Friday 21 December 2012

On the way to La belle France...

It's finally here! I'm on my way home, well to France, even if I'm from there it isn't really 'home', Ireland is home after all these years, but France is my roots. I'm connected to both as equally.

I'm writing from London City airport waiting to board my next plane, believe it or not I have to take two planes to get to my parents' place. I'm going to the countryside, at the border of the Limousin and Auvergne regions (see blue pin on the map). I used to spend all my summers there as a kid, a very special place in my heart, even more so now that my parents decided to retire to this tiny village, so charming, so French. It's the authentic France where people prefer artisan shops to supermarkets, take time to chat with their baker or say hello to everyone they meet in the village, even if they don't know you.

From Dublin to London I flew with Cityjet, the plane was tiny, the flight smooth and the sky unbelievably beautiful. I was in a dreamy mood while watching sunrise.

We got a tiny non-gourmet breakfast: muffin and a drink plus a piece of Leonidas dark chocolate. It wasn't quite the croissants and pains au chocolat yet but it did the job I suppose, I can't complain since beautiful food is waiting for me across the channel.

Where is the croissant? Sacrebleu!

Nice chocolate

Now we have to wait for 2 hours until our next plane, I'm excited, emotional and so looking forward to arriving. Mr FFID seems happy too, I think he's looking forward to the food more than anything else! He can't speak much French but he surely can eat French and he nods and he smiles! The Irish man, lost in translation in France. Last time we went to the village's tiny bar, people spoke to him in French, thinking he understood as he nodded his head. They also allowed him to smoke in the pub. Shhh... Don't tell anyone though, it's forbidden but they don't care, they're French!

This is France, the country where people strike, often frown and have attitudes that non-French people would find rude. But if you look beyond the constant French grumpiness, the horrendous bureaucracy and the legendary arrogance, you might just like the country of smelly cheeses.

I'll tell you about the food: my morning trip to the bakery, cooking with my parents and also about the beautiful local specialities of the Auvergne and Limousin regions. But for now I have some aiport shopping to do.

Happy Friday everyone!