Saturday, 19 June 2010

Living la vie provencal

I woke to the moaning of the wind around the building. It wasn't unpleasant but it was a forecast for a windy day.

My first task was to review a document on a project I may be involved in in France. It took some time and required feedback. I also needed to connect to the Auckland Transition Authority website to map to possible jobs. Well, until I have a signed contract and a working visa I must be prudent and maybe it will help the organisation of Auckland. It's probably pretty stressful back at work these days; it wasn't fun before I left.

We all hopped in the car and went to Valerie and Frederic's parents house just outside of Gardanne. What delightful people, and their guests Jacqueline, Rosemee and her son Mathieu. What friendly, generous and welcoming people they all are.

I've been speaking a lot of french and eating a lot of food since I left Brittany, especially in Provence.

Oh la la, the food. Valerie's a wonderful cook and so is her Mum Simone who whipped up extraordinary delights. I even ate a snail. The pastry and garlic were nice but the snail wasn't very exciting-as rubbery as I remember from eating them in Form 2. The battered and fried courgette flowers were a bit of a surprise but quite edible.

Veal in pastry, dessert, cheese, coffee. And that was after the aperitifs. Guy makes wine out of oranges and it's very nice. He also has a talent as a painter.

The weather deteriorated again. It's been doing that every day really. I've had 3 really hot days in 5 weeks. This is not normal for France and certainly not Provence. The people I've spoken to are all convinced it's climate change thanks to foolish humans and I believe they are right.

More food delights at a party in the evening. I spoke lots of french, had lots of fun and got very tired and cold as it was a BBQ outside. Lots of people and lots of food and drink. Of particular note was the camembert cooked on the BBQ until it's a wee bit browned on the outside but molten on the inside and eaten with crusty bread.

At the party I met a couple of loveley young students: Alison from New York and Diana from Canada. They were staying in Aix to improve their French. Once again, friendly and accepting people. Somehow I got cajoled into performing a haka for folks upstairs at the venue, that's the second time. It was a lovely evening.

Photos show BBQ and yummy food, friends and Guy and Simone


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