Monday, March 10, 2014
Common sense is not so common.
Bob and Angus head off down the motorway to the hardware store. In these parts we're off to what passes for a big city. One of those sleepy market towns with a sluggish river, a bridge, an over sized church, and a market square. And, of course, a hardware store. Dusty and quiet. The sign outside the mairie says, with a mixture of pride and precision, that the town has a population of 8,329. This morning 9 of them seem to be up and about.
On the way home time for a quick coffee. We park in the shade outside an old fashioned patisserie. There is no one inside. The owner is delighted for Bob to join me. We settle at a table in the heavily mirrored Salon de The. This is screened off from the rest of the patisserie by an orange nylon curtain. I have a watery coffee and a chocolatine, Bob has a bowl of water. The owner shows me a letter of recommendation sent to his grandfather by a Parisian hotel fifty years ago - " Monsieur Albert est correcte, serieux et propre ". High praise indeed. The sixth generation of artisinal bakers. A world of colours, shapes and textures that other cake makers have long forgotten.
We leave with a box of pommes en chemise and very strict instructions that they should only be warmed in an oven that is cooling down not heating up. '' If the heat is too strong the flavours will not suffuse ". Not the sort of comment you would expect to hear anywhere else other than deepest France profonde.
As we drive off Bob turns his head, licks his lips and looks at the patisserie man as if to say '' we'll be back ".