With Esme and Dick due to arrive at the weekend we spent the week sorting the house and I embarked on another cushion with a tabby cat design. Although I have a good selection of fabric remnants Anne was able to give me some swatches of tweed and cord which are perfect for the design. Consequently I will be making two cushions, one for Anne.
We had some stunning crisp sunny days and one morning we took ourselves around the seawall route that takes us round La Hougue tower. It was possibly the best turn round La Hougue that we have ever done. With bright sun and clear seas we set a good pace to get the blood singing.
Come Saturday the Hunters arrived, a bit later than planned, having skipped the early morning crossing in favour of a more leisurely start. They stayed till Tuesday during which we regaled them with our house Pot au Feu, and a poached Bass with Dick’s super rich Hollandaise sauce. We ate oysters and prawns, drank wine and debated topics of the day at the table. We variously read and slept, punctuating our days with a bit of shopping and short walks. At the end of their stay we had all had a relaxing time and rather self-indulgent time. And why not?
At the end of October Nick and I attended a very special birthday and wedding anniversary party. Our niece and her husband threw a wonderful bash at Maunsel House in Somerset – hailed ‘the most magnificent wedding venue in Somerset’; based on our experience this could well be true. Guest were treated to a champagne reception with wonderful bites, a supper of four hot dishes and a hog roast all served in buffet style, a great disco with music reflecting the wide age spectrum of guests and to my husband’s great delight, an ‘all you can eat’ Dodgem Cars set up in the grounds! Nick and Andrew spent hours in total showing off their superior driving expertise to the youngsters. The opportunity for a family portrait was too good to miss.
A few days after saw us making the Channel crossing to France, happily after the seas had calmed after the storm. We arrived in the afternoon with the prospect of an evening treat: a soiree with supper and Spite and Malice chez Tuttle. A couple of days later saw the arrival of our friends the Derricks and Squire Palmer for a weekend of laughter, and improvised and cavalier swine-tasting. We did the Saturday market and met Brigitte and Georgy for a lunch-time apero in the bar afterwards. Surely a future fixture in our weekly schedule.
In the week that ensued I shopped in Cherbourg and bought two new pairs of boots, and Nick and I set to and made grape jelly with the remainder of our crop. With Brigitte’s birthday celebration at the weekend in view, Anne and I set about buying some white tea plates and some porcelain paints in order to decorate the former with the latter as a personalised present. With much trial and error over four hours one afternoon, we eventually produced a dozen plates with a single design of either a butterfly or dragonfly. We anticipated this gift would be appreciated and were somewhat nonplussed to discover their recipient pronounce them too large as bread plates, and I don’t think the simple stencilled designs pleased either. Tant pis – we tried!
Brigitte’s party was held on Daniel’s birthday so a double celebration took place. The following day we assembled in the bar at midday and Martine and I arranged to go to the cinema in the afternoon to see Majordome, the French dubbed version of The Butler with Forest Whittaker. What a masterly performance. That little Cinema Richelieu at Reville is such a perk on our doorstep – it has the most comfortable armchair seating that I know. During the evening we reassembled chez Poulet where the men played pool. We ate an improvised supper of pizza with little tasters of the two lobsters which the Poulets had lined up for their supper. It was a convivial finale to a very sociable weekend.