Just Merveilleux

Life at № 42

Twas the night before Christmas (eve- all’s about eve)

Alagna was at Versailles last week. Magnificent. I don’t go to things like that anymore because- because I don’t like leaving the house unnecessarily, or travelling, or pretending I’m interested in what the people sitting next to me are saying.

I’m listening to Sharon Van Etten’s I Wish I Knew.

I don’t particularly enjoy holiday seasons. Phantom limb syndrome by imposition. People always ask me about my family. I do my best not to disconcert anyone by not saying I don’t really know or care. That’s partly a lie. I know because they’re somewhat public people.

The calendar for next year is excellent. Number 42 will be visited by wonderful people. The visiting season in Andalusia normally started in July (and ended in September.) As I rapidly approach 40 I feel that’s a waste. I intend to have a season that goes from March to October. Livers be damned.

1:12 am. That’s late. The other day a rather exceptional businesswoman and friend told me my sense of last chapter-hood was all wrong. She says her life began in her forties. I answered that obviously she hadn’t lived my 20’s or 20’s, or 20’s- or late teens for that matter.

We shouldn’t get mad at people on the internet. Not in a profound sense, anyway.

We visited a wonderful 16th century building today in Castres; to see a Louis Philippe table, in an attic. I got annoyed at Mike giving me instructions on the fair method in which we’d both carry it down so I grabbed it and stormed down carrying it on my own. I’m 2 or 3 kg. overweight right now, so it probably did me good. Not well, good. There’s no well at number 42. I wonder why?

I’m tired. I feel tired.

 

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30 comments on “Twas the night before Christmas (eve- all’s about eve)

  1. acflory
    December 24, 2016

    You know, one of these years – before the house burns down or I get too old – you and Mike should come out to Australia and have a hot Christmas with the Offspring and me. I don’t enjoy Christmas either so we could commiserate. 🙂

    Like

    • That sounds wonderful we could have nothing but anti Christmas food! Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic affairs 🙂

      Like

      • acflory
        December 24, 2016

        Yes! The more traditional amongst us do have turkey and the whole thing, but my traditions were always duck, or pork. My sister-in-law introduced me to the glories of beautiful fish chargrilled quickly on a bbq. And salad. So Buddhist/Hindu/Islamic shouldn’t be a problem. 🙂 I assume the alcohol ban isn’t include though? -raised eyebrow-

        Liked by 1 person

  2. tildeb
    December 24, 2016

    You’re allowed to feel tired, be tired. That’s why you need to luxuriate once in a while by placing yourself in the care of others.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Merilee
    December 24, 2016

    Roberto Alagna at Versailles!!?? Merveilleux!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. foolsmusings
    December 24, 2016

    I suspect you shall be visited by ghosts on Christmas Eve. :p

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dwight Doskey
    December 24, 2016

    So what does the table look like? And I wouldn’t worry about “rapidly approaching 40”. I thought the same thing, and have had a marvelous life for the two decades since then, and wish you the same. I’m glad your visiting season is being broadened–perhaps I shall get to meet you when Nancy and I come in April or May to Mazamet. In the meantime, I fear my sister and I speak so highly of the town that it will be inundated by visitors and settlers–and that’s exactly what I don’t want to happen.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ll post some pictures of the table later. How fantastic that you’re coming. April and May are both excellent months to visit. You must come by for lunch or drinks, or whatever you have time for. How long are you staying?
      The other day someone told me that 89 Rue du Theron is for sale for 160k. It’s got a fantastic garden that borders the mountainside, so you’re in town but it feels like the countryside.
      …as for the town the other day we met an English couple who hate it with a passion. They don’t like the food, the people, the weather, the language- so I suppose perspective plays a tremendous role in what we see…

      Like

  6. Diana MacPherson
    December 24, 2016

    Nah. Life’s too short to spend it doing something you don’t like. Good on you for recognizing you don’t like something and choosing to accept that.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. metan
    December 24, 2016

    Read this post this morning when I was feeling all christmas eve-ish, looking forward to giving the kids their presents in the morning. Was going to be quite busy with my share of preparations for the family lunch at my sisters tomorrow, so put my potentially cheerful commenting aside until I had time.

    Now it is later, and I do have time. It is 35c here and I’ve been cooking, doing dishes, tucked away in a secluded corner wrapping presents, doing washing, going to the shop for some last minus menu additions and a myriad of other bits and pieces. Current Xmas cheer level? Big fat zero

    All I can say is that I’m pleased the lunch is at my sisters tomorrow, if we had visitors here we would have to tolerate them politely, as we are the visitors there I don’t have to tolerate anyone, I can leave when all the socialising gets too much for me. Merry Xmas to me. 😜

    Liked by 2 people

    • metan
      December 24, 2016

      Last minus menu additions? Last minute menu additions I believe is what I meant. Merry Xmas to the stupid autocorrect too…

      Like

      • acflory
        December 24, 2016

        You need some alcoholic Christmas cheer! And a sit down. In front of a nice, cooling fan. Christmas in 35C is not fun.

