Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Un Peu and the Parisian Flour sellers


I feel quite refreshed this morning entirely better for my day “au lit”, my sleep untroubled by wild horses or anything else. So much so that I am tempted to wonder if, perchance , Madame Grognonne may not have inadvertently slipped something soporific into my champagne at lunch yesterday to induce slumber. I must check the laudanum bottle in the medicine cabinet.

The threatening storm of yesterday seems to have subsided and we are apparently to be without rain once more with a promise of sunshine later this après-midi so today I shall go and make my acquaintance with the new pony secreted in our stables. The kicking and snorting seems to have finally died down a little so one must take that as a good sign I feel.

First however I have duties to attend to , correspondence and paper work and suchlike with which to deal, , including I note, an invitation to take a sojourn at le chateau Lasserre en Famille, so delightful, One must consult ones diary, and a carte postale from Chief Patissier and Antoine in Paris. He informs me they have been to see a burlesque twice already, how gay!

It would appear that apart from searching for my artist equipment they have visited a mill several times, one can only presume to organise flour deliveries for the Biscuiterie of my dear Chief patissier and intend to stay longer than anticipated as they have made some interesting contact there. Although I know nothing of these matters I would have thought it might be more appropriate to buy local flour from our own farmers than have it transported all the way from the capital.

What a mill is doing operating in the centre of such a large city I have no idea, and where they might have fields to grow grain is quite a mystery. There was always quite a large open space around base of la Tour Eiffel as I remember or perhaps the Champs d’Elysée has been turned over to agriculture, one can never tell these days. I must ask Chief patissier to elaborate upon his return.

Apparently he tells me the mill is called “La Moulin rouge” which I sincerely hope refers to the colour of its sails rather than the political leanings of the owners as, what with Alexi Vlodaflodavodavitch and Nicolas Fartoocozy, we have had quite enough Bolshevists to last us a lifetime without resorting to purchasing quantities of flour from the communists!

I seem to recall that the Russian steppes are almost entirely taken over with grain production so perhaps the wheat is not French at all but imported. I do hope not. We have enough trouble with Breton farmers without upsetting them by buying foreign grain. I wonder if Chief Patissier might be able to get some oats whilst he is at the mill ? Perhaps it might be a good idea to enquire if he can get a good price since he is there anyway as we shall obviously be in need of a supply for the horse.

Henri Le Cravacher has provided Madame Grognonne with a list of the horses requirements, I was quite surprised to see rather an inordinately large quantity of Absinthe included. However, I have checked with Madame Grognonne, who appears to have a broader knowledge regarding equestrian matters than myself, and she assures me that it is used as a liniment of some kind so I have therefore have given her permission to place an order with the village bar tabac for a regular delivery, as I know, from previous experience the owner keeps a private supply in his cellar.

There would appear to be all sorts of hidden expenses that I had not taken into consideration when rashly purchasing a horse, not only Absinthe but other essentials such as a suitable driving outfit for myself, I think perhaps a cocked hat with a feather set at a jaunty angle and perhaps a long fitted coat with a wide velvet collar and of course buttoned kids gloves. Rugs for the children and I should we go out in colder weather and shoes, perhaps something in the line of the boots that Le Cravacher and his horsey friends wear but in a softer leather might be appropriate ,possibly in a deep red. I dare say there are copious other things of which I am as yet unaware.

I do hope Chief Patissier will not prove to be overly cantankerous by my purchasing of a horse without first consulting him. I am in two minds as to whether it might not be wise to forewarn him regarding the matter before he returns. To that end I am off now to the stables to view my valiant steed so that I may adequately describe the creature to him in my missive. I do hope it is not the great wild black stallion from my dreams, despite my day in bed I really do not think I am quite up to that yet. I wonder, with hindsight if a velocipede might not have been more sensible?


