Tuesday, 16 June 2009


One of the best decisions I ever took was to keep my cleaning lady Nadine. When my poor husband died and I had to leave the old apartment I knew I had to be clever with money for the future. But certain things are so very important. And having someone to clean up your house is one of them. For example, I like to cook sometimes but I don't like the mess afterwards. I don't like washing plates. I don't like greasy dishes. But today I roasted a chicken because I knew Nadine was coming. It was so good too. The trick to roasting a chicken is syrup. Yes! Put oil in the dish, put in the chicken upside down, then pour over oil, salt, the juice of a lemon or lime, sprinkle thyme and tarragon, put wine into the dish, and then pour syrup on top of all the chicken. My grandmother always cooked chicken like this. It turns brown and sweet and stays so juicy. Since Nadine has seen me do it, now she cooks her chicken this way too. Perhaps we will make it a national strategie. Nadine was sad today, in spite of the chicken. She is only young, maybe 28 or 29. She came to Paris to be a classical dancer but they said her legs were too fat for ballet - it's sad because she really has such a pretty face. She lives with a boyfriend who is frankly, just too much hard work. Today I wondered if this pressure helps keep her mind away from her dreams and the thoughts that instead of dancing ballet in front of applauding audiences, she cleans houses for people who only cook chicken when she is around. Lzb

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Samedi en croute!

Good evening, what a night I have had! You wouldn't think it could be so much fun to stay inside an apartment during a whole Samedi soir - and yet, I feel so alive. A few days ago I was in a small restaurant drinking cafe after lunch. Everyone else had left but of course I was in no hurry. No office, no hurry. Bien. And so. After a while the chef comes into the restaurant area and we begin to chat - about apples, and shoes, and the seasons. It was such a beautiful, flowing conversation. And he was so handsome and dark, like a Greek athlete or something. Anyway, he asked why I had chosen the cassoulet and not the steak, when the steak was Argentinian steak and really the best boeuf in the world and I replied that really, steak was like trying to eat something that doesn't want to be eaten - you can't cut it with the knife, you can't chew it - and then you have to swallow it whole and have pains in the stomach because really you have ingested a tyre of cow meat in large pieces. He laughed at me. 'You are so wrong, mademoiselle.' he said. 'Let me cook you a steak sometime. It will be like eating melting velvet.' 'You think so?' I said. And subsequently, tonight, after he finished work, this delicious man came to my apartment with his own equipment and as we talked he began to prepare the most delicious production. And he was so passionate with his work. At one point we were so lost in each others company that he let the reduction burn and in a moment of rage he took the small pan and threw it through the window into the night! It really was thrilling. He apologised for his culinary error. But it was a perfect outcome. When we ate the steak unaccompanied but for the wine it was so good! And yes, like melting velvet. Oh what a wonderful man and a wonderful night. How lucky we are to have such encounters as this. Lzb

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Pom Pom

It is late and I am yawning. Today I bought the most beautiful slippers. They are bright pink and have bouncing feathers and pom poms on the front. They are so bright that when I wake up tomorrow they will give me a headache. Lzb

Monday, 8 June 2009

Le Matin

I must mention this before I forget it - I forget things all the time you know. Perhaps this is because I am a deep thinker and am occupied by deep philosophical requirements. Or maybe it is because I drink? Anyhow, what I wish to announce to you is the joy of Le Matin. Le Matin does not begin because our alarm clock rings or the first train of the morning roars. Le Matin begins when the first moments of daylight arrive - even if it is 3 o'clock in the morning -and you see the outline of city silhouettes against the dawn. I see them a lot. Not because I am a milkman but because I am a night owl. If you only arise at 7 or 8 o'clock each day and go to bed in the dark, I can recommend Les Matins to you. Even in a haze of wine or absinthe, I can tell that they really are beautiful. This is how our hearts learn to sing, I believe. These moments of nature operating majestically outside our behest. LZB

Friday, 5 June 2009


Hello. Comment? Here it is morning and the curtains are drawn but I will arise in a moment. We missed you the other night. The bar was full and the music was, well, not good exactly but created quite the most perfect background ambience for a group of middle-aged drinkers who had seen better days and were slightly worse for wear. The curly haired pianist, yes it was his work. At the end of the night he left with something young and beautiful and I felt my soleil sink a little. Being young has its advantages doesn't it but still, I don't mind. He is such a wonderful creature to admire. And so, we were talking about friends, non? And I was wondering when you should tell a person that they really can't behave in such a way and also carry the name 'friend'. I think this depends on your role in the relationship. If you are scared to walk away then you will leave it too long. If you are the chief then maybe you fire people too soon. Also - can we ask people to change and expect it to happen? This is a big question. Do people change? LZB

Tuesday, 2 June 2009


I was thinking yesterday how important it is to remember that we are all, owyousay, antholes? No something like this... I mean bad, trouble, difficile. Yes you are! Of course. Really I think we are all a little selfish. Sometimes a lot selfish (and sometimes that's the most fun anyway). So perhaps when one of your friends is being a complete huge ridiculous anthole instead of telling them that they are stupide or that they will never be in love because they are too ugly or that they don't know how to cook chicken casserole, it is better to remember that they are just a small fool, like you. There will be times when you must say these things, naturellement... and I will think about this some more... but right now it is past seven o'clock and that means the bar is open and my favourite pianist will be there. I'm not so sure he is a very good pianist but he's so handsome and has really curly hair. Why don't you come along? Lzb