Last night was a grand time at Chez Providence. All of the guests chose to have dinner provided by our hosts, Christina and Nico. Watty and Jane, Francoise and Danny, Matt and Paul, and Jean and myself enjoyed a scrumptious meal followed by an evening of lively conversation and music.
We began with an aperitif of white wine, some local sausage, and pistachios. Soon Nico called us to the table and we began dinner with spiced fruit drizzled with a liquor. The main course was Nico’s special Poulet Basquez – Basque Chicken. It is somewhat like paella, but with chicken and chorizo rather than seafood. Paired with our choice of red, white or rose wine and local bread, this dish was outstanding and the portions were huge. The conversation flowed around the table as we began to learn more about each other.
Watty and Jane are Scots living in Australia. Their descriptions of western Australia around Perth made us want to go there. They are on a holiday and after Cuxac Cabardes are heading toward Italy. Francoise and Danny are relatively local, living a little over an hour away on the sea. This retired couple (like us) have led interesting lives, living all over the world, running a restaurant on Mediterranean, and making music. Francoise sings jazz and blues with a lovely voice that makes the songs come alive. She doesn’t sing as much as she used to due to vocal problems, but did grace us with a few melodies. Danny plays guitar and piano as well as sings lovely French songs. Paul and Matt are British musicians who are taking a holiday on motorcycle around France, Spain, and Germany. Paul is a retired mechanic and accomplished bass player. A stroke has limited his bass playing, but he can sing wonderfully. His wry Yorkshire humor kept us laughing all night. Matt is a very talented and well known pianist in jazz, often featuring his own improvisations. We look forward to hearing some of his recordings when we get home.
Nico’s guitar appeared and Danny and I took turns playing it. Sometimes one of us would sing, sometimes both of us (he in French and me in English) on the same tune. Christina laughed at the differences between the French and English lyrics, being about the only person present who could fully understand both. And at other times everyone joined in. It was quite a party.
The wine continued to flow and before we knew it the clock said 3 AM! There were no photographs or recordings of the proceedings in order to protect our reputations. 😉
This was one of our most enjoyable evenings in our entire adventure. A special thanks to Christina and Nico for hosting the evening and staying up late despite having to rise early to make breakfast for the travelers. Jean and I got to sleep in. Thanks to all of these wonderful folks for being a part of our life, if even for one brief evening. We do hope you all will keep in touch.
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