Sun 23 Mar 2014
Winter is late this year in Paris. In fact, I think it totally forgot to come, sort of like our guests for lunch yesterday. They are what we call an older (French)couple although, actually, they are our age. I wonder if we seem older to them. Anyway, I had asked another person to join us for lunch at noon and said guest arrived right on time. Thirty minutes passed and I started worrying because, like the Swiss, they always arrive dead on time. (We had a party once at our former place in Provence which included all of our neighbors. All of the French arrived 15 to 20 minutes late while the only Swiss couple on our street rang the doorbell on the dot announcing, “We’re Swiss! We’re always on time” They have all those clocks in Switzerland as you know.) I asked Maurice to call them because I knew something was up. He was reluctant but finally did when I suggested he call to see if they had our building codes. Sure enough, they thought our lunch was the next day. Instead of just cancelling, Maurice told them to come on. By then it was one o’clock and they live in the suburbs. I had already put my stuffed veggies (farci) into the oven and there was a little time left for them to cook, so I turned the oven off. Maurice went and bought another bottle of champagne because our other guest and I decided to start drinking and eating the munchies. An hour later, the couple arrived all breathless but bearing gifts-they always make me feel guilty and I have anxiety attacks when we go to their place trying to find something fun and original. So far, they have never given us the same thing twice, not even wine. Interestingly, this couple also brought along their house shoes. They took off their street shoes and put them on. Hmmm. Maurice does take off his street shoes when he gets home and switches to house shoes but he’s never taken them to someone else’s house when we go. I think a lot of Europeans change their shoes when they are home. I hardly ever do. My grandsons living in Switzerland have to change from street shoes to slippers when they go to school, at least in the younger grades. I suppose it keeps the floors cleaner. I have a cat so it’s a lost cause anyway. So, around 2:30 we sat down to a lunch of very well done farci. The vegetables had sort of gone very soft and fallen away from the stuffing but they tasted pretty good. I’m always a bit nervous when I cook for the French with all of those thousand of years of cooking tradition and Maurice had told the lady this so she told him for me just to serve a salad and a slice of ham. If I had done that, the late lunch would have been no problem. Oh well. They left at six. I went and crashed on the bed for a late nap and woke up with a champagne headache.
So, photos of Spring in the Luxembourg Gardens. I actually took these on the first day of Spring. It was sunny and warm enough not to need a coat but it was very windy-Spring arriving like a lion?
A look at the palace where the Senate meets. Every chair was taken to enjoy the sun but there was some sand blasting too from the wind that was blowing. I walked through the park holding my hair down.