I Got The Fève


Our friend Peter is here helping with painting and decorating which is going at a fever pitch. He brought along some films to watch at night but I swear all I can do is look at the paint surfaces, wood grain, brush strokes on walls and woodwork behind the actors. And to think when we first came here I couldn’t bear to be in the attic – old dust and cobwebs, weird rusty farm implements, ancient poison bottles, tiny wooden shoes – all a little Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte or Baby Doll or Miss Havisham or the French equivalent of any of those for my delicate sensibilities. Now I feel like I know every stone, board, splinter and beam intimately as I’m jointing, sanding and painting all the walls and doors and windows that Eric put in. And it continues – will we ever be done? We know we’re on our way out of this place, getting it ready to sell, but it feels good to keep it alive, make it better than it was. It had been empty for years and nobody (except us) would look at it twice. Now somebody else is going to love it, I just know it.

Mick brought his chainsaw and took down the unruly parts of a half dozen trees so now there are three or four bonfires worth of branches and trunks to deal with. I think I feel a music video (or at least an album cover photo shoot) coming on.

We have a show this week in Angouleme – January 27 at Le Kennedy Irish pub run by a French couple. It’s the first day of the massive Festival International de la Bande Dessinee which is probably a little like Anthrocon but with cartoons instead of furries? It’s my birthday that day and I was picturing a trip to a nice little restaurant, good food and wine – a chance to wear something other than paint-splattered clothes and the baseball hat I need in the attic because my head attracts low-hanging beams. Instead it’s a gig which is how I’ve spent a good percentage of my birthdays over the last twenty-five or so years. It’s probably the most natural thing to do. There is no doubt that playing is energizing and life-affirming, even if it’s telling the people telling us to be quiet so they can converse to get lost. Stomping on a distortion pedal and blowing back what was left of that old guy’s hair probably isn’t on the menu for Thursday – I imagine the apero crowd will stay safely indoors with shutters bolted in place while the comics-mad youth run loose in the streets of Angouleme.

Two days until I go back to the doctor – the place where he hacked now resembles a botched nose piercing. I’m hopeful it’ll be okay but if it’s not apparently it can all be taken care of. Whatever happens with that I’m supposed to have good luck this year – I got the fève from the galette we ate the other night. The fève is a tiny porcelain favor baked into pastry and almond paste, one per cake. I think this one is something special – mysterious and alluring, it’s just the kind of thing I came to France to find. I’m going to treasure it.

6 thoughts on “I Got The Fève

  1. amy

    Thank you Fly – this is the third feve this year but the others were nondescript animals and religious figures. I'm counting on this one!

  2. Mike

    Just slicing into a galette de roi right now…thanks for the heads up on the porcelain. My teeth couldn't stand the surprise.I am looking forward to running wild in the streets of Angouleme this Thursday night. Bonne anniversaire.

  3. sprattle

    This is essentially the same tradition as New Orleans king cake at Mardi Gras time, isn't it? Fascinating how these traditions morph as they expand around the world.

  4. mollymac

    Sprattle, it is the same, and in fact sometimes the French name is used here in NOLA: Galette des rois. Amy, if l'Héxagone isn't doing it for you, maybe la Nouvelle Orléans might fit the bill!

  5. amy

    Yep, king cake. Though the almond paste version in France can be really delicious…maybe I never went to the right bakery in NOLA, but it always seemed like more of a concept than something you'd really want to eat there?Molly, I thought I had the perfect deal – my daughter living in New Orleans, giving me a built-in excuse to visit. It lasted a year…just found a notebook from when I was helping her move, with some restaurants jotted down. That breakfast/lunch place on Jackson Sq… that Butcher place, and some others. All amazing. Maybe at least a Ponderosa Stomp one of these days!

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