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The illustration is the Carte Postale I received today from Chief Patissier and Antoine, as you can see he was absolutely right there in the centre of Paris quite clearly is a windmill. I can only begin to imagine the traffic problems that the slow moving carts carrying the grain must cause to other road users, not to mention the dung on the road from the horses, hardly the right sort of image for a thriving metropolis to cultivate one would have thought.

16 comments:

Blossomcottage said...

I do hope the expense is not to great, I have had many horses in my life time and they leave you exhauted and pennyless( at least that is what the former husband said) however the current husband welcomes all that invest in these fine creatures, their ailments keep him in champagne all year long.
Blossom

Alan@RealAbsintheBlog said...

You write about "an inordinately large quantity of Absinthe." Now for some people that might be 1 bottle, for others even a lorry load might not seem enough! Anyway, I am pleased to see the return of absinthe to your blog. And if you were not so sure about the taste of it on its own, you might like to try some of these 104 absinthe cocktails!

muddyboots said...

you need a wicker picnic hamper & a pair of dalmations to run alongside the wheels, oh, & a chap in front waving a red flag just to warn other road users.

snailbeachshepherdess said...

love the 'red boots' just don't get a red hat will you? I'm sure you know the saying.......

ChrisH said...

Good stuff as usual.

sally's chateau said...

I am utterly delighted that Madame Gorognonne and her entourage may well descend to Le Chateau for a sojourn. Indeed even now I am busy in the walled garden preparing a special spot for her 'au natural' poses. However given her penchant for Absinthe I do feel that I must ask her in advance to refrain from sliding down the very long bannister lest she does herself some sort of mischief !

Frances said...

Bon jour from New York and many thanks for your comments. Yes, sometimes I have a glorious day that almost makes me forget the "tiresome duties" of other times.
Later today I hope to get over to the Met to see a newly opened exhibit of Paul Poiret clothes. It should be extraordinary and I will definitely give you a report.
A la prochaine.

Suffolkmum said...

I do hope Mme G's penchant for Absinthe won't get her into too much trouble ... do let us know ...

lixtroll said...

Bonjour chez Loufoque! My sincerest apologies for not having visited during the last few days, having myself been obliged to spend a few days 'au lit' owing to my delicate constitution. However it has been as always a delight to catch up with all your news, I was most alarmed and concerned about your black stallion dream, it is enough to make a young lady's heart flutter to such a degree that she could quite faint away!

The spiralling costs of keeping a good stable these days is such an additional worry for the discerning lady, I do hope it can be accommodated comfortably within the household budget. It has however always been a great comfort to me to remember at such times as these: absinthe makes the heart grow fonder!

Inthemud said...

Well if CP is off getting his oats at the Moulin Rouge I don't think he'll be able to complain about you getting a little new horse!!

Wonderfully funny as usual, How do you do it??

Tattie Weasle said...

Une Peu
It is quite "de rigeur" to have windmills in cities these days. What is quite frightening is that almost anyone can plonk one where they like. It is positively encouraged but no one has actually tested them out properly. I find them sprining up almost everywhere particularly on rooves - now that reminds me bats in teh belfry ah yes windmills in the attic...

Alan@RealAbsintheBlog said...

I don't think that I can comply with your request. All our customer dealings are strictly confidential.

What a moral dilemma.

Alan@RealAbsintheBlog said...

If in Paris, go to Vert d'Absinthe in the Marais: details on my blog in this list of where to buy absinthe

Tell Luc that Alan sent you. He may give you my bill from last time ...

CAMILLA said...

Bonjour, Un Peu, your blog is absolutely divine,and of course you must have that little horse, if CP is enjoyong Moulin Rouge. Just butter him up, and get him to drink many glasses of Champagne, he will then say Qui, Qui, you may have horse.
Camilla.x

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

La Moulin Rouge eh . . . . Oh yes I am sure he will be able to get his oats there!!!! No need to worry your head.

Pondside said...

How did I miss this one?! Good gracious - there it was and I went right past it last night. Now am back in the right order.
Too clever!