09 December 2010

FRANCE: Day 20, Mougins - An Ordinary Day

nothing fancy - our corner of the retail world of Mougins
dry cleaner, 2 cafes, book store-stationer, 5 or 6 boutiques, a chocolate shop, etc.

I’m reminded to thank God for ordinary days. Days when nothing much happens, but nothing dramatic happens either. One doesn’t usually appreciate an ordinary day until in the middle of one of life’s traumas or losses.

And, this ordinary day occurs in the south of France on about the best December day—climate-wise—I can ever remember. It must be mid-60s. The sun is shining it’s golden rays, and all around people are greeting each other with animated smiles and a friendly, “Bonjour.”

CA returns from taking LFW to Côte d’Azur (the airport in Nice) by 9:45am, I’ve showered and written yesterday’s blog update and I’m just ready to walk down the hillside to tout le monde en parle café without a name—is it Gériko or tout le monde en parle? We’ve decided that tomorrow we’ll eat lunch here and pay with a credit card so that we can see what they call it. As soon as we walk in the door the manager-owner(?) greets us with a smile, and queries, “café crème?” And, today CA adds “deux croissants.”

We are very happily settled in for our mid-morning respite. CA gets his fill of Internet Chicago sports and I peruse the interior décor and fashion magazines. After 1-1/2 hours we’re ready to walk back up the hill to the villa.

As we walk along, we decide to drive to San Rafaël, along the Cornice d’Esterelle for the views on this sunshining day, and then just as quickly decide to sit on the terrace in the sunshine and read our books until 1:30pm and then walk back down into the village for lunch at La Terrazza. Maybe we’ll take the bus to Grasse this afternoon…

As we enter La Terrazza, after having established that the plat du jour is wild boar—both the managers (owners?)—greet us like old friends, in English first, and then French. After due consideration amongst the three of us—the waiter, CA, and I—we decide on a table in the far corner against the banquette.

I’m not risking wild boar, but there’s plenty else on the menu and I eventually decide on a pizza with crème fraiche, Reblochon cheese, onions, mushrooms, and Niçoise olives. CA is game for the wild game, even as the waiter assures him that the boar is not wild boar. Later the waiter confirms the English translation with another French diner who states, “wild pig.” It comes in a sauce atop some penne pasta. I don’t think CA likes it too much, but he presses on. My pizza is lovely—the thinnest crust and baked in a wood burning oven. CA orders a glass of this palest peach rosé that today is served in large round-bowled goblet. I find it irresistible and ask for a glass after all.

By 3:00pm we’ve concluded that we’re both content to spend this afternoon taking in the glorious day and reading our books. Before heading up the hill, we wander into the bookstore-stationer to find if we’ve missed any necessities we should purchase before Paris. We’ve admired the Christmas cards many times and even written and sent a few to the U.S. from here—one of my Poste experiences. Besides the Joyeux Noël cards, I’ve already purchased some unique notebooks and refills, a brass pencil sharpener, and a metric ruler to carry in my purse.

An ordinary day. A lovely day. We’re satiated from lunch and can’t imagine dinner or even a snack this evening. Soon it’ll be time for Weakest Link and Eggheads. We’ll do laundry tonight, preparing for our week in Paris. We’d expected a quiet day on Friday, but floated into one today. An ordinary day.

The best baguette is from our local boulanger.

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