Friday, January 20, 2012

upgrade is a four letter word

Okay, I've almost recovered from the microsoft upgrade in wp and spreadsheets...almost...after a year it is still a pain.

On Tuesday the television repair man comes AGAIN to correct the problems caused by the television upgrade.

France Telephone upgraded my service. As a result I was getting Joëlle's calls. She seems to have lovely friends and family.

The telephone repair man just left. He was young and tried to speak English, complimented me on my coffee (?)He seemed to fix the problem.

I'll miss Joëlle's friends.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

sub fantasy

I woke with sub fantasies this morning. No, not submarines.

I wanted an Italian sub, one like I used to buy when I took my first job in the old Waltham Watch factory which had been converted into offices. This sub had Italian cold cuts, tomatoes, provolone cheese and pickles drizzled with olive oil on a big, fat section of Italian bread.

My mind drifted to the same place's meatball sub. How they flavoured those meatballs I will never guess. The tomato sauce that kept the meatballs warm soaked into the bread.

Then there's the wonderful lobster subs in a shop that no longer exists in Boston across from Harvard Medical Store. It was run by a large family both in number and size. They could move a line through the shop faster than any place I ever saw before and after.

That shop was responsible for the purchase of our Wigglesworth House.

My housemate and I, in need of that lobster sub, found a parking space on a dream street. Two rows of brownstones were fronted by tiny yards and bay windows. The only gray one had a for sale sign, we called the number and made a deposit. It had a tiny, tiny price, mainly because it wasn't a handyman's dream, it was a handyman's nightmare.

More than once on a Saturday when we were propping up load-bearing walls, tearing down others, stripping paint, plastering and painting we went back to the lobster sub place for lunch before it became a print shop.

I'd love to have any of those subs...but without buying another house dream or nightmare. Instead I'm settling for oatmeal cinnamon pancakes, which maybe some other time will also be a fantasy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mini Mammie

The mammies in Argelès are older women, most of who have lived in the village all their lives. They have grandchildren, wear aprons, and meet on benches and in front of their houses and talk to each other.

My favourite mimi mammie is Jeanette, who stands at the most 4 foot 10, is skinny, always beautifully dressed (no apron there) white hair always in place and a big smile.

I see her walking all around the village and one day, she bought me a beer but first had to go to the ATM for cash.

We have wonderful conversations.

What makes this so exceptional. She's pushing 100.

Today on the way to the shops, I found her sitting on a bench, with the sun on her face. I sat down next to her.

"C'est magnificent, le soleil," she said.

She is as magnificent as the sun she was admiring.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Message to Robin

HI there...

I emailed you at the old address and it bounced back. Nothing major, just was checking in to see how you were doing.
Much love,

Saturday, January 14, 2012

seeing through

One of the problems of being a writer is when you read, you see why the author wrote something. You are shore that the writer pondered how to get the information across, the same way you are when you try three or four different methods.
I was reading a novel this morning where the main character is doing a bio of his great grandfather. He has copies of the letters the man received, but how does he know what his grandfather wrote?
Simple the author, explains the grandfather wrote a copy of the letter he sent.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Friday, January 06, 2012


La Noisette, the tea room, that I consider merely an extension of my studio.

Sophie and Laurent, owners of La Noisette, have added all these teas. I intend to sample each one.

I'm so glad I saw Chef Thibault at La Noisette this morning to ask him about his menu du jour. He and his wife Stephanie will be on a well-earned and then some holiday for the next two weeks. Once he told me, there was no way not to have lunch there. The meal?

Amuse bouche: demitasse of pumpkin soup with a cream design on the top

Entre: A plate of chacuterie (serono ham, home made pate, chirizo) and salad.

Main course: Grilled salmon in a red wine/butter sauce, risotto with tiny pieces of leek and carrot, lamb's foot mushrooms.

Desert: pear poached in banyuls with vanilla ice cream, hot chocolate sauce with whipped cream with a hint of rose.

Wine: rosé

Total cost: 18 Euros. What a lovely young couple own this place, a few steps from my front door. Almost all the products are local: Honey from the local beeman, fish from the local poisonerie, veggies and fruits from our green grocers, usually from local farms, mushroom from the nearby mountains.

Their daughter Margo, is in love with the green grocer who takes her out of her carriage and holding her hands walks her up and down the street. Both faces light up when they see each other.