It’s seemed a long time since I’ve spent time with Mr FD…the last couple of weeks I have had a stinky cold, and with it has come a persistant cough, so I have been sleeping in the spare room to avoid disturbing him. The last couple of weekends we’ve been doing our own things – last Saturday I was closeted up writing my sermon, and then Sunday morning I delivered it. In the afternoon Mr FD was watching football, I was ironing. The weekend before I was out on Sunday at a Church Away Day…the evenings are rather slumped-in-front-of-the-TV, and I’m back late on Wednesdays. We’ve not really talked.
Well, today Mr FD is leaving from Lyon to go to the UK for a few days, to see his sister from Canada and cousins from Germany. He had a ticket for a concert in Lyon yesterday evening, so we decided to drive over to The Big City, to have lunch & go to the cinema before he went to his concert and then went on to a hotel ready to catch his early morning flight. So, yesterday, we drove over the mountains, rather than take the motorway, and the views were lovely – but more lovely was the fact that we hardly stopped talking to each other the whole time – about our work, about projects, about possible moves (very only possible), about cats, about nothing consequential…
We went to the retaurant that we’d planned to go to with my mum back in May – it had been booked up on the Saturday evening, and we took a chance on it not being so busy at lunchtime, so we didn’t book. Hah! It was heaving, and the waiter who met us, was “Desolé, we only have seats at the counter…” Well, that was okay, we thought, and accepted.
In fact it was more than okay, it was fascinating, as the counter looked on to the kitchen, so we could see everything that was going on. Just like this:
We were looking on to the dessert station, and it was really interesting watching the commis chef prepping stuff before her station got really busy, and then how she and the sous-chef worked as they became busier as people finished their main courses and reached the dessert course. We noticed how many of the desserts had been created to be easy to put onto the plate with only a little final preparation – warming through, for example – and how much prepping had been done earlier. They were very organised, very tidy, and worked around each other almost as a choreographed dance. We could also see the rest of the kitchen, and how the head chef gave orders through a microphone. It was interesting to watch the commis- and sous-chefs almost stand to attention, “Oui!” they barked back, and then hurried on with their tasks. I think there might have been an English chef amongst them as we also heard a “Yes, chef!” from time to time. As it neared the end of service, we suspect that the microphoned commands became more encouraging, as the “Oui”s became more celebratory…
We imagined “Last starter going out now!” “Oui!”
“Last few chickens!” “Oui!”
“Nearly finished, lads!” “Oui!”
We ate from the Menu du Jour: Soupe de Potimarron aux chataignes (we’re not sure but we think it was butternut squash), rotisserie chicken with forestière potatoes (sautéed with lumps of bacon and mushrooms), and then pain perdue (eggy bread) made with brioche, crème anglaise and vanilla ice cream. We had a pot of white wine and it was delicious! OK, it wasn’t cheap, but it wasn’t extortionate, and it was a definitely very enjoyable experience.
After we took the trolley bus into the centre of the city to the cinema, where we went to see “Before I Go to Sleep” with Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong. Here’s a synopsis from The Daily Telegraph:
Based on the international best-selling novel by SJ Watson, Before I Go to Sleep is a tense psychological thriller starring Academy Award-winner Nicole Kidman, Academy Award-winner Colin Firth and Mark Strong .
After a traumatic accident, Christine Lucas wakes up every day without being able to remember the day before. With the fear of living each day with no memory, she attempts to piece together the events of her past, uncovering terrifying truths that force her to question everyone around her, not knowing where to turn or who to trust… her husband, her doctor or even herself.
I really enjoyed it – here is Mark Kermode’s review in The Observer I hadn’t read the book, so had no idea what the twists and turns would be, and found it a darkly enjoyable film. I would recommend it as a film to see. And anything with Colin Firth in is worth watching in my opinion.
Because he’s such a good actor, of course! (Well, there’s that as well!!)