Wednesday, May 05, 2004

These are a few of my favourite things!

A list of my favourite things about our town. Its been nearly 3 years out here, but its coming to an end, soon.

Brie–Yes that delicious soft creamy cheese. Put it in the frigo and 'wow' the ripe smells!

The River front (very wishful sounding this is). For La Marne as it flows through our town is but a couple of 100 metres wide. But its beautiful with the 5 bridges spanning it. Each bridge with different flowers hanging from pots on the lampposts. And wonderful houses on either side. The swathe of green at the river’s edge and last but not the least, the quaint boats(not the flashy Riviera variety) moored.

The ugliest house – A rose tree artfully planted so that its branches droop at the ground floor and first and second floor levels and covers the ugly cemented façade of the tiny three storied house standing cheek by jowl along the usual lovely houses. And like now, a sudden burst of rose covers the house from top to bottom. What a sight!

La Fôret: On the opposite end of the river, the foret is a very mild friendly sort of a place. A broad dirt road winds its way through it. A big green swathe run parallel just outside A favourite place for kids, joggers, cyclists and dog walkers. The whole thing is obviously very carefully done up to look like the real thing!

Avenue Clemenceau and Rue Gambetta: Full of the most wonderful houses with the most beautiful gardens. How often have I crept by, Alice-like, looking for the key to the gardens. Alas, never did find those keys! (Very common names these, for roads here in France, much like MG Road in India).

Place Henri IV – A square paved area in the middle of Centre Ville, with trees and benches. A favourite place for geriatrics. And where we often spend the evenings in summer, waiting for our west facing flat to cool down. Would have been romantic except for the tiny almost invisible insects that descend in hoards on everyone and everything in summer.

La Moulin – Our favourite eatery. Its got solid, comfortable French home fare. The daily menu chalked on the blackboard outside the door. The chef, the owner and maitre d’, the bar man all come out and shake hands with us and go through the small routine of “ça va? Oui, ça va”! Many a pleasant meal we have had there.

Rue long Perrier – A road, entirely unremarkable but for the high wall which runs alongside, with a veritable garden hanging over. Last time I passed by, I counted 6 shades of green, rust, deep marron, great big purple blossoms, white flowers. Marvellous but can be a bit risky (try walking with your head turned upwards on a busy road)!

The curious shopping arcade behind the only cinema hall in Place du Theatre – its domed tiled roof is of black flint with white metal trimmings looking very much like the cover of an ornate wine decanter!

The wonderful paysage (countryside). Undulating fields of every shade of green, brilliant mustard, deep brown of freshly mown earth, dotted here and there with clumps of red tiled houses and tall church spires. One can never get enough of it. Never.

This list is by no means over! I will probably turn up with more things tomorow. Apologies if you should find it boring. But this is really for myself... a list to keep the memories fresh in my mind, once I have gone….

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