The French dinner table

IMG_3099.JPGSurvived not one, but two, family dining occasions this week ๐Ÿ˜… French family dining occasions tend to involve multiple, very animated,ย conversations at once, so it’s a challenge for a less than fluent French speaker to keep up. The secret is to find the person who speaks the slowest and avoid giving yourself whiplash by trying to keep up with everything!! ๐Ÿ˜‚

The first occasion was my niece in law’s 13th Birthday….family lunch in Paris…..my niece was adopted in Ethiopia when she was 9 months old and is quite the young Parisienne (she loves clothes!), the highlight of the day for me was when her Mum told her that the absolutely best gift she ever received was when she left Ethiopia with my her in her arms. My niece’s face lit up, must admit, there was a tear in my eye ๐Ÿ˜Š

The second occasion was one that I had hoped to avoid…..the Parisian dinner party ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ If you’ve ever seen a French film, you’ll know that it is not sufficient to show up, with a few bottles of something nice, and chat to people. Non, non, non….one’s brain must be fully alert to the “subtext” conversation, primed to respond with lots of witty, well-timed banter….it’s like double entendres on speed! Happily, the other dinner party guests were Hubby’s cousins and in-laws (so, not quite hostile! ๐Ÿ˜‚) and some generous pours of wine lubricated the conversation ๐Ÿท My only faux pas was offering the first guests a glass of champagne before the others arrived…..quelle horreur!! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿฅ‚ After an awkward 10 minutes, while we all sat there looking at the bottle ๐Ÿ˜‚ my Mother in law relented and allowed me to serve it!

My Father in law is an absolute art fanatic, so he very kindly brought me to my first ever art auction house in Paris. I fell in love with a piece, and submitted a pre-bid as the sale was the following day. Received an email earlier today advising that my bid was successful! See photo above, it’s titled “The woman with the big heart” and was created in 1966 ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰

My first countryside flea market is tomorrow morning, so, in a step towards risk mitigation on the driving front, I asked my Father in law if he would accompany me on a test drive to the village in question. So, armed with: Google Maps (hilarious French pronounciation in an Aussie accent….not knocking it….was very, very happy to hear it!!), Father in law’s Michelin map, print out I’d brought with me and the car’s GPS…..off we set ๐Ÿš˜ The good news is that we found the village (thank you, thank you Google Maps ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘), the not so good news is that I had “Poutain” (whore) shouted at me by a very charming French woman. Father in law was anxious that I understand that she was referring to my driving and not me personally ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜‚

I’m writing this while sitting outside a cafe. Have belatedly realised that I was supposed to order at the counter……think I’d better move on before I get shouted at again!! Happy Friday everyone ๐Ÿ˜€ xx

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