Monday, April 27, 2009

The Grand Tour

Having made some Large Statements about my intentions to slow life down and appreciate the daily routine, I feel honor-bound to let you know that, for the next several weeks, I'll be doing no such thing. Tomorrow we depart for Points North: off to see family in Liverpool, which I'm sure is more scenic than I'm imagining, and then to the Lake District for hiking, tea, and Wordsworth's grave (please oh please let there be a death mask, or something made out of poetic hair). When we come back, we'll collect another branch of the family from the airport and deposit them at our friend's cooking school for a week. Meanwhile, other guests arrive to spend a few nights with us during the same week. Then, cooking school over, Madame Mère will stay on for ten days at La Bastiole, and, two days after she leaves, we'll go to Geneva for one of May's many long weekends. (Why Geneva? It's complicated.) I'll go directly from Geneva to Paris to meet up with another of the girls' aunts, and we'll spend three days in Paris before we come back to La Bastiole to sit on the terrace and drink tea til it's late enough in the afternoon for kirs royales.

And that brings us, loyal readers, to the beginning of June.

Which is all by way of saying this: I have the best of intentions about keeping you supplied with thrice-weekly updates from the world of La Bastiole, but we all know what paves the road to hell. So bear with me, please, and if you don't get your dose on a Wednesday, do check back in on a Friday. Or a Monday. Or, better yet, you can subscribe and then you don't have to remember. If you are a subscribing sort of person, which I know you may not be. I understand.

Now you know, though, and I'm sorry to dash your illusions, that I won't be watching the shadows lengthen during long afternoons, or eating local strawberries daily, or even spending many evenings en famille with my book. Life at La Bastiole is sometimes more about aspiration for me and my own life than it may be for anyone else. What I'll be doing instead--let me hasten to say, before the phone starts to ring and emails start to fly--will be just as wonderful: what a delight to see those we love. (And then, there's the possibility of the death mask.) But the month will look a little more like the Grand Tour, and a little less like Hanging Around at Home, than advertised.

And now I'm going to go and plant some basil.

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