Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The calm before the storm

I am sitting here at my desk doing nothing but messing around on the internet, when really I should be making lists and packing bags, dropping things at the drycleaners and running into the shops for things to take home for Christmas. But, I am just feeling very lazy and unmotivated. Am really a very very lazy person and all this activity lately is wearing me out.

We had my in-laws to stay last night. They very generously offered to stay with Ella so that we could go out to dinner. But then it seemed awfully odd that they didn't bring any food with them, as they tend to come with bags of lovely things from the country- vegetables and fruit from the garden, sausage and terrine from the hunting parties they do, wine from their cave, eggs from the their chickens (I suppose I should be a bit insulted that they do this, but its such a huge help, I can't really be bothered to get angry. As we got ready to leave I grabbed B and dragged him into the other room to double-check that I wasn't supposed to have cooked something for them for dinner. He said that they could sort something out, and luckily I had bought a few things just so that the refridgerator wasn't embarrassingly empty, but I had bought a pretty random bunch of things since the goal wasn't necessarily to make a meal but to fill the shelves. I could see B's father getting a bit nervous about the lack of activity in the kitchen, so we quick grabbed our coats and ran out the door.

Word to the wise, rue St Paul on a Monday night is clearly not the place to be. It took us 4 tries before we found a restaurant open. Ended up at Le Rouge Gorge, a wine bar that does a very short menu de marché. We hadn't every eaten there although it looks quite nice. I tried warm oysters for the first time last night- didn't particularly like them, actually. I think my favorite thing about oysters is that icy salty brine that they sit in, with just a bit of crunchy, sour shallots it is such a perfect winter meal. They served these oysters in the shell with a warm creme fraiche and wine sauce. Just seemed like the poor cousin of the moules served in cream sauce. But the main course was lovely- it was just a magret du canard, but the skin was so perfectly crisped, it was better than any other I'd eaten before. Since its a wine bar, they served us a good Vouvray that tasted like Granny Smith apples and some strange red that I had never heard of before,very purple and plummy. There was just one old man doing the service and he was a bit of a disaster, but that made it feel like even more of a nice local place to go and hang out. The only problem is that it is such a tiny room, we could never ever go there with Ella because if she got in one of her moods, there would be nothing to do to stop her from ruining the dinner for everyone in the place, besides just leaving immediately. What I need to find is some nice local restaurant where we can actually take Ella. Maybe I am being a bit too ambitious, considering her age. Sigh.

This morning we were up bright and early (nice thing about December is that 9 am is pretty much as bright and early as it gets) to get ready for the Playgroup Christmas party. Had a very nice time since Ella managed to be perfectly entertained all morning with no intervention on my part and with only one small meltdown over seating at the drawing table. I wish we had playgroups three times a week. First of all, Ella is happier than she ever is home alone with me and secondly, I am able to have a chat with my friends. I know I make comments about how I don't find my mommy friends hugely entertaining, but I have to take it back. I just get irritated that no one seems to need to go out at night (as much as I do). Our playgroups are generally plenty long for the kids who all start to run out of steam after 2 hours, while us moms are still going strong.

Would be so perfect if we managed to find a new apartment in central Paris with enough space that I could have a separate playroom and then could host a playgroup every single week in addition to the normal one. B was just saying last night that he thought I was being awfully greedy insisting on looking at things only over 150 m² but I tried to explain that he would get acclimated very quickly and if there was ever a baby number 2, we would absolutely treasure every spare inch. Of course, he is right and one of my main motivations for finding something big is that it will give Ella a bit of space to run and maybe, maybe?, she will be able to amuse herself a bit better. At the very least, this will give us enough space so that we can have a spare cupboard for a fille au pair. No matter what ends up happening next year in terms of my job/schooling, I think we will need to find live-in help. You would think with 50-some first cousins rattling around Wisconsin, I would be able to find 1 who would be happy to spend a year in Paris.

So this afternoon, I am going to attempt to put a semelle on my new shoes all by myself rather than take them to the cordonnier. I haven't been able to find anyone I like as much as the guy who used to work at Emeric at the place Bastille. Plus most places tend to charge 25 euro just to glue a semelle on- highway robbery! Yesterday at BHV, I found a kit for 9 euro and so I am going to give it a try. I think it will be easy (famous last words). I didn't tell B because he would want to take over and I really do want to try it first myself. There is this fantastic little scraper tool in there, I think for fixing the edges. Its like a giant nutmeg grater. Fun. Of course, if I cock it all up, will pass it over to B when he gets home. Will have to suffer through a good half hour of him sighing dramatically over my disaterous attempt, but then he loves feeling like the Big Strong Clever Man and fixing things for me. Lets just hope it doesn't come to that. And don't worry, you'll see the photos if it turns out well.


Sally Lomax said...

So did the inlawas feed themsleves Nicole? You didn't say!


Sally Lomax said...

Meant to say in inlaws!!!!

RecklessGirl said...

hi you , just did a massive catch up session of reading your blog. I think ella's sculpture turned out so well.Have you seen any places you like yet? Hope to speak top you over Christmas. Love to all Ex

Nicole said...

They did manage to feed themselves, thank god. I usually leave a pizza or something for the regular sitter so I just felt a bit bad about forcing them to scrounge up a dinner of dry breakfast cereal and boxed soup. Finally, I think they found some smoked salmon in the fridge (I actually bought it thinking it was regular salmon filets...) and they brought a baguette so crisis averted.