Festive Season

Christmas Day, the 25th of December 2013, we arranged for a ‘Déjeuner de Noël’ at a restaurant called ‘La Table Buissonnière’ (buissonnière = female truant, which did not bring us any further towards an acceptable translation of the entire name) situated in downtown Roanne.

We had dinner in this restaurant a few weeks before and the Christmas menu did catch our attention then. So we decided to make a reservation for a table at 12:30PM on Christmas day. This is the menu (left) that seduced us.

‘La Lagouste Fidgi…’ etc. Still visible is Le Coctail Pétillant (pink), already accompanied by the Pinot Gris (light amber). You’d really envy us if you should realize how delicious the Pinot Gris was! Unfortunately we had only one glass, which is very wise as there were 4 different wines served.

‘Dinde de Noël (désossée) Farcie aux Figues, Abricots, Ecrasée de Pomme de Terre a l’huile d’Olive et Persil Plat…’, the main course. That is quite a mouthful and we’re sure you recognize every bit of it on our plate! The French consume turkey and rabbit almost on a daily basis.

‘Le Sapin de Noël…’ etc. Yummie! Of course another glass of wine for a change. Well, it was all we could wish for, so after 2 and a half hours we left absolutely satisfied.

Later that afternoon –so on Christmas Day- a group of eight of our fellow boaters knocked on the door and serenaded us extensively. That was new to us, so we wondered if this might be a sort of tradition in the charity-field and whether we were supposed to open our wallet. Not so at all, they had had some wine together and just felt in the mood to do a thing like this. One could guess the weather circumstances as the chance of doing a thing like this during rain, snow or a hurricane is equal to nil. Yes, it has been relatively warm lately – sometimes it feels like spring!

On Boxing Day the very active boaters-society had organized a social gathering, a tombola and several games included. Oh, of course not to forget food and drink. This picture depicts the welcoming committee.

Food. Only cold, because the regulations related to this venue forbid to serve hot food. Don’t ask us why, we forgot.

Drinks. A close observation will prove that it is not always alcohol that’s the order of the day. Admittedly on a majority of the occasions it is - but not always!

The Tombola was a complicated event. When one’s name was drawn one was allowed to take a present from the lucky dip. So far so good. However - to complicate things, one had the right to skip the lucky dip and to confiscate someone’s present. Only once, by the way, to avoid endless chaos. The ‘robbed one’ was offered to try his/her luck inside the lucky dip once more.

One of us two took a really nice little present from the lucky dip. The other one had a present that no-one, ever, would confiscate. Alas, the nice little present was confiscated and this plastic money box –in the shape of a gold bar- was taken out of the lucky dip at the second try. An ‘unlucky dip’ this time.

Later on there were the games, one of them finding out one’s own occupation by asking questions to the other members of the team. There were four teams that afternoon and we have to be honest: both of us have been unable to contribute decisively to the results of one of the teams we had the honour to be part of. No trophy for us…. It was fun anyway but, on the other hand, gave us a bit of a frightening insight of a possible future existence….

New Year’s evening was a bit of a disappointment. We were invited by a nice couple to celebrate the new year with them – but one of us had caught a really bad cold. So we stayed at home and enjoyed Dutch television, notably the great cabaret performer Theo Maassen. Happy New Year to you all!

This picture is just meant to prove that the temperature is still above normal. Yesterday, Saturday the 4th of January 2014, we still could enjoy a glass of delicious mulled wine on the outside pavement of a nice brasserie in Roanne. In the sunshine. Great.

La Loire this morning, Sunday the 5th of January. Still a sleeping giant.