It’s been busy over this last week.
RD and I decided that we should invite our friends, neighbours and the ‘Man who can turn his hand to anything’ Pascal and his family, for a soirée to say thank you for all their help over the past few months. What with the cherry tree that had to be felled, then cut up and transported from one side of our garden to another, to the huge problems with our cess pit that they all helped us resolve, we would have really struggled without the help of all these kind people.
The soirée is set for tomorrow, and I am worried. Our house still has a lot of renovations that are needed, but as I write this I know these people will not judge. They are people who have lived in rural France all their lives, they understand the struggle and I have never felt anything other than they take us as we are.
However French people do like cleanliness, perhaps it is living in this rural part of France: you have to keep on top of things. Now I am back to being me I am also getting on top of things: I have deep cleaned our kitchen this week (and I mean deep cleaned, mixing up a bicarb and bleach mix to wash away the mould that still invades it at times.) Cleaned out cupboards draws (why do we keep the crap that we keep?!) climbed step ladders to get to places that are never seen (but oh my Lordy! The dirt in those places!) washed lights and so much more. It is only when something looks really clean that you notice the places you have missed!
Our ceiling in our kitchen has only been sealed this year, our plan is to paint it white, but we have run out of time, so half of the kitchen is painted and the other half, well! It’s a work in progress, with the electrics to do and so on. So now one half just looks incredibly skanky, highlighting the passage of water that poured in when we had hardly any roof for three years. But only this week an unexpected parcel arrived from England, something handmade by the lovely Mary. So sod how the ceiling looks, I will count my blessings that we have a roof and out up my gift as a welcome for our French friends.
It is always the small things, the gestures with no agenda, that count. Thank you Mary. ❤️
But with regard to the soirée it is the food that is worrying me. We have some friends who are traditionally French, so for them I have the cherry tomatoes, olives, small hot dog sausages (or knackers as they are known out here – which is always make RD and I giggle: given the alternative meaning for knackers in England!) and gherkins. But some of the others like to try something different so for them I have English cocktail sausages, pigs in blankets, celery with cream cheese, silverskin onions, cheddar cheese cubes, Doritos, dips, crisps, both French and English in flavour. I am also going to try my hand at making some canapes, with a mixture of cream cheese and salmon roe (the French do love their fish) and some cream cheese and marmite, because our friends live marmite!
I have some ice creams but also mince pies (we are English it has to be done at Christmas time) We also have a traditional box of sweets that can be found in most households in England at Christmas. But I am worried, will they like it, and will it be enough?
Then I am worried about how we will fit them in, we have to bring our trestle table in, and move some furniture around, will we have enough chairs and will we have enough space for the chairs. RD is sorting the Wii for the kids (and probably the big male kids as RD and Garenne do like to compete!)
I have to admit, I am apprehensive….
But we have to do it, don’t we?
I am off to do the prison task of cleaning my chandelier.