I have to confess that I was very much put off by my first contact with France on this particular trip. Air France did very little to endear itself to me, and the flight attendant looking after my section made me want to commit genocide. Nobody feels great during a 30-hour transit experience, and I found myself silently crying as I made my way through Charles de Gaulle airport, wondering how and why I was back here when there are so many more welcoming places in the world (hello Melbourne!).
Eventually I got to Toulouse and as Mummy had sneaked her way into the luggage collection area (which I’m pretty sure is considered a felony in some places) she literally greeted me off the plane. We headed home via the Cahors Carrefour, where I spotted this fantastic poster for “Walker Texas Ranger” — sounds like an unmissable event.
I came home, introduced my brother Raphael to the delight that is the show Archer, and passed out, glad to be with my family but otherwise cold and a little underwhelmed by my supposed home country.
However, today is a beautiful sunny day and it’s a lot easier to remember why it’s such a lovely place to live! I dragged Raphael out on a short jog after breakfast, and he almost threw up three times. He’s horribly unfit, but I am determined to make him my new running buddy (and the trails here are so easy and runnable after Taiwan! Exciiiiting!). Then David drove me down to meet my bank account manager in his little race car… It’s so much fun in that car, it’s like a very comfortable, very low-slung motorbike, and zooming around the bends is thrilling!
The windier it is, the more fun!
It was lunchtime when I got home, and I was sitting outside in the sunshine, enjoying my food, when I realised that in front of me were many of my favourite things to eat. So I took a picture before it was all gone:
Fresh crusty bread, with two kinds of cheese (Tomme Noire des Pyrenees, and Etorki which is a Basque sheep’s milk cheese). A crisp batavia salad fresh from the garden, covered in my own vinaigrette (wholegrain mustard, red wine vinegar, olive oil). Little sharp-but-sweet radishes. My much-adored carottes rapees with tomatoes. And last but not least, pate de pommes de terre made by my mother’s loving hands and smothered in creme fraiche. All of the above enjoyed with a bottle of San Pellegrino. I would be crazy to not love it here!