Had an excellent walk with loads of fresh air and then returned home. Phone rang almost immediately. Neighbour Isabelle. Invited me round to Sunday lunch. Come round in ten minutes. Turned up in thirty (late as usual). Sunny day so the table was set outside under a couple of parasols. Seated around the table were (I'll attempt to remember everyone's names)... Isabelle, her mother Janette, son Hadrien, partner Christian, neighbour Denis (pronounced 'Deni'), Christian's brother Jean-Claude (the chap who towed me out off a roadside precipice last winter when the car skidded on ice and snow), his wife (or partner?) Martine, son Jerome and family friend Thingy (forgotten name but he's a great chap and a big lad, very funny - sat next to Hadrien and drove him bonkers by pretending to be homosexual, kept stroking Hadrien's neck and grabbing his 'privates' much to the amusement of everyone there..., except Hadrien).
"Whisky or champagne?" shouted Christian before I'd even sat down. "No thanks, head feels terrible. I'll have a cassis juice and water instead please. Maybe a whisky later. Or maybe not." Luckily, Christian seemed to be suffering from a hangover too, so my asking for a fruit juice didn't result in a barrage of mickey-taking. However, I noticed Christian was still downing Ricards (he has the constitution of an ox), though a bit more slowly than normal.
After a bit of chit-chat, lunch was served. Must have started the first course at about one o'clock. Finished at about five, at which point I made a polite getaway to walk the dogs and recover. Apparently the others left at about eleven, according to Hadrien who came round last night (Monday) to 'borrow' a fag. Normally Isabelle and Christian hit the sack at about nineish but Monday's their day off work, hence late night Sunday.
Georgie always likes to know what's on the menu when I go round for grub. Most of the time I forget but, this time, I made a special effort to concentrate. From memory, we had a sort of pastry cake with a sausagey centre for starters, followed by melon, then delicious chopped carrot with vinaigrette, then veal stew with garlic and mushroom sauce accompanied by tomato halves with garlicky green stuff topping and boiled rice, then fresh lettuce with vinaigrette and a choice of cheese, then home-made black cherry pudding cake, then peaches and, finally, coffee. Yummy. Needless to say, as this was a specialish Sunday lunch, out came Isabelle's best Limoges china for pud and coffee (but not for previous courses - the full set only comes out at Christmas). Accompanying wines were a chilled rose (rosay) for the first couple of courses and an excellent (and probably pricey) bronze medal Bordeaux red with the main course.
Took some photos including a superb one of Christian as he nodded off for a couple of seconds after noshing his pud. It's not exactly flattering but bear in mind the vast amounts of alcohol he'd downed the night before and during the meal. Would have killed an ordinary person. And, according to Hadrien, he somehow managed to continue drinking with his brother and nephews throughout Sunday evening. Hero.