The great thing about schooling in France has to be the canteen. No lunch box here, I am talking proper refectory, with chefs, commis and a couple of lovely dinner ladies. Believe me; I have eaten in worse restaurants, with worse service! The head chef, Mr Raymond, was a big brash colourful character, quite partial to kids who acknowledged and complemented on his trade; as a reward, he would look at you with a doubtful pouting frown and a raised eyebrow, before topping your plate with extra sauce or roasted potatoes.
A Breton Far Story It was the winter of 1985, like every morning, my Donkey Kong – now vintage and completely obsolete – pocket game rang 6 am… It was a normal December morning, crisp, frosty and bright; my eye lids were still stuck together, shimmering glitters of somewhat pleasant dreams. I washed my face and quickly headed downstairs for my cup of cocoa; a fat slab of bread and butter and the other with apricot jam; waiting for me. All seemed to be fine, but there was a more than usual sense of anxiety in the air. We were radio heads; always on, and our national weather forecaster, René Chaboud’s voice was disturbingly grave. To be honest, it went way over my head. I had other things on my mind, as Noël/ Christmas was closing in, meaning no more 6 O’clock in the morning “ding-dong”, no more 10 miles bus journey, and at the end… “Pressies” under the tree… Before I rushed outside to catch the communal bus, my dad grabbed me by the elbow; he handed me two pieces of “Far”, a healthy Breton Flan-like cake, made of eggs, flour, sugar, rum and butter; I loved the prunes that made the bottom layer. He just said: “Share that with your sister, will you?”… “Sure.” As if I could eat more than a 5 cm2 of my mother’s “Far”… Seriously.