We get a lot of calls on our French phone line for solar panels and other “eco” installation including double glazing but to be honest I’ve just taken to hanging up if I hear nothing immediately after I’ve said “Hello”. Out of perhaps 10 calls a week less than one on average are actually for us.
So it was a novelty when there was a rap on the front door and I was being asked what my loft insulation was like. Then about my glazing – all very fast and in French but I’m pretty sure he wasn’