Sunday, May 01, 2005

Wearing White

Summer is still with us... this morning the frantic activity of nature continued with a flood of ants underneath our kitchen door. I spent half an hour or so mopping them up and then puffed some white ant powder around. They haven't come back. Why they come in doors when the weather is so nice I do not know. Perhaps they can smell the baguette crumbs on the floor...

In the evening we went out to drinks at the house of a French couple. Well, half French. In fact, the wife is Russian. Her mother was there, shortish with short purplish hair. She was looking after the baby and making herslef scarce. She doesn't speak any French. The couple had laid out a much bigger spread of food than we had anticipated. The French rarely invite you round to dinner on a 'first date'. This seems to be too formal. Instead, they ask you for an aperitif at 6 pm from which you should try to extract yourself by 8.30pm. Foreseeing this, we had arranged to go for a meal afterwards with the other friends who were there. When we left, it seemed to be rather too soon, but that's life. I talked to the French husband about his large DVD collection, trying to get some more hints on good French comedys. He pointed out: 'Le Corniaud' and 'La Chevre' starring Depardieu. Never heard of either of these before.

The restaurant in the evening was very nice. A seafood place called L'Ocean. The waiter was friendly. Like a lot of French waiters, ours seemed to have done time in a French restaurant in London, where he had picked up some English, but apparently not very much. Anyway, he was a happy sort of chap which made the meal that much more pleasurable. As we sat talking, I noticed that quite a few of the French people walking by outside were wearing pure white clothes. Sometimes even complete outfits in figure-hugging, spotless, impractical white. Now that must be a sign of summer...

POSTSCRIPT 18th May 2005

French music producer Eddie Barclay was buried today. A well known "misogynist" he was married eight times and loved to be surrounded by young women. He was also known for his parties where everyone was obliged to wear white. He was buried by his friends (Johnny Hallyday, Carlos, Eddy Mitchell, Robert Hossein) all rigged out in white suits. Perhaps this goes part way to explaining the mystique of wearing white in France.

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