Wednesday, June 28, 2006


We knew we had to plan a weekend in London soon. There's a lovely pile of wedding gifts to collect from John Lewis, an ailing relative to visit and a friend's birthday to celebrate, so after many emails and text messages flying across the channel we organised this weekend away.

When we found out that England would be playing their quarter-final match on Saturday afternoon, our schedule became a little clearer. What better than to watch the game in a London pub with our friends.

We never even contemplated that France would have any more games after last night's Spanish game. However, after a nail biting game (well for the Frog at least) I'm pleased at France's result: my husband is happy, the city of Reims is happy (if the procession of noise and cars into the early hours of the morning is anything to go by) and even Zizou's goal made me smile.

So now our Saturday evening is booked to watch France play Brazil. Frog already knows some French friendly corners of the English capital which is where we'll move to after the England game.

It's highly unlikely that both nations will make it through those matches. But. But. If they do it's an England vs France semi-final.

Bugger! Or to quote Frog:

"That's not something that would break our marriage up is it?.... Is it?"

Monday, June 26, 2006


We were the last to arrive and the first to leave and still we spent nearly ten hours at a family reunion in the Ardennes. It was Frog Father's cousin's 70th birthday and about 30 of the family members had gathered in a small village sports hall for lunch. We were a motley crew, including a snail farmer, two wine-makers and several farmers. Plus a young French girl just back from her agricultural work experience year in Australia, love sick for her long distance boyfriend and desperate to practice her English.

Anyway, I'm not sure when I'll stop listening to Frog who says, "We'll just stop by for lunch and then we'll..." and instead remember the truth which is that this is a day long affair!

So "lunch" yesterday consisted of:

Champagne & Petits Fours
Melon* with Dried Ham
Filet of Pike Perch
Apricot Sorbet
Beef en croute with asparagus, dauphinois potatoes & tomatoes provençale
Selection of Cheeses & Salad
Plate of 4 different desserts


Accompanied by three different wines and two different champagnes.

* a whole charentais melon each


A few hours later this was followed by a cold buffet, including a choice of six different homemade desserts.

So. What happened outside of the six hours of eating? Well, I suddenly found myself nursing my coffee, looking up to see everybody around the table waiting to hear my answer. The question that had been posed was from Father Frog and his son who were looking for my back-up . "You really want to watch the football don't you?" and as an aside to the other family guests "Well, England's playing, you know".

So I provided the cover (and yes, I did want to see it but no, my mother brought me up with better manners than that) for the trio of us to head towards a distant cousin's house in the village.

Within twenty minutes, Father Frog was asleep on the sofa and Mother Frog had joined us since she was too embarassed to venture into the village fete with her red wine splattered white trousers.

The English team might have provided us with an extremely boring match but it was a refreshing interlude from the humid foodfest going on a few hundred yards up the road. Additionally, since we hadn't seen Mother and Father Frog for the last week (whilst they were on holiday) it gave us some time to plan Father Frog's dinner schedule for the next five nights whilst Mother Frog is in hospital for a shoulder operation and afterwards when she's recovering at home.

My services duly loaned out, I'll be planning my own dinner menus for the next couple of weeks when the family will have to get used to cooking English style!

Friday, June 23, 2006

French Male Pride

I wrote a post about Frog's French male pride and the bumps it's taken this week from a couple of incidents. Nothing serious at all - just the stuff that puts a Frog in a huffy mood for a few days and had me pondering a little.

Then, I re-read what I had written and decided he wouldn't be happy if I shared those thoughts on a blog.

So, whilst I don't usually support the French national football team in any shape or form (The Socceroos are proving to be the only side I'm willing to loan my allegiance to) I do hope that the team (sans Zizou) walk off the pitch tonight with an ounce of pride. If only to make this weekend a little lighter in mood chez nous!

"Allez les bleus" Shhhhhhhh!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Newly Weds

Newly Married
Originally uploaded by oiseau.

So at first I put my blogging activity (or lack of) down to how busy I was organising the wedding and newly set up working consultant status.

I'm not one of those bloggers who enjoys using the 'personal' dramas as stimulus for writing. Things were all going to plan in the wedding preparations, however, if I'd blogged I would have focused on the inevitable parts that don't quite go to plan.

So, now I'm back and happy and enjoying getting life together in Reims... And I still haven't blogged!

Petit à petit I will get back to some routine. For now enjoy a few photos from the many (300!) that were taken on our road trip.

And I'll also link to this fantastic singer, Pierre Lapointe, that we discovered whilst tuning into Québécois radio. He'll break France soon so have a listen first!