There was a whiff of hangover in the air yesterday at the covered market. It was strangely quiet, as if a mute pedal had been applied to the noisy instrument that generates the usual cacophony. Both the customers and the merchants were bleary eyed: this one walked off without his package of fruit, that one forgot the order he just took.
I can’t say that I was much better off, as I was recovering from an epic Christmas lunch, one that started and ended with champagne and included all sorts of deliciously noxious substances in between. Apèros with champagne are all the rage these days, so I started off with munchies and a flute of bubbly, which hit my nervous system like a spray of sequins and quickly infiltrated my blood stream. Soon it was time for a succulent slab of foie gras with a glass of Sauternes from a bottle that was so old the liquid had turned the color of an antique wedding ring. It tasted like pink gold too. Chablis was required for the oysters and smoked salmon, and a nice Bordeaux for the leg of lamb and the subsequent round of cheese, and after all that, why not haul out the rest of the champagne for the bûche? A bûche is a traditional, log-shaped, rolled Christmas cake that everyone complains about (eww! It’s too sweet!) but everyone gobbles down when it appears on the table at the end of a long meal.
Suffice it to say that I barely remember who gave me what when we unwrapped the presents and I am embarrassed to admit that I collapsed on my son’s Jumbo Bag and fell into a deep sleep at 6:30pm.
Today, I joined the ranks of those who doggedly attempt to eliminate the alcohol and calories of Christmas at the pool. “I don’t know what happens,” a woman was moaning to her friend in the dressing room, “I just have no control when it comes to chocolates. I can eat the whole box.” Just in case you thought that French women really don’t get fat. It’s not easy to resist when exquisite chocolates are constantly shoved under your nose during the holidays. But I’m trying to be strong. After all, it’s only a week until New Years.