Wednesday, April 16, 2014

GREAT PIZZA IN ANGOULEME


When that frequent craving for a Pizza hits, I have no more in house options. All GF shells are gone and we are keeping the house free from.
Not really the end of the world, in Jarnac alone (Pop. 4800) I can choose from six different places that offer Pizza. From a food truck by Intermarche to a wood fired pie next to Maxim's on Place du Chateau.
Problem is, I tried 5 out of 6 and they all use an industrial type, flat shell to make their Pizza.  After baking the Pizza at high temps, this crust reminds me of a Soda Cracker more so than a Pizza. The sixth place is up for sale, and I doubt it's any different there.  There is a top sales guy for Pizza shells roaming the area.

Angouleme is not that far really, so when I have something to do in the city we usually stop in at ANFITEATRO, a restaurant in Gond Pontouvre (right behind the BMW lot). A very large place with a nice terrace and the all important wood fired oven.  If you go for lunch and arrive later than 12.15, it's getting pretty tight to score a table. Good food brings good business.
Aside of Pizza, I tried a handful of their Pastas over the years and have yet to find one I did not enjoy. A solid place if you find yourself in that city and want some Italian food.

They fixed their website (as good as most in France), but their WiFi has not worked since 9 month....not that important if you have company. http://www.restaurant-anfiteatro.fr/















Tuesday, April 15, 2014

50



April 15th. Tax day in the US, last date to file your income tax. So no more reason for the Americans who read this Blog to forget my birthday in the future. Thank you.

Fifty. A milestone for most. Last year we went to a couple of bashes celebrating someone's half century mark and a few of them we had to pass on for geographic restrictions. Always fun, if not for the forced happiness on display at these celebrations, but for the inevitably cool retrospectives you talk about. Shared memories and adventures, missed opportunities and could have beens. Friends you meet again after decades. My favorite at these parties is usually the cake. It's your 50th birthday, you better feed me a cake better than that piece of sawdust at your wedding....

As for myself, I had a mental countdown starting last April 15th, from 365 to zero today. I've done all the contemplating and talking since then already. No big party. Just thankfulness for a varied fifty year long path that let me experience things and places, meet all the people I hoped to meet and still remain fairly sane after all the tumult.
Gratitude to those who stuck around, family and friends that still rotate in a narrow orbit around me. Friendships are forged in youth. Reinforced with age. 

One of the drawbacks if one chooses a Nomad's life is the lack of  a coherent visual storybook to show. At every relocation we throw out stuff we thought we don't need any longer, to find out eventually that most memories remain in your head only.  But I did find some images from over the years.......



GOOGLE KNEW?

A POPPY SEED CAKE OF COURSE


1966 OLDEST EXISTING IMAGE I FOUND

1968 THE EARS ARE FIXED NOW

1974 WITH A RADIO DJ

1984 IN ROYAN, JUST AROUND THE CORNER WHERE I LIVE NOW....

1985 "I'LL NEVER GET MARRIED. NEVER!"

1986 THE CLUB MED YEARS

1988 MY FIRST US VISA 


1989 THE CRUISE SHIP YEARS



1993 THE YACHTING YEARS


1994 I MOVED TO CALGARY

1999 MARRIED 

2003 THE BEST BIRTHDAY GIFT. I STILL HAVE IT



2014


Sunday, April 13, 2014

LE iPad



Long before we left Canada to visit France, Victoria bought me an E reader from Chapters. What a great machine. No more logging heavy boxes of books when you move. And you can adjust the font size and keep avoiding the issue of reading glasses......how slick is that?
And then, about three years into the life of that thing, it stopped working. What a disappointment. The E reader came everywhere with me, when I traveled, to the beach, even on shorter road trips.  Back tobooks, back to finding books more like it. Not that many good books in English to be found when you live in rural France.

Victoria to the rescue 2.0. She gave me her iPad before leaving for North America and I have been a happy e-reader ever since. But obviously this machine is much more than an overpriced e-book downloading machine. While I am not a propeller head,nor a first adopter, Apple products to me were always simply brilliantly marketed gadgets for consumers who already have it all. Were I to live in the US, I'd still hack away on my Blackberry. That sort of tells you my aversion to trendy objects.......

But all sniping and snarking I did over the years about iPods, iPhones and iPads aside, this one's starting to convert me. I don't think have fully understood more than the basic operation of this tablet, but just the handiness of taking fairly good images without thinking too much, snapshots really, is fantastic. I still have my Nikon Coolpix handy, but not so coolpix it is anymore. Look at the random shots here. All taken with the iPad. Yes, mostly food. I really enjoy the cropping function after taking a picture. Or the filters and the enhancing. 


THE FAMILY, DRAWN BY ISABELLA

EARLIER VERSION

WHAT'S WITH THE BELLY??

TWO KINDS OF MAYO

CAPRESE

 NEW SHOP IN TOWN

BANANA FOR SCALE (INSIDERS...)

NEW OLIVE OIL

SPICY HARICOT VERTS

A BIG NOISETTE

GOAT CHEESES

SALTY SNACKS

GLUTEN FREE WHITE PIZZA WITH PESTO

FRESH LEMONS IN MARCH. HOW COOL IS THAT

THE VIEW IN THE MORNING

NEAR JARNAC



FIGS WILL BE PLENTY THIS YEAR

DOWNTOWN JARNAC