comment about that post was Sam from Totally Frenched Out.
That doesn’t surprise me at all!
I’ve long suspected that Sam spends most of her spare time browsing the internet in search of posts about Penis Bread – she did spend rather a long time in Brittany and that’s bound to have had an effect!
Still, back to the award…
Miss K – I’ve long thought that you have an excellent eye for the unusual and bizarre in Paris…
Now that you’ve made Sam’s day, perhaps you could make mine?
Could you try to see if you can take a photo that includes lingerie and a Citroen 2CV (preferably a blue one – they go faster, you know)…
And, if you could squeeze a nun in there somewhere…
I’d be in 7th heaven and you’d get Blog of the Week Award!
Obviously, the more easily led astray among you might want to avoid looking at that post but…
I suspect that it’s the more easily led astray among you…
Who won’t be able to resist!
Wendy probably isn’t too shocked by what she saw as she says…
“French men regularly wee on the side of the road. I have lost count of the private parts I’ve unwillingly glimpsed at whilst innocently driving past, and part of me wonders whether the person who placed the mannequin in this position was just mimicking a typical situation on roads in France.”
Personally I just think it’s inbred or genetic?
But I certainly know from my own experience…
The Rant of the Week Award goes to the normally quite placid (except when Shannon has been pumping her full of gin!) Hannah at I Fly A Star Ship for her… In which I meet Yannick and bitch about a sick girl
In this post, Hannah rants about a girl called X who has MS and seems to be taking a pretty negative outlook on life.
I think the point that Hannah is trying to make (and I do admit to hiding underneath the desk whilst Mrs A Taste of Garlic was reading the rant out for me) is that there are people far worse off who manage to get on with their lives no matter what their disabilities might be…
And are productive, creative and successful members of society.
And this hit a note with me…
Because, although I’ve never met X, if I did, one day, bump into her I’d ask her…
“So, do you have to wear a mask every night, for the rest of your life. An uncomfortable mask (hey, trés sexy, n’est pas?) that gives you nightmares and that you’ve just had to upgrade from a relatively small nasal mask to a heavier full-face model?”
“And that mask leaves crease marks so that when you go out for a coffee in the morning people stare at those marks; even your friends – they try not to but I guess it’s difficult?”
“Does it piss you off that you’re never going to be able to go camping (unless you lug a generator around with you?) and, every time you catch a cold you have to try sleeping without the mask which means that you stop breathing 58 times an hour?”
Yeah, that’s pretty much what I’d ask her – I wonder what her answer would be?
Wow – I’m sorry for that little rant of my own but…
Let me just say this; A week ago Mrs A Taste of Garlic, the Fifteen Year Old and I went to St, Malo for the day.
Among the other tourists was a group of people about my age who were Thalidomide victims (my mum was offered that drug too, for her morning sickness – I guess I must have been lucky that her morning sickness got better?) and they all seemed happy and coping and not complaining about what a shit deal life had given them!
And they had no arms! And that, I imagine is far worse than MS could be?
Like Hannah – I’m not ranting about people who have MS; I’m more ranting (in my own little way) about people who get ill and give up!
For God’s sake – look at Christopher Nolan (the writer)! Christy Brown? Helen Keller?
Anyway – that’s my little rant over.
When Hannah finished her rant she seemed to calm down quite a bit. She said this…
“The fairylights on the barges, the soft lapping of wine in glasses, the clinking of the beer mugs, the sizzling of the flammekeuche being drawn out of the ovens, the whizzing of bike wheels, the distant cries of the ducks on the pond, the ghostly drone of the cathedral bells, the soft rustle of a dog taking a shit on a rose bed – the sounds of Strasbourg are calling.”
To which I’ll add..
“And the fairylights on the barges will still be flickering, the wine in the glasses will still be lapping, those beer mugs will still be clinking and the sounds of your city will still be calling…”
“Whether you’ve got MS, Severe Central Sleep Apnea, Flippers instead of arms, Cerebral Palsey or whatever…”
“So go out and enjoy it, for God’s sake – life is for living, you only live once; why waste that life by moping around?”
People, no matter what the state of their health is, will either understand that or not.
And those who don’t understand…
Are the ones who are really ill.
The Smells Like Stinky Cheese Award gets shared between Breadispain for her Fromage Part II: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and the ever faithful Loulou at Chez Loulou for her La Fête du Fromage – Le Treillou
Now, Breadispain shouldn’t really get an award as her post was largely about her attempts to get her French boyfriend to chuck away some of the lovely, delicious stinky cheese in the fridge!
Of course, being French (and thus, genetically predisposed to culinary superiority) he refuses and, at the end of the post…
Even Breadispain is tempted by something really smelly and stinky!
Loulou, of course, isn’t French but, from her love of cheese, you wouldn’t know it!
Let me give you some advice…
If you ever want some really stinky French cheese, pay a visit to Chez Loulou and have a good sniff!
Although I do have to say…
She advises trying the cheese with… “some red and rosé from the Minervois, both of which were a good wine match.”
Whereas I, being Breton (at least, I think I’m becoming Breton) believe that…
“Wine kills cheese and cheese kills wine.”
And would suggest that you accompany your cheese with a nice glass of Cidre Val de Rance
No pudding for him!
But in this case it was a plate for a table of four so he is forgiven!
He thoughtfully provides a recipe so…
I imagine that you’re all pulling on your wellies…
And rushing outdoors…
To pick your own tea!
Left Bank Manc (who blogs, strangely enough – well, strangely anyway, at Left Bank Manc) won this week’s Norman No Mates Award for her post called…. Just Because I Eat Worms which was all about her not being able to persuade any of her friends to join her on a night out on the town!
So, instead, Left Bank Manc spends Friday evening sat at home updating her blog!
