May the wine flow freely and the food be memorable
Thank you. I'm attending a wedding, and I'm told the food is being prepared by a Michelin starred chef, so that's probably going to be OK. I'm sure the wines will be up to scratch, but apart from the occasional glass of champagne I don't drink alcohol, so I'll rely on my wife's opinion.
Once - for two heady months - I drove one of these around Paris. I was working there in those days, and my boss said 'you'll need a car, and one of my colleagues resigned recently, you may as well have his Citroen'. He tossed me some keys, and as I went down in the lift I thought 'damn, a boring Citroen'.
I got into the underground car-park and there it was, an absolutely immaculate 1974 SM 3.0 L - all mine for as long as I needed it. It was a car that you loved or hated; I loved it because I didn't have to pay the fuel bills or maintenance costs. It was a joy to drive, and was a real head-turner. When I parked outside a cafe people would come up to me and ask me what it was like to drive. when you put your foot down it felt as though it might get airborne at any moment. Those were Happy days indeed!
Ah the original DS back in the day when it was cutting edge in all areas tech and style, with looks straight out of the Jetsons, still stunning. The current range that Citroen dare to call DS is so blaaaah by comparison really pedestrian. Probably better cars but who cares.
While pedalling into town, my memories went back to a Breton Wedding of some "petit cousins" of ours. What the relationship was I have never been quite sure but the families have sailed together for almost the whole of my life.
The wedding ceremony was on Saturday morning and the festivities drew to a close on Sunday evening at about 6pm. I was about 11yo at the time and was put in the care of Great Granny, they all married young, so she probably wasn't much older than I am now, but she appeared incredibly ancient to me. She took it upon herself to educate me in Breton Reels and the obscure local liqueurs that were served.
It turns out that if one can make a fist of the Scottish reels, the Breton ones are very similar. And the Liqueurs. The Groom's father had some land nearby and brewed his own Cidré Bouchée and Calvados, he also had shares in a Loire Vineyard where they distilled their own Marc and Brandy. I assume that was where the Calvados was distilled as well. Great Gran was magnificent, dressed overall in black with gold embroidery and in the full Quimper Coif, which she claimed to have done herself.
Over the next 36 hours, I was taught to dance, was never allowed to get drunk, although I always had a different liqueur to hand, and was introduced to innumerable small girls, only two of which I still remember.
However, the highlight of everything, to me anyway, was the Going Away, which was in a French Naval Helicopter and also, the "Cutting of the Veil". Each of us was given a small piece of the Bride's Veil and I still have my piece, almost 60 years later.
So, if you're handed a bit of muslin at the end, treasure it, it's meant to bring luck.
Driving in Paris? In 1978 I was posted to France. Crashed my car the weekend before departure. Brother lent me his Renault. Hitched up caravan. Never driven on the continent before and hit the Paris Peripherique at rush hour. Nightmare!
Bonjour tout les mondes. I should say that if you do need a rapid response from PC Advisor during FE's sojourn to the land of bicycles and onion strings, you can always drop me an email at [email protected]D'accord?
I am sitting on a satellite connection in the middle of the Gascony countryside, and although the downstream speed is smokingly fast, the upstream - which goes to an upload centre via a landline - is pretty dire. Forgive me if I am less than chatty in my responses over the next couple of days - back on Friday.