Thursday, 9 April 2009

Not Fair !

My recent visits to the UK, surviving without alcohol, have all had a noticable effect on me. I have lost weight.

Now I am not saying I was obese before, but compared to a local population who are on average substantially slimmer than their UK counterparts, I was carrying some surplus.

And this is always pointed out to you when the doctor you visit regularly for checkups is not only very slim, fit and handsome but also happens to be older than you even though he looks at least 15 years younger!

With our medical records slowly being computerised, Dr Castan is also able to immediately tell me on each visit that I have yet to lose even a kilo......

So today, I drove to my checkup on a high. Ready and waiting to be congratulated that my BMI had dropped quite noticably.

Except he never weighed me.

I am SO SO pissed off.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Student life - French Style

Unbeknownst to LeeLee, I am compiling a cookery book for her to take to university this September.

It contains all the usual recipes that you would expect (rice, pasta, potatoes, etc) - chosen for not only their nutritional value and ability to fill you up, but mainly for their cheapness!

Unbeknownst to me, LeeLee looked for a cookery book at the library when she went to Beziers today.

And she found a French cookery book, written by local students for students.

And she just had to show me when she got home, knowing I would appreciate why she was laughing with surprise!

I shall list the first few recipes for you:
1. Melon & Parma Ham
2. Parma Ham & Mozzarella
3. Roast chicken (bought from a local butcher) & Homemade Garlic Mayonnaise
4. Smoked salmon, Roquette Salad & Wholemeal Bread (lemon wedges on the side)
5. Avocado, Pear & Tomatoes with a Tarragon Dressing
6. Baguette filled with Garlic Roasted Mushrooms & Roquette drizzled with Balsamic Vinegar
7. Toasted Bread topped with Scrambled Egg & Asparagus

Are you laughing yet?! Does this give you an idea as to some of the differences between students in our two countries?!

I kid you not when I tell you that not one child in her class has ever opened a tin of baked beans, and many have never bought a ready made pizza. They buy the bases and then add their own toppings including a wide variety of vegetables. And they all make their own pasta sauces (never from a jar or tin).

I have an awful feeling that LeeLee is going to be a bit disappointed with my cookery book!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

After The Fire

Recently I mentioned the deliberate 'clearing by fire' that was taking place around our village. And I thought you might like an update.

Less than two weeks has passed, and there is very little evidence of the fire unless you look very closely. You can hardly see that it ever took place from the main road now. It is astonishing to me the amount of new green sprouts appearing amongst the burned ash. And that bushes and trees like the holme oak and indeed wild apple and cherry are untouched and blossoming whilst the bramble and unwanted undergrowth has gone. Very clever.
***
We were on the way back from the Supermarket when I stopped to take some photos. I had bought a packet of thyme for a recipe I am cooking tomorrow because I knew my own plants had not yet recovered from the winter.

Silly me. I must stop thinking and acting like an ├ętranger.

Look at all the wild thyme flourishing along the roadside wall, all of which had survived the recent fire and was in full flower! I grabbed a few handfuls and realised that I had wasted a few euros buying packet stuff.