I’m a “Lady Wot Lunches”...at long last!

30/11/2012 I’m a “Lady Wot Lunches”…at long last!

I am very happy to report that after a very long time of trying, & in spite of Le Radins ongoing reluctance to spend any money, I have, this month, become a “Lady Wot Lunches”! It is a lovely status & I have enjoyed every one of my lunches out. I have also savoured the experience as I know it will not last long!<br> <br> Where to start...well I suppose the first lunches were those taken on the cruise…along with dinners, snacks & all of the other eating opportunities these cruise ships provide. We had a great holiday & enjoyed the break from routine very much. I especially enjoyed being looked after…& fed…all the time & the chance to put my feet up & relax. The weather wasn’t as good as we have had in the past but it didn’t spoil our enjoyment one little bit. Our only regret was that the week went by very quickly, even with our little added on extra day. We left a day earlier than planned as the weather reports were for snow on high ground & we have to go up over 1000m to drive down to the south coast. So I suppose my very first lunch out really was on the day we left as we took our son & his girlfriend out to lunch before we had even set off!<br> <br> We arrived back from holiday to some very good news. Matthew had proposed to Susie whilst they were staying here looking after the house & the animals for us. There is a bench at the edge of our village which they have sort of ”adopted” since they have been coming here. They like to take the dog there in the evening & watch the sunsets over the mountains, & it was on one of these evenings that Matthew (ever the romantic, just like his father!) popped the question. We are thrilled for them both & it now looks like we will have a wedding to attend next spring. Great news indeed! :) We were not so thrilled with the official document we received through the post a few days after the departure of the lovebirds though, informing Geoff that he had been caught speeding. It was, of course, Matthew driving Geoff’s car, who had been speeding (58 in a 50 zone) so rather than accept the points (on his spanking new French driving license) & fine, Geoff has sent the form back saying it was his son driving his car & not him! It will be interesting to see if the French authorities chase it up in the UK…I somehow suspect they won’t.<br> <br> Now then where was I with these lunches? The next one was on the day I went to the big craft supplies fair at Clermont Ferrand with my friend Linda. I treat myself to an extravagant lunch at McDos in Issoire before going off to Clermont! Not quite a “lady wot lunches” grand style but its quite a while since I ate in a McDo`s & I actually quite enjoyed it! Mind you the place was absolutely packed…so much for the French grumbling about the terrible curse of American fast food! Not much sign of them not liking it in Issoire I can tell you! The fair was good as per normal & I was able to stock up on some supplies for the fast approaching opening of my Christmas card making workshop! I did have a few problems dragging Linda out of there though…she seemed as if she wanted to buy the whole lot! We did enjoy it all though & I picked up some good ideas for things to make…when I get the time of course!

Linda was also in attendance for the next lunch out (she’s a bad influence that woman!) which was a meet up with Linda & Lesley (alias Tottie Limejuice) at the Bar St Thomas, near here. Tots has recently been diagnosed as having coeliac disease & finding places where she can actually eat gluten free food is not easy for her. Pat & John, who run the Bar, are so good about that kind of thing & really pulled out all the stops for us that day so that Tots could actually, not only eat but also so that she had a choice of food to eat. We had a really nice “girly” lunch, catching up with all the news & gossip, which we all really enjoyed. Tot’s e book, Sell the Pig, is shortly going to be issued in paperback so we have decided she can do a “dedicace” session (so beloved of authors here in France) at the Bar when it is published & sign copies for everyone :slight_smile:

The next two lunches out were at friends houses…much more acceptable to Le Radin as they are without cost! Our friends Anne & Chris invited us to eat with them before they departed back to the UK. We had a nice lunch along with 2 other friends & heard all about the successful craft fair day that Anne had organised to raise money for one of her favourite charities. It had taken place whilst we were on holiday, but I had sent up some of my paintings. I had sold one too, which was good news! We were also invited to some French friends, Pascal & Katy’s house for lunch last weekend. We were delighted to be served a raclette, which consists of potatoes, lots of different charcuterie & cheese that you melt in the little trays which are part of the raclette apparatus & which is placed in the centre of the table. It really is a very sociable type of meal, as everyone takes whichever meats they want & you cook the cheese as & when you want it. We loved it & are now looking around for a raclette kit to buy. Of course it will have to be one at a price which Le Radin is happy with…that goes without saying…but we really enjoyed the whole experience & want to try it for ourselves with some guests. Pascal also made my day at this meal by reminding Geoff about his promise, made last year at this time, to create a chicken enclosure for me so I can keep some hens! Although the space in the garden was cleared by my dearly beloved, no further progress has been made since. With much teasing & merriment, poor Geoff was made to sign a promise to get the said chickens in place soon! As Katy is the Maire of their commune & the promise bears her signature as a witness, he hasn’t got a leg to stand on now, has he? The hens will be arriving soon… well, maybe!

November has been quiet month business wise…which is why I’ve had so much time to get out & about really. We have only had lot of B&B guests, a lovely couple from Alsace. They were a delight & we really enjoyed their visit. Geoff took them up to the village’s Remembrance Day ceremony on Nov 11th which they appreciated very much. At home they are both standard bearers at their ceremony so it was important for them to go to this one. They had debated whether to stay an extra night but decided they couldn’t because he had to get back for some meetings as he had a very busy time ahead. It came as no surprise to us to hear that he was Pere Noel in his community! He absolutely looked the part, quite rotund, white beard & twinkling eyes! It is great that I can now say that we have had Pere Noel staying at Les Hirondelles!

The visit from Pere Noel brought it home to me how quickly Noel is approaching! I have since spent several hours closeted in the gite making my Christmas & New Year cards. I have finished our personal ones now & have made more for the Croix Rouge’s Marche de Noel which was this week. However, it will be back to the grindstone again now as I have been asked to do another Marche de Noel at Pat & John’s bar in a couple of week’s time. As well as all that, I have also made the usual millions (or so it seems) of mince pies for all & sundry. The ones I took to the Croix Rouge this week disappeared like the proverbial snow off a dyke. The French folk here really love them…but I still dread being asked to describe what mincemeat is! I have also sorted out the annual “Season’s Greetings” mail shot from Les Hirondelles, so that is all ready to go to our past clients & enquirers in December. Haven’t I done well? Yes, you could say that preparations for Christmas are in full swing here just now. Ooh…just realised… I suppose that will be yet another lunch out to look forward to as well!