Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
Sunday we went to lunch at the Grand Balcon. It’s been open for over 100 years. The back of the wine list is an amusing page of little notes and signatures left by people who have eaten there. From Picasso to Fernandel to General de Gaulle. It was packed. They put us on the top floor by a window.
We ordered much too much food. The appetizer platter was enough for three people. No one told us we shouldn’t order two.
As we ate Mike asked me if there was anything I missed from Spain. I had to think a bit. I miss (and at the same time don’t miss) the attitude of Andalusian living. Slow, haphazard. Great fun at a summer party; not so nice if you have to call 10 times during a power cut for them to actually send someone to fix the problem. Everything here is very organized and strict, and done punctually.
In regards to the house, I miss my terrace corner. It was beyond special. Sun, rain, cold, day or night, it was always a wonderful place to sit. Glorious views of the garden.
One felt completely separate (and protected) from the outside world. Now we’re in a house in town, which is a very different experience. There’s a buzz, we see other homes, cars go by. I suppose one can’t have both things at the same time. Sometimes I think we should get a little cottage in the middle of a forest, maybe by a lake, to spend the occasional weekend- but I know Mike would have a heart attack if I even suggested it. I know he’s right in that we’ve got enough to do without having to worry about the upkeep of yet another house and garden.
I need to somehow create a corner that’s just as nice here. I think I’ll set that task aside for next March.