I think we’re about to make ourselves a bit unpopular with the locals – or really, to be more accurate, one of our lovely customers is about to make us a bit unpopular, I suspect. An elderly second homer is back for Christmas and came for lunch today. We must have moaned like billy-ho about the church bells the last time she was here which was just before we closed for holidays. Well apparently she met up with the mayor and told her that she was in ‘danger’ of us selling up and moving on as we couldn’t stand the bells all through the night!! Apparently she seemed a bit surprised that we should think it was a problem. She said that they were electronically controlled and easily changed! She didn’t sound offended or even bothered!!! OMG, it might actually be easy to get them stopped during the night!! Actually we heard complaints all summer from tourists who couldn’t sleep for the incessant ringing. I don’t think I notice anymore, except when I go away I sleep SO well, that I actually notice the ABSENCE of the bells. Just in case you think I’m being a bit neurotic, to be fair, they go every quarter and twice every hour, then at the 7’s of the clock are the Angelus bells which go on in a seemingly random fashion for several minutes. To make matters worse, one of the bells is cracked and they’re not even in tune!!
When we’ve mentioned the bloody bells before to people we’ve been told how proud the Catalan villagers are of their church bells, so haven’t wanted to rock the boat. However, Lovely Mme second homer said she was going to follow it up with the mayor this trip. Apparently we give people a reason to come to Vernet, and the mayor shouldn’t upset us!!! Yeah. Grrr. Watchout. Actually, Dave and I have a plan to take out the church tower, we’re just trying to source a rocket launcher….
On a different note, I have been glued for the last few weeks to Masterchef the Professionnels with Michel Roux Jr (hero!)and an array of amazingly talented chefs. I’m afraid I can’t bring myself to mention the twit Greg Wallace (what is he doing on it??!!). I consider myself fairly self taught, and an everlasting project. Also, I don’t have much contact with anyone else in our profession, which must be quite rare. So I get a bit starved of the watch-and-learn culture that other chefs have access to if they work in a large kitchen or even in a large town where there may be some networking between each other. So I was GLUED. Even Dave watched most of them – which is great because it also gave him another perspective of the kitchen – i.e I’m not necessarily neurotic when in full service – just stressed! He has actually stopped moaning about how long I take getting the plate finished just right to send out with the final decorations and touches etc. So it has been a valuable insight and source of inspiration for me – I feel inspired and invigorated and raring to learn new techniques and technologies (I have teach myself, though, that hasn’t changed!) Starting with the christmas day menu. Feel really excited about it!
Merry christmas everybody!