It’s already one week later and I’m still recovering. Is it the age or the mileage, perhaps? Or both?
This was no ordinary weekend. Not only was it decision time for the French to elect their President, but we also witnessed no ordinary Scottish wedding. It was my brother’s extra special day; I’m a proud sister, bowled over to gain such a precious sister-in-law and a beautiful family. My eldest daughter squeezed me tightly as I placed the lid on this box of mini macs just before leaving the house. “Mum, no wonder these are the cutest macarons you’ve made: you poured so much love into them…” That was the first lump that formed in my throat. I always become emotional at weddings and so that was a last-minute reminder to pack the extra tissues.
The happy couple asked me to make some mini curry macarons for the drinks. With some extra batter, I piped out couples stuck together (Tip: normally you shouldn’t pipe out your batter too close to each other, as they do spread on the baking sheet) and wrote on them using edible food colouring pens.
This time the fragile macs made it through Beauvais airport’s security belt in one go and the box remained upright. Just as we sailed smilingly through to the other side, Antoine informed me that he couldn’t find a parking place at the airport. He had parked the car ‘somewhere outside’. Trop tard. There wasn’t much we could do. Either we could laugh about it or cry. I didn’t expect to use the tissues so soon, thinking of the Gendarmes clamping the car with a fine as we boarded.
The bellowing bagpipes in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile made us all feel smiles better. With a nippy easterly wind opposite Parliament Square, we gazed at the bagpiper clad in short sleeves and kilt, wondering if he was wearing his tartan the traditional way: feeling the drafty winds from the south, as it were. Braveheart, indeed. Needless to say there is a distinct lack of photographs here. In between hugging and joyful tears, Antoine and I fondly remembered our own wedding across the road nearly 15 years ago. The only differences? The sun was shining and the bagpiper had changed. So had we, but we could have done the wedding thing all over again. I wonder if Antoine would still arrive in an Irn-Bru taxi?
Flying back next day, we were lucky to make it in time for Antoine to vote. Before François Hollande was even elected, some humourists were out and about in Paris. View of the rue de l’ancienne comédie: Impasse de Sarkozy.
Turning the corner into Boulevard St Germain, wacky chocolatier Patrick Roger also showed off his wit in the boutique’s window: a chocolate die picturing Hollande and Sarkozy.
The jokes were flying around on Facebook and on TV. Antoine was particularly in hysterics with a picture of a round, empty box of Président camembert cheese filled with a ‘Flamby’ (a commercial crème caramel.) Hollande’s endearing nickname of Flamby is due to his wobbly ideas, apparently. My personal preference was “vote Hollande if you want a Pays Bas” (Pays Bas to non-French speakers is another word for the country, Holland.) Ah, the French and their politics. I’ve never taken to politics but when you live in France, you have to have some sort of clue what’s going on: it’s a passionate topic that always finds itself around a French table with friends or family.
Time will tell with President Hollande. From this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health…until 2017? I wonder if I should make some caramel macarons in his honour – or does that sound a bit cheesy?