Friday, January 30, 2009

New Year Roses

The other day a friend of ours, who lives on the other side of town, dropped by to say hello and bonne année (happy new year). We hadn't seen her in a while, so it was nice.

Orange roses for January.

She brought us each an orange rose. They brightened up the table a bit. And they're still hanging in there nearly a week later.

She also scolded us for not dropping by to see her. You see, out here in the country, people are in the habit of just dropping by for unannounced visits. And, when they do, the customary thing to do is to stop what you're doing, invite them in, and break out the bottles -- people will frequently arrive just before lunch, or just before dinner, both of which are prime times for apéritifs.

And that means that you must always be prepared and have several bottles of the standard apéros on hand. They include Martini (sweet red vermouth), some kind of pastis, port, whiskey, crème de cassis (for making kirs), maybe a pineau des Charentes, and some wine. It's polite to offer your guests a small choice. Nearly every French home has this little collection of bottles at the ready for drop-in guests.

But Ken and I are just not the "drop-in" types. And it really unnerves me when I'm dropped in on. It doesn't happen much, and I'm getting better about it. But still, people we know here keep telling us to just come over, drop in, any time. I still would rather call first. Or just stay home.

By the way, the friend who brought the flowers just had a glass of water. She's not big on apéros, although she will have the occasional cup of tea.


  1. You would probably love Switzerland ... they are not generally 'drop in' type folks ... although when you become good friends with someone they drop in whenever they are in the neighborhood - always asking if it's convenient (no problem for the potential host to say "no"), which is kind of nice I think.

  2. Your picture reminds me of a pic I took a long time ago:

  3. 2nd men's semi was awesome. I fear the final will be anticlimactic. Just as well since my options for watching it are: live - 12:30am or replay - 6:00am.
    Bon weekend!

  4. Know what you mean about not being a drop-in type. I'm not either. I don't mind people dropping by, in fact I rather enjoy it under certain circumstances, but would much prefer to wait for an invite before I go calling. It's something my aunts never understood -- they thought I was stand-offish.


  5. andy, how is it in Vienna?

    lewis, that's beautiful. You have a famous rose garden there in Portland, don't you?

    cheryl, I didn't see it, but I followed the scores on line and listened to some (very little) live internet feed.

    susie, my problem is that I'm not always presentable, not to mention the state of the house...

  6. I've never been a drop in kind of person, I like to have an invite in advance but aren't the French different in this respect


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