Monday, 9 February 2009
Some of you have noticed I haven't been around of late and I was touched to receive a few 'Dear Sally' letters from folks wondering if Le Chateau and myself were still all in one piece. I'm happy to report that we are still around but there are times when its best to sit quietly by yourself and say nothing until of course you are ready to stand up and say something.
It's true that it's the year 2009 and that we are lucky enough to live in a civilized European society where free speech is allowed, everyone's entitled to their opinion aren't they ? and whinging that your human rights have been violated seems to be a very popular bandwagon on which to hitch a ride. Depending of course which European country you live in.
Recently, or perhaps more accurately over the years that I have been in France I have watched with disbelief as the French systematically destroy their country. I see housing developments mushrooming in area's of outstanding natural beauty, I saw only last week, a line of ancient plane tree's that have lined a straight road as far as the eye can see being felled. Unbelievable when you consider that France still rates as one of the most popular European destinations for visitors and that part of the undeniable charm is its unspoilt open countryside and that the avenues of magnificent trees are as much a part of the French experience as its cuisine and culture. Never mind eh, these days I wouldn't so much as raise an eyebrow if anyone asked me what I thought, wouldn't want anyone accusing me of being free with my speech, no sireeee I just sit under a tree quietly minding my own business, that's whilst there's still some left to sit under.
One of my regular readers wrote to me and told me to stop 'candy coating' it for a change, far more believable, far more appealing and hugely popular by all accounts. So if it's sunshine and South of France escapism you're yearning for today you're in the wrong place, I won't wax lyrical that todays weather is positively springlike and mild and that my new 'find', another Godin woodburning stove is installed and awaiting fresh new logs to spring into life when the inevitable evening chill descends.
Finally after being bombarded with misery everwhere you turn, whether it be the snow, the credit crunch, the number of rising repossessions, the news of dear friends being forced to return home, the news that one million pound bonus's are being doled out (again), the news that some very wealthy people have lost an awful lot of money and that Jonathan Ross is back on the screen I'm thrilled to announce some heartening news that flies in the face of the recession.
My friend who runs the French Patisserie (the irony of which is not lost on me) Le Vieux Four in Beaminster, Dorset has expanded. In the old inglenook fireplace which has been unearthed there lies a brand new woodburning stove. The entire place has had a revamp and is now running as a coffee shop with the delicious aroma of homebaking wafting through the room. Think of a Tarte Citron that melts in your mouth. Beaminster is actually seeing a champagne launch for a business that is expanding and most importantly thriving, defying the doom and the gloom. And I have to quietly interject here too and add that so am I, now whether this is down to the flavour of France or the fact that we are both business's run by woman is open to debate. Just be careful where you debate it naturally.
So I wish her the very best of luck.
The best of British luck.
I can't get into hot water for that, surely ?