Lock-down take 2. Day 28. 26th November 2020.

Thinking of all our American friends today. Happy Thanksgiving to you! We miss you and hope to see you back here in France soon.

Bottom of the class for me this morning. The only one not to do the ‘homework’ for our writing group. Well that’s not strictly true. I tried to do it in the 15 minutes before the Zoom meeting opened.

I actually wanted to do it. The exercise this week was to write ‘about a funeral from the dead person’s viewpoint’ for 20 minutes (with no thinking beforehand).

The short stories we came up with were very amusing. Dark humour to brighten up a rather dark time.

We used to meet up in person but now we meet weekly by Zoom. It works well and gives us all some human contact as well as the chance to share our various writing projects. Mine of course is wine related and mostly blogging. Others in the group are in the process of writing books and poetry.

Writing put aside, I spent the rest of the day uploading documents required for a) a brief hospital visit in a couple of weeks (no don’t worry nothing serious) and b) our Carte de Sejour applications.

On paper the Carte de Sejour application seems simple enough. We just have to provide proof of moving here in 2006 and proof that we are still living here in 2020. The complications arise when you look at what we can provide as proof.

The contract for the purchase of our first house, that will do. Problem is – in France women retain their maiden name on official documents so the house purchase is in my maiden name. Ok, what else can I provide from that time that will help? I know, a tax document. Ah, that’s in my previous married name. Hmm, so it looks like I’ll have to scan the house purchase document, my birth certificate, my first marriage certificate, my divorce certificate, my second marriage certificate… It’s going to be a long afternoon trawling through old paperwork. Oh don’t you love France!

As for the hospital appointment. I have a ‘virtual’ appointment next week and have had to download an app for that and upload every single medical document known to man in advance. Thanks for that Covid.

Quick check in with my folks in the UK this evening. They’re in a conundrum as to whether they should travel to London to spend Christmas with my brother. It’s a difficult call isn’t it? We’re so close to having a vaccine and they are in the most vulnerable category. I’m sure many other families are weighing up the odds as I write.

A gratin of cauliflower, spinach and smoked haddock this evening. I cooked some spinach and formed a layer on the bottom of a gratin dish before adding the steamed cauliflower florets and then the smoked haddock cut into cubes. I made a rich creamy cheesey sauce which went over the top. A sprinkle of coarse breadcrumbs, a grating of Extra Mature Cheddar and a few knobs of butter here and there and in the oven it went until golden and bubbling.

We so enjoyed Arnaud Lambert’s Cab Franc last night that we reached out to him again this evening. His Clos de Midi 2019, Saumur (Brézé to be more precise) was a fabulous match. I think Louisa’s Chardonnay Les Ballades des Dames would also be great with something like this. Maybe try a snifter with the leftovers tomorrow before my next Insta Live.

You can find Arnaud’s wines quite widely in the USA so my American friends, look out for them. You won’t be disappointed.