One afternoon Anne and I decide to go to the cinema in Cherbourg. There are two films we really want to see but cannot decide which to choose. As the timetabling would enable us to watch first one then the other, we choose The Danish Girl in Version francaise which means it is dubbed, then Carol in Version originale which means we watch the English language version with French subtitles. Both films are exceptional, very different but they have a theme of troubled sexuality which links them.
I wake in the early hours of Saturday and feel too wide awake to get back to sleep. Not wanting to disturb Nick I get up, make a cup of redbush tea to have with a couple of Biscotti then take these, my thriller and two hotwater bottles into the mauve bedroom where I plunge yet more deeply into the quagmire of horror on offer from Mo Hayder and eventually nod off.
Nick wakes me at 8.30 with another cup of tea and tells me he is going out for a spin and a fish just outside the harbour. It is drizzly, a bit windy and foggy and not ideal conditions to go to sea, especially as a lone fisherman but he assures me he has all the things he should take with him and will wear his lifejacket. Meanwhile I go to market for a few provisions and when he returns after midday he has a beautiful mackerel and some whiting. We eat a grilled mackerel fillet for lunch with a little coquille de crabe prepared by Villeneuve butchers, and some salad. Il est trop bon!
During the afternoon I take my iPad outside to listen to an audio book whilst I weed pots and gravels on our frontage. The book in question is The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith and it is brilliantly read by Robert Glenister. Later on we will be eating chez Poulet and I plan to take some of my little whiting beignets to nibble before the meal. Just before I start to cook them Daniel arrives with a generous bowl of freshly cooked boulots so Nick and I have to sit down and eat a few of them and, my word, they are the best whelks I have ever eaten. I must find out what Daniel adds to the water in which the whelks are boiled. Shellfish heaven.
Anne cooks a fabulous joint of pork and Francois carves it French style which means he cuts it up into large irregular chunks. I can’t manage cheese or dessert after but I am allowed to bring ‘my share’ of the Tarte aux Pommes which Bri has made back to the house to enjoy the following day.
During the ensuing week we share meals with several sets of friends. Daniel and Christine invite us and the Poulets over for Coucous which is yummy. On Friday I cook a hearty Jamie Oliver lasagne for Bri and Georgy and Martine and Alain, after a great middle of the day interlude at the swimming pool in Equeurdreville-Hainneville where you get inclusive use of all the associated amenities: un espace détente (spa, hammam, sauna) et un solarium. Tanou and Jean-Pierre give us lunch after which it’s gallop back home to fling a supper together which was majorly prepped during the preceding days.
The pinnacle of entertaining pleasure takes place at lunchtime on Sunday when the Tailles and Burnoufs are due to join us for Chicken Tikka Masala. Unfortunately Andre’s cold prevents him from joining us but I send a ‘take-away’ version back with Francoise after the meal. The following day we pack up the house and board the ferry with a long weekend break with some of our young in Iceland planned in view.