After the bezazz of Bastille Day celebrations and our aquatic fun afloat, off Iles Marcouf, we settled into our life at 104. We were seldom becalmed: when we were not busy gardening, or in my case sewing, we enjoyed catching up with friends. Tanou and Jean-Pierre threw a BBQ the day after Bastille, and a few days after that, following a successful fishing trip, we received the Roux, Poulets, Tatane, Lucas and the Lerminez for a mackerel fest, the highlight of which was Carpaccio of Mackerel prepared by Francois Taille. I also served some beignets of pout whiting, a fish that is spurned by our friends but which, in the event, they gobbled up happily. The batter that I made was egg- and milk-less, chilled beer and sparkling water being the agents to create a lightly textured liquid for dipping and frying.
No arrival in St Vaast, which coincides with Tuttles in residence, would be complete without an evening of the card game, Spite and Malice. I made Christine Street’s Chicken Curry and we managed a game either side of the main course.
The weekend after Bastille there were two events to tempt my interest. On Saturday Anne, Christine and I drove to the Chateau de Toqueville for a craft market. There I bought some carved wooden mushrooms, a rustic wooden plaque painted with a John Dory, some glazed origami earrings for Liz and a felted nuthatch mobile with a round vintage aluminium bell attached. I only subsequently learn that the chateau can be rented, and the website shows that the property boasts 5 individually themed and decorated double bedrooms. There are extensive grounds with a lake and tennis courts.
On Sunday Brigitte and I went to the annual Festival du Livre on La Hougue. We toured round the marquee, chatting to some of the authors and buying one or two books. Afterwards we had a drink at the tea shop by the Tourist office before going our separate ways.
With the arrival date of Paul, Viv and Hilary fast approaching there was just time for me to host what I hope will be the first of regular English Conversation lunches, proposed by Fefe Taille whose appetite for improving her understanding of our colloquial words and expressions is very keen. Inevitably it will help me improve my ability to hold fluent conversations using everyday vocabulary and vernacular.