Archive Article: 2001/10/19

19 October 2001

WOULD you like some cheese Madam? Yes, I would, but which to choose from with eight different varieties on offer – all Camembert. "Id like some of this, that and the other, thank you," and they were all delicious. Where were we? At another lovely dinner, this time in the Casino at Trouville. It was the annual Confrerie des Chevalier due Camembert and Tim was one of the guest "intronized" which meant he had to go on stage in his calf scour brown velvet robe and hat, repeat the oath which is a little like the Boy Scout promise "to do my best…" but in promoting the healthy consumption of a really good cheese (which in my opinion will lose all its charm if Europe decrees it can only be made with pasteurised milk; what do politicians know about making good cheese?) He read out the words in very clear French (which took a bit of doing as it was written in elaborate italic script and was not at all easy to read). Then he was tapped on each shoulder with a baton and given some cheese to eat and cider to drink before a heavy braided medallion was hung around his neck.

Rather than risk driving home, we spent the night in Trouville and went round the Sunday morning market with the stalls of fresh fish, crabs and lobsters glistening in a watery sunshine. We bought prawns and bulots (whelks) for lunch, stuffed olives and roast chicken, and some Deauville cheese to taste.

The week before we had the commune repas for Guerquesalles. This used to be just for inhabitants, but this year was opened to employees or associates of inhabitants so Jacques (our cowman) and his wife came with Michel , who works two days a week for us and two for our landlady, Mrs Dufresne. This time we werent the only English couple there. Quite a few Brits are Guerquesalles locals now.

Dad Green and Sheila just missed the social event this year but they are not missing out on autumnal fare. Sheila is on almost permanent apple cooking duty, baking, stewing and mixing with blackberries, all of which we have in abundance. When she isnt baking she is up the hill picking walnuts and running the dogs, well more ambling them as they have all seen better days. Pip, Sam and Meg, three of the oldest took it into their heads to go off for a walk the other day (they never leave the farm and seldom go off without being taken). I turned round to see three dogs in a line strolling up the hill with intent. "Where do you think youre going?" I called out. Not an ear twitched. I said "Come back," much louder. Nothing. Oh, for goodness sake. I went up to get them remembering they are all pretty much deaf as posts. Ignorance is bliss.

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