Dinner at the English-speaking table…

I promised to tell you about dinner….

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We have arrived, accidentally, at a place that places great attention on the “green life” and slow food. The couple, very tall Arif and petite Marta moved here from Barcelona, he before that from Chicago and before that from Pakistan. They move easily between English, French and Spanish and of course Catalan, and they have to, because last night there were three big tables in their dining room each speaking a different language! Well, the tables weren’t speaking, but the people at the tables were! We were at the English table along with a couple from Scotland (he, she from Singapore) who got married last month and will be getting married again in July….. in church with her family and friends in Singapore! We have more than just English speaking in common, we all attended pre-marriage courses!


All the food here is organic and sourced locally. They do not buy at the supermarche. Arif and Marta choose to move here and begin this life where emphasis is on nature and the natural way. They are mentioned in the Alastair Sawdays book Go Slow France and a line from it caught my eye “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” Hans Hoffmann. I like that.

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Anyway at dinner we are served by our hosts (they eat after we are finished), who put a dish of food in the middle of the table and we help ourselves. I had been reading the welcome book earlier and it suggests taking as much as you want but not so much that you leave some on your plate. I like that too. We started with locally baked bread and a vegetable soup, made from peas, carrots and rice. It was surprisingly tasty considering the ingredients. Next we had (one foot long) sausages from an organically reared local pig and fried potatoes. Even as I’m remembering it my mouth is watering. Attempting to follow the “no food left on plate “principal I took way too little the first time and returned to the communal dish three times, yummy. All this was accompanied by local organic wine. Then the cheese – goats and sheep, local and organic and smelly, I dislike cheese unless it’s melted or well hidden, these were neither so I had some more wine instead. And finally an apple custardy pastry, made by Marta. Afterwards Rooibos tea. We ate and drank and when it was all gone we went to sleep, I like that too.

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This morning at breakfast we decided to stay for another night, that means another dinner, yes!

It is late afternoon (our name for 7pm in France because dinner is at 8pm), we are sitting upstairs in a comfy peaceful room overlooking the dining hall, there is jazz music  playing downstairs (feels like home), and they have begun cooking for tonight. I want to convey the sense of peace in this place and I’m not sure I can. The house is an old alpine barn renovated and highly insulated, the roof beams are exposed and some of the stone walls are also. These walls are very thick. Denis is working and I have been washing and hanging clothes outside on the line and sleeping. We have nothing to do and no where to go and everything is peaceful.

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