party poopers


I realised things had got serious when, today, we refused an invitation to dine in style and great company at the restaurant of the Hostellerie de Crillon le Brave.

My mornings are largely spent dealing with French bureauocracy - the Assedic claim never to have receieved my feuillets (the ones they told me to send after they told me to send the wrong ones) twice; Julian hasn't received his 'carte vitale' because CPAM claim never to have receieved the marriage certificate; the guy never phoned back abaout the 'mutuelle' health insurance and now Julian needs glasses desperately...etc.

Julian spends his mornings largely packing prints to replace the ones that have arrived massacred by the French and the US postal services, and repacking paintings which have gone to New Jersey practically via the North Pole and been returned with 'BAD ADDRESS' printed on them in scornful letters.

At noon today I took a trip to Carpentras post office - where I flashed my pretty lilac 'carte professionel' and jumped shamefully ahead of a pregnant and a disabled woman. I decided, whilst in the big town, that it was about time we had a proper lunch (we so often miss it, grasping at a crust or a kilo of cherries). I have discovered that I can find gooey cheesey mozzarella in the local cheese shop, so today it accompanied an old variety of deeply lined geriatric looking tomato, green salad with olive oil from the Luberon and a practically alcaholic melon.

By three o'clock, we were both able to get to work. I (who am trying to write a book) have installed my office under a plane tree in the ruin behind the house, and Julian inhabits...well, quite simply, the entire house. Well, almost. You can just see a ball of Oscar on the pile of linen we haven't put away in a week.


my office

Before we start there is always a moment, when we are both procrastinating, sniffing out our creative territory perhaps.

"You always leave a cake of coffee for me to throw out."
"Then will you please throw the bin out when you know you've put a half chewed mouse in it three days before?"

And then it flows, and before we know it it's way too late to cook the lamb shanks and it's pasta again. Luckily we have some broad beans, some parsley, and some pretty yellow courgettes. That should make a good tagliatelle primavera. And lamb shanks will have to wait till tomorrow when we are not dining at the hostellerie with our friend, because we have become boring old once a week party people and on Thursday, which is our wedding anniversary we're booked in to a swanky fish restaurant overlooking a cove in Marseille.


Ruth, a truly exquisite writing glade... Isn't it too glary though to write outside? A tangent: I often wonder how you got from there to here: I once asked and you said you'd do a post on that. I'd love to know. :-))

it's truly delicious to read your tales from life in the s=South and see pictures while still waiting for spring to arrive in Paris! Thanks, Ruth.

RuthNo doubt this has already been suggested or there are reasons why it isn't suitable but - just in case it hasn't ...has J thought about buying a pair of those over the counter glasses (here we can get them in Boots, Sainsbury's etc)...they come in different strengths and are (relatively) cheap at something like £15 (as opposed to whatever glasses cost) ...I find I've reached the stage where I simply cannot read anything without some sort of ocular assistance so it's good to have some alternative to the 'good' glasses when I have left them at home. They aren't a long term solution if you need glasses but as a temporary/supplementary solution and if it is short sightedness/weakening focal powers that J is experiencing then the ready mades can work really well ...just a thought! Love to you both.

anna, from where to where exactly? remind me? if it is from UK to France there was a certain chap involved who lived there already....barbara, yes her has those, but you know J - he likes a bit of designer chic in everything! thanks for your concern. I FINALLy got through to everyone today it seems so it shouildn't be too long know before the maestro can go off and buy his Moochi Goochie wotsits. and if he isn't going to get a spider...

Ruth, now I'm confused. I seem to remember that you were in a cottage in Sussex??? Although I'm not sure - I remember also you mentioning about leaving London because of its sort of rattiness. So, I suppose the question is: how did you get from "wherever" to Provence? Not in a transport-way, obviously :-))Anna.

Happy Anniversary you two.. It's quite a roller-coaster following your adventures together.. enjoy your day and Marseille and see you both soon love S

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