Monday, January 16, 2017

A second small sliver.

It's turned cold. Not wickedly cold but naughtily cold. The thin ice that coats the grass in the mornings is warmed by an indifferent sun and gone by ten. There's something about the feel of frost on their paw pads that electrifies the PONs and awakes a deep DNA echo of chilly mornings herding sheep in Bydgoscz. Sophie rolls on her back - another milestone.

Here in the village the change in the weather coincides with a flu epidemic. The radio reports that thirteen old folk died from an outbreak in a nursing home in Lyons. You have to wonder why the old folks couldn't have been given flu jabs. Madame Bay, alone in her family, has avoided going down with the bug. She was an early recipient of an injection from the young doctor in the local surgery. '' He has such a lovely smile and strong hands '' she informs us as if these attributes alone would dispel germs. What the doctor must think when faced with a robustly healthy octogenarian wearing a faux Kohinoor diamond in her chintz turban goes unrecorded. While her family is laid up Madame Bay is overseeing 'the girls' in Sandrines, her daughters hair salon. 'The girls' in this instance are two '' perm and a gossip " ladies in their forties. We think it best not to ask how this managerial role is going. 

While Bob and Sophie sleep we go into Toulouse. One of the least known but most delightful of towns.

Being dog owners we're up and about before most sane individuals. Only one flower seller out at this unearthly hour.

In the market a Golden Retriever finds being next to the meat counter while his master chats to a friend is cruel and unusual torture.

The bakers are still making Gallettes de Rois. A table of freshly baked ones faces us. The French like to make Christmas last until the end of January.

We opt for an Opera. The taste and texture the same as they served in La Coupole forty odd years ago. Even 'The Font' is tempted into a second, small, sliver.


  1. The Goldie may have been quite overwhelmed by the smell of that meat stand. Our goldie 'grand dog' will not go into the street where our local butcher is - you can't even drag her there, and she throws herself around the backseat of the car if you drive along the street. After 6 years we all know better than to be so cruel!

  2. I am intereted in Madame Bay's impact on the clients in Sandrine's salon....

  3. Not having a sweet tooth even I may have been cajoled into a second sliver of that beauty.

  4. Oh, how good it is to know that Mme Bay is still a fashion force to be reckoned with - faux Kohinoor and chintz turban - ladies, we must make a note of that ! Are the doctor's lovely smile and strong hands a charm to ward off the evil flu bugs?
    At least the French get their money's worth out of Christmas, unlike the rest of us.

  5. Your "Galettes des Rois" look very different to those in our corner of France (between Clermont Ferrand & Lyon) Ours are puff/flakey pastry with frangipane, but yours look more like brioche. Of course, once the Galettes are finished it's then time for "bugnes" - those little doughnutty-fritters that are fabricated before Lent. It's no good planning a healthy eating regime in January round here!

  6. The sight of an Opera will often induce me to happily leap off the wagon.
    I like Toulouse. I've enjoyed some very nice Summer evenings there.
    Mme Bay is a vibrant inspiration.
    Have a great day.

  7. Sophie just keeps piling up those milestones!
    Toulouse looks charming.
    Viewing the French pastries from thousands of miles away, I think I know something of how the retriever feels beside the meat counter.

  8. How nice to visit Toulouse without a visit to the vet!

  9. 'strong hands'...perhaps he held Madame Bay down.

  10. The bakery is a wonderland!

  11. I was delighted by the news that you and the Font went to Toulouse without either dog. A very good sign that the long road of caregiving Sophie 24/7 is winding down. As the main caregiver to our Golden girl who had 3 hip surgeries before she passed on, I know it means so much to be able to finally exhale. I hope you each enjoyed every minute.
    I have never seen or had Opera cake...must find a recipe!
    Pam in NH