The boys left yesterday to stay with their father after which we went to the Place de la Comdie for a strong muscat. No, not because we are raving alcoholics, but because the success of their departure had been a question of seconds and all we could do afterwards was totter off and sit down at one of the Place-side bars.
What had happened was that the incoming train on which sat my ex-h was running a little late, and his out-going train was due to leave 17 minutes after the originally stated arrival of his train. First it was ten minutes late, then it was fifteen minutes late. I spoke to the guard and explained the problem. He told me that as the in-coming train was arriving from the same place as the destination of the out-going one it's departure could not be delayed to wait for my ex-h's train to arrive. It would leave on time come what may! He advised us to wait by the guard's van door, just next to carriage number 5 as those doors are the last to close. That way we would have a few seconds leeway.
Thank god for mobiles! I called my ex-h and told him he had seconds to jump off the train, dash into the underpass from platform E and rush to platform A. As he's a sporty guy, he did this, with me hearing on the guard's radio another guard reporting a guy running like a mad thing off the in-coming train towards the Paris train. Carriage five's doors closed and my ex-h appeared like a banshee on platform A. He saw us and rushed up, we got the boys and their luggage on the train, just time for a quick kiss good-bye and the doors closed. Seconds, I tell you!
This was why J and I limped feebly up to the Place de la Comedie and ordered a strong muscat. Actually it was more me doing the feeble thing. J is made of stronger stuff.
Having recovered, we went for lunch at a little Asian food place on rue Maguelone where the food is laid out and you can choose what you want heating up, to eat there or take away. We ate in, to the sound of cartoons on TPS for the benefit of the staff's kids. A little nod on our part to acknowledge the start of the Chinese New Year (year of the Pig, apparently).
Once home, we did the usual Saturday afternoon tidy up and then took advantage of the non-cheese-eating boys' absence by stuffing ourselves and NG with a fondue savoyarde. Having picked up the cheese in Carrefour on the way home from town (and a 2GB USB key for 19.90€!), we got out the fondue set, dug out the alcohol à bruler and melted the beaufort alpage, comte 12 mois and emmental de savoie au lait cru. A good dose of white wine was also added, together with garlic rubbed round the pot and then crushed into the mixture.
NG brought the bread, and though I say so myself, it was one of the best fondues I've ever had. Maybe it was due to the relatively large proportion of beaufort, maybe it was due to the very gentle heating and constant stirring by yours truly, but whatever the magic touch, it was absolutely to die for! Drunk with Apremont de Savoie, plus a ramekin containing a little kirsch in which we could dip the bread before dunking it into the cheese.
Fondue sets are notorious for burning the bottom of the cheese, and mine is no exception especially as, although it looks great, it's just a piece of thin metallic crap bought from Norma, so we sat it on a small frying pan over the flame to dissipate the heat. Worked a treat!
The house has stayed tidy and clean for over twelve hours now... and counting!