        Liked by 1 person

      • metan
        December 24, 2016

        Nope, that won’t cure me, I don’t drink!

        I eventually did get a sit down, and was cured somewhat of my Bah Humbug-ness as it was in front of the newly installed ac (the purchase of which was kind of Xmas and birthday presents for the whole year for The Man and I) 😀

        Going to be hotter tomorrow though Meeks. Enjoy your Xmas with the offspring, and stay cool! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • We’ve got the fire going in the green room even though it’s 14 degrees outside 😀

        Like

      • metan
        December 25, 2016

        14? Definitely fire weather, purely for the atmosphere of course! Was 37+ here today according to the local weather station. 😦 On a positive note, the ac works wonderfully, was left on all day (for the dog) while we were out and we came home to a beautiful cool house. One thousand happy face! 🙂

        Like

      • acflory
        December 25, 2016

        @ Metan. LOL! Lucky dog. You could not have installed that ac at a better time. Last night was miserable. Happy Boxing Day. 🙂

        Like

      • acflory
        December 24, 2016

        Oh! Now that is a gift that will keep on giving! I try not to use ours too much, but I don’t think we could survive the heat without it, especially on those days when it’s hot overnight as well. Going out to do some watering before the heat then I’m hunkering down for the day.
        Stay cool and have a wonderful day! -hugs-

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Clare Flourish
    December 24, 2016

    I know my niece is pregnant, because she shared a scan image on facebook. So many are now public people!

    Be well and happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Linn
    December 24, 2016

    I also don’t see the point in being forced to do things you don’t like and commend you for realising that and choosing your own path.

    Luckily, although I’m an introvert and asocial by nature, I have a great family (my mom for instance, is my best friend and we talk about everything from sex to deep philosophical thoughts about eternity, the universe and the stupidity of religion) so I’m looking forward to visiting them in about an hour.

    I hope everyone has a great Christmas, no matter how you choose to spend it (or not spend it). 🙂

    And there’s no Christmas without the smell of pinnekjøtt of course (lamb chops that are cured in salt for a day). In addition we’ll have steak.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Helen Devries
    December 24, 2016

    We thought we were going to have a quiet Christmas as Leo is not well enough to want to go out….Christmas Day might be quiet but friends have decided to bring Christmas to us on Boxing Day. Never has so much cleaning up to be done in so short a time…

    I must look up pinnekjott as we have just slaughtered some lambs and the meat is still in the fridge….friends are bringing food and wine, but those chops would be something different to add to the mix.

    Tired? Concentrate on getting the liver in practice for the visiting season.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Is there a traditional yearly “matanza” in Costa Rica like in Spain?

      Like

    • Linn
      December 25, 2016

      I was unable to find any good English pages on how to prepare pinnekjøtt but Wikipedia has an article about it:

      Pinnekjøtt

      Calling it lamb chops wasn’t quite correct I guess. Ribs of sheep is a better description. I’ve never tried to explain it in English before, but the Wikipedia article seems correct. My mother’s recipe book seems similar, but she doesn’t use a recipe.

      We buy the meat that has already been cured in salt (the curing actually takes at least 2 days, not 1 according to the recipe book, I see now). We put the meat on birch twigs in a pot, above the water, letting it slowly cook while we change the water several times over a night and day. If cooked right, the meat just slides off the bone when you cut it. It’s delicious. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Helen Devries
        December 25, 2016

        No birch twigs here, unfortunately! I shall have to think of a substitute as I would like to try the technique.
        Thanks for the info!

        Like

      • Linn
        December 26, 2016

        The birch twigs/sticks made especially for cooking pinnekjøtt can be found in pretty much every store around here, but I think you can just use some form of metal grate in the bottom instead when you cook/steam it. I don’t think the birch affects the taste all that much, it’s mostly for tradition.
        The important thing is to water the salted meat out for at least a day before anything else, otherwise it will be inedible from all the salt.

        I’m not very good at describing the process unfortunately since I’ve only watched what my mom does (in my last post I even wrote the order wrong, you of course water it/soak it before you cook/steam it, not the other way around).

        Anyway, you need to put the salt cured ribs in water for a day and night, changing the water frequently, and then cook it over the water for about 2-3 hours using twigs/a grate until the meat almost falls off the bone.

        Hope it’s successful if you try it some day. It’s an acquired taste I think. We’ve tried serving it to foreigners before, and they didn’t like it much.

        Like

  11. Hariod Brawn
    December 25, 2016

    Christ, I almost slit my throat two minutes into that bloody song, and I like Cohen!

    Liked by 1 person

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