Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday 20 July

~  Mol has her second haircut of the year.  I know I always go on about this in a daft and doting fashion, but it does give me such pleasure to see the smooth high dome of her forehead, her paws all neat and round and trimmed, and feel her muzzle like soft velvety moleskin again.  And she's just so good and patient, as is Cécile, who does it.

~  Following the discussion on varying feelings about the young of the species, in truth, lately we've had some quite cheerful moments around other people's children, including.at our favourite restaurant of the moment, Le Vivier in Erquy.  It's a bustling, convivial kind of place with a pavement terrace - which has a good awning in case there's a change in the weather - where you can look at the waves breaking on the many headlands, the boats bobbing in the harbour, the perfect shape of the little red and white lighthouse, or just the many and various people sharing the place with you, who you may well see again and smile at and greet as you all stroll along the harbour afterwards.  It's called Le Vivier because it does, I'm afraid, have a tank full of large live crustaceans as its main attraction.  Presumably they are the ones that are eaten, but we've never seen them actually take one out to that end.

This also came to mind reading Hliza's post about how sometimes she eases up on the 'don't play with your food' bit with her kids, and lets them have some fun at mealtimes.  While we've sometimes had meals out ruined by badly behaved - or just too young or too tired - children, this particular family were fine, at least once they'd got their food and Tom had turned off his hearing aid on their side.  And, as I say, we like the lively busy-ness of this place.

At Le Vivier

Seafood is slow food, which doesn’t mean it’s always dainty or refined. 

The children wriggled and jumped like little fishes, except the tiny rusty-headed baby who slept wrapped so tight in the bright striped cotton sling around its mother that neither of them quite seemed to have a separate form from the other.  But the sister and brother knelt up on their chairs to peer into the tanks of imprisoned crabs and lobsters, they giggled and exclaimed and stared and showed off.  The girl’s face, holiday-coloured, kindled when she saw us get our meal:

‘Moules-frites, moules-frites!’ she chanted under her breath with glee.

Theirs came shortly afterward, everybody’s chips together in a big bowl in the middle of the table, and the deep shiny enamel pans of mussels, two placed in front of the parents, the children with a plate each and the shellfish scooped out for them from the juice, a handful at a time, keeping it all hot.

Whoever said don’t play with food had no idea.  This is surely what food was first: things in shells to be pulled apart and broken, handled and sucked and licked out, the debris discarded, tossed aside, or else perhaps piled or lined up, prettily or methodically, counted and compared afterwards, made into stuff of games and rhymes, mischief and fidgeting altogether forgotten in the intensity of concentration on the task, sticky busy fingers - just eat it all up while it’s still warm!

Wild honeysuckle - woodbine - chèvrefeuille. 


Dale said...


Zhoen said...

When my aunt trimmed poodles, they always seemed so happy to be well groomed and fussed over. It is a big deal.

I loved that when we sparked a large get-together among our friends, all the kids came along and ran amok in the other room.

Roderick Robinson said...

Back in the dark ages a chalked-up sign outside a scruffy caff overlooking Pornichet harbour: Moules/frites F45. But somewhere on the board was the implication "All you can eat." which I wish now I could remember. The moules came in half a bucket and when we were down to the last dozen, the half-bucket was replaced. Possibly the only occasion on which Gros Plante (in magnums) would have sufficed.

We have a minor failure to communicate. Because you have opted for a sans typeface Mol appears as an acronym for the Ministry of Information. Are you satisfied with this?

Glenn Raymond said...

Ah, honeysuckles. They remind me of my wife. She loves them.