As our new village Restaurant got nearer and nearer to completion the owner and indeed Chef, Jean-Yves, started to spend more and more time on site which inevitably meant more and more time in the bar, just across the road. This, perhaps, explains why the final work which should have taken a week took almost three!
Ever eager to help, the habitués of the bar soon formed themselves into an ad-hoc, self-elected, Restaurant Advisory Commité. There was one strenuous condition of membership which was that one had to be in the bar at the same time as Jean-Yves. Then, in the normal selfless manner, advice was offered on everything from colour schemes to the cooking of cassoulet. The only strange thing was that ‘le chef’ actually seemed to listen!!
One evening Jean-Yves and his electrician were discussing light fittings over a glass or two. The committee was hurriedly convened into an emergency session and the catalogue was then passed around so that everyone could get in their two-penny worth.
I was particularly taken with some illuminated footballs. ‘Non, non, they are for children’s bedrooms’, said the electrician.
“You wouldn’t say that if you had won the world cup”, I replied
“I always said the English were mad”, interjected Jackie, and then, digging me in the ribs, “Or, in your case, drunk”.
“Rubbish”, I retorted, “I’ve only had one Ricard”.
“You fell off a ladder”, he stated firmly, referring to the occasion some months earlier when I fell off a ladder and dislocated my shoulder. He obviously thought this was conclusive evidence that most of my days were spent totally under the influence.
“That was nothing to do with alcohol”, I replied indignantly, “Anyway what about you, you fell over in your courtyard, your flat courtyard and cracked two ribs and that was because of the alcohol”.
‘Exactement’, he stated firmly. And then, with the air of a man who had just won a great victory, turned back to the catalogue.
I, on the other hand, was slightly miffed, not to mention mystified as I could not, for the life of me, work out how I had apparently lost that one. After all, the facts seemed to have been wholly on my side. I am obviously no Rumpole!
And so, I wandered off to the other end of the bar and bought a Euro Lottery Ticket. If I win a zillion Euros, I thought to myself, I’ll build a restaurant shaped like an illuminated football, that’ll show em!!
Anyway, having got over my sulk, I returned to the committee meeting and ultimately we recommended, by universal acclaim, a sort of modern, chrome version of a medieval torch. Jean-Yves must have agreed because that is what the restaurant now has. The commité was then adjourned for the evening, conversation turned to other things, drinks came and went and I slipped a double Ricard into my round for Jackie, with a bit of luck he might fall over again!
The restaurant has now opened, although with no great fanfare, because, apparently EDF could not guarantee sufficient electricity should the eatery be full, (in fairness to EDF I must add that there is currently lots of work being done in the village replacing cables and placing others underground, so everything seems to be operating on temporary branchements and a prayer)!
So here is a ‘Special Toast’ to Jean-Yves, to all our Clos des Guyons guests both past and future and to all Bloggers pour ‘Une Année de Chance, de Success, Bonheur et Santé’!
‘JOYEUX NOEL’ TOUTE! From Myself and Sheila