And muttering to herself….
“Nobody likes me, everybody hates me…”
And she also wins this week’s Award For Vomiting On the Dance Floor for her post about Ibiza: The End.
In this charming post Left Bank Manc describes going to one of those Disco, Hippy-Hoppy Rave Party Night Clubs things that the youngsters seems to enjoy so much (I don’t really understand all that stuff; Mrs A Tasty Of Garlic and I much prefer to stay at home and listen to some nice Burt Bacharach – something with a bit of a tune?) and then…
Almost meeting Joey Essex (you’ll have to watch bad English TV to understand that reference – or to have lived in Essex; same thing, really!) and then…
Perhaps I’d better let her tell it in her own words….
“When I first got down to the floor all I could see were hundreds of pairs of legs and then in the next second, after The Event, there were strangely no legs around me anymore. There was just a twenty foot space around me where horrified holiday goers had scrambled out of the way to give Vomiting Girl a Wide Berth.”
And, am I the only one who is wondering….
If the Left Bank Manc’s lack of party friends and her Night Club Performances are somehow related?
Mrs A Taste Of Garlic was very impressed and has told me that she wants to get her hands on…
Clearly it merited some kind of award!
In the end, after careful scrutiny of the rule book and independent review…
We decided to award MJ the Award For Having To Get Your Cleaning Lady to Translate Your Own Child’s Utterings!
And, after some bribery and corruption (it costs me a couple of bottles of Ricard, you know!), I also persuaded the Judges to award you A Special Mention for Going To Paris Paul and Paris Karin’s Wedding.
Doesn’t Paris Paul clean up well?
I almost didn’t recognise him!
And doesn’t Paris Karin look radiant?
Paul, I’ve said it before but… “You are one lucky man!”
MJ, this photo is excellent…
And this one is too!
Mrs A Taste Of Garlic and I had a good little weep when we saw those!
And just for the people who didn’t win an award this week….
Here are the famous Awards for not Winning an Award!
It was a bit of a toss up as to whether Lesley from Peregrinations would get this week’s Award for Mentioning Geoff Dyer in a Blog Post or the equally splendid Award for Surviving a Week in a Student Hotel but..
Upon careful reading it was determined that the Passport Losing Performance described in Bye-Bye Summer all occurred in Scotland and…
As we all know…
Scotland isn’t in France and, as a result, the posts doesn’t count!
Lesley, could I ask you that the next time you lose your passport (should you be planning to do again), could you try to arrange to do it in France?
For the moment though, it’s an Award for Not Winning an Award This Week for you!
On the other hand, if you’re desperate to win an award, you could always try for the Dropping the iPhone in the Toilet Award?
I think that you might be quite good at that one?
However, upon close scrutiny…
It was decided that Susie’s tale of… “a car piled up with luggage, children etc driving down the pedestrian STEPS of central Clermont-Ferrand.” on market day!
When they were hoping to be in a completely different part of France altogether!
Didn’t somehow match the fine standard that was achieved by Amber last week and thus…
Susie, I’m afraid it’s an Award for Not Winning an Award This Week for you!
Next time, try to arrange for your husband to knock someone off their scooter…
Or, something like that?
The lovely Kirsty from You had me at bonjour… was an expected winner of the best Baked Cake of the Week Award but…
In La Rentrée, Again she explains that she chickened out and went down to the Patisserie instead!
Kirsty, that’s cheating and cheating is naughty!
It was suggested that we institute a Tart of the Week Award and give that to Kirsty but…
I felt that that might be misconstrued and anyway…
If we did that, half the female bloggers in France would be donning their red lingerie and attempting to win the bl**dy thing!
So, Kirsty, it’ll have to be an Award for Not Winning an Award This Week for you!
By the way, if anyone thinks a Tart of the Week Award is a good idea and has photographic evidence to support their individual claims…
Blog away about it and we’ll see how it goes?
Mrs A Taste of Garlic noticed that Delana had let slip that…
She still hadn’t defrosted her freezer compartment that was in this state three weeks ago!
Sorry Delana but, an award would only encourage you in your wanton ways and so…
It’s got to be an Award for Not Winning an Award This Week for you!
But we don’t have a Tart of the Week Award (at least, not yet!) and so, I’m sorry Diane, it’ll have to be an Award for Not Winning an Award This Week for you!
You do, I hope, know that…
If only you’d have cut off a tiny slither (perhaps six or eight inches?) and sent it to me….
You’d have won any award you could name!
Oh yes – Bribery and Corruption are my middle names!
Sadly for her, her subject (whom Sarah appears to have stalked for most of Thursday evening) just didn’t come up with the goods (or, should that be, throw up the goods?) and so Sarah will have to console herself with an Award for Not Winning an Award This Week!
Sarah, please don’t take it too hard…
I know that you did try; the bit about the gunmen was quite good?
But we already know that “They’re a funny lot, that lot down in Montpellier” and I imagine that we take for granted that there will be gun carrying locals wandering round the streets?
And I know that it must be difficult for you, being the only daughter of a famous mum who outshines you in your chosen career of blogging?
It’s that Liza Minnelli & Judy Garland thing all over again, isn’t it?
Keep trying, that’s all I suggest…
And one day you may come close to the fame and adulation that your mum rightly deserves!
Just a little note…
As you read this, Mrs A Taste Of Garlic and I will be on the second day of The Official A Taste Of Garlic World Tour!
Either that or broken down by the side of the road, somewhere?
I may not be able to respond to your comments until…
We find a breakdown Lorry with Wifi or…
Mrs A Taste Of Garlic manages to push the car to somewhere where we can spend the night!
But don’t think that this means that you can all be cheeky and leave naughty comments whilst our backs are turned!
At least, no more than usual!
All the best