Saturday 20 June 2015
Hot 26 degrees
National Fête de la Musique day
All over France, today is the day when each commune hosts live music. Brilliant idea. We only tend to go when we have visitors. I am so short sighted that I hate driving at night now. I have real trouble seeing where I am going and need full beam.
Woke up so early that I had time to load a very large property, write, answer emails and do and lose a to do list before going out to find jewellery findings, parcel tags and walk the dog. The crystal shop sold me some bails to glue to the resin pendants but I came up with a blank at the Post Office. I asked for the parcel tags as etiquettes and as tags. Finally I drew the shape on a piece of paper. ‘What do you want those for’ barked the man behind the counter ‘for putting on parcels’ I said. I didn’t mention craft because he would have just shown me the door. ‘We aren’t transporters’ ‘Why would we have items like parcel tags?’. Because you are the sodding Post Office? Walked dog along the railway track and there were many dogs and joggers and dog had a lovely time sniffing and peeing on things.
Back in the car, I attempted to find the items for a lovely lemon meringue pie which I had seen Mary Berry constructing on telly last night. The base is biscuit and butter pressed into the base of a pie dish and the top is condensed milk with lemon and egg yolks. Top with meringue et voilà! Texted a cooking friend to ask what condensed milk was in French ‘lait condensé was the quick response. Less rapid was the attempt to find it in the supermarket. The staff flatly denied the existence of condensed milk. Never heard of it. Never used it. Definitely dint stock it. I finally found it next to the UHT milk. French don’t drink a lot of fresh milk – they have the UHT which is rich and creamy. I stopped drinking cow’s milk some time ago now. Cows milk is for cows. I love rice milk but recently it is becoming more and more difficult to find. Almond milk is thick and separates in tea. Soya is bad for my thyroid. The other milks are cereal based.
Next challenge was to find the equivalent of digestive biscuits. There were biscottes and galettes and petit sablés. A myriad of biscuits – breakfast ones and midday ones and savoury ones and teatime ones and aperitif ones. We don’t eat biscuits. I started feeling manic and texted my friend again. She said to use galettes or biscottes. Thank God the staff were ready to admit the existence of lemons and I found them immediately. They are called citrons. Limes are calledcitrons verts…..
Dropped dog off, quick lunch and then to get a mandate signed by a couple who live in a lovely contemporary home with pool. The lady was ironing and stopped to make me a coffee. She says she is starting to feel desperate. Their home has been on the market for over two and a half years now. It is a lovely house but not in my town, which is very popular, and unusually has no views. Left with the mandate. I don’t think any Brit would buy their house because Brits have a dream of a french house and this isn’t it.
Went to neighbouring town on advice of texting cooking friend who said I needed to check out Actuel Bureau. I have driven past this place, a prefab cube on the outskirts of town, for the past eight years. Actuel Bureau says to me, boring office stuff, desks and printers, and shredding machines. It is a haven of crafting – not as big as Cultura but definitely bigger than Truffaut. I said to the woman why on earth doesn’t she indicate on the signage that she sells craft stuff – like the neighbouring cube which is garishly decorated with dancing crafting people. I said I am a passionate crafter whose custom she has missed out on for eight years. How many other people have no idea what she sells. ‘Oh I know, she signed ‘I must change the signage’. I bet you a penny to a pound she doesn’t. I enquired if she does courses – once a year and I have missed it. Do these people have no idea how to run a business???? Found the parcel tags and a lovely heart shaped punch.
Came back and turned out the resin pieces and all but one had formed perfectly. They are little pieces of still life encased in shining medium. Delighted with them. Still slightly sticky. Wonder if this is correct. Seed buttons are gorgeous.
Knitted a clanger. Eyes crossing with effort of doing mattress stitch which is like weaving together the end seams.