Of our 821 regular readers, about 800 of you totally ignored my birthday Saturday. Regardless, being old and creaky has not diminished my interest in celebrations, although the actual number is irrelevant.
Still, the Perfect Man did not forget. It was a challenge for Tom, though. We live in a town with no stores that might produce a present, unless it were a baguette or some carrots. We have not yet found a truly nifty French restaurant that is actually open in January. A bunch of flowers is a twenty-minute drive.
But the resourceful Tom found a way. He emailed the people we had met at the Fisher’s hello-goodbye lunch, and with minimum fuss pulled together a lunch party. Our new friends Stephen and Kay Lord knew a place, and took along their daughter Becky, visiting from Germany, to surprise me.
The Auberge de la Gabardiere sits on a beautiful privately-owned lake, which, we’re told, buzzes with activity in the summer. In another room, a passel of men toasted each other and sang drinking songs. A great cocotte of blanquette de veau later, we polished off a bottle of Chinon Rosé and then the most amazing ice cream desserts. Becky experimented with the oak-flavored ice cream, (saveur boisee) and gave us all a bite. (The verdict: oak trees are best climbed rather than eaten.)
After lunch, we strolled by the lake and admired the real estate, including the smashing country house of ex-President Pompidou’s nephew. Then we popped in on some Scottish friends of the Lords’, Christine and Allan, who are redoing a 400-year-old cottage in the village. The ceiling beams grazed the top of our heads, and the interior was all done in white and tan, as was the cat, named Sandy. The whole place was straight out of those venerable Laura Ashley Home catalogs, without the little flower prints.
Hooray for the Perfect Man, the amiable Lords, the welcoming Scots, and the 21 of you who remembered my birthday. The rest of you: January 17.
sounds like a great day of celebration….merry late bd……
Glad you had a great day……And I am glad I was one of the 20 [does a day early get extra credit?] I could not live with the guilt if I was not.
Judy Hammpns said:
Late Happy Birthday Louise. You share your special day with my daughter, Sheryl.
Forget the B-day, but happy anyway. Is there sailing on that lake? Any sailboats hauled out for the winter? Take some boatyard pics for this old shipwrecked, land-locked, winterized sailor.
I like the blonde hair. Hell, you don’t look a day over 40. Even when you were 40 you didn’t look a day over 30.
BON ANNIVERSAIRE Chouchou ! I don’t remember if I’m among the 20 people who remembered it ! You ate “Blanquette de veau” on your birthday ! Just this is a gift ! , it’s my favorite dish and I miss it so much !!
I hope you have a good time in Paris visiting with Patricia.
Jacquie Moon said:
Good for Tom, coming up with a great celebration for you. It’s never too late to say “Happy birthday, may you have a wonderful year.”
Rick Pullen said:
I thought we weren’t supposed to recognize birthdays at this stage in our lives. Even so, I sought out your sage advice last week, a true recognition of your wisdom at this age (which of course, will go unsaid–age, that is–not wisdom)!
Rick, pardonnez-moi, but that is just hogwash. Whoever said one gets too old to celebrate birthdays? It is a time to celebrate EVERYTHING! ONe can have both deep wisdom and a great party. It is only the number that seems to become more and more irrelevant…
Linda Brunet said:
I did not forget your birthday. I remembered it and Christine’s too (I was able to wish her a happy birthday on the phone). I would have sent you a card (I have a wonderful one with a French reference to Marie Antoinette) but no address to mail it to. So you will have to just know that I thought of you and did a virtual toast (no point in opening una botella de vino for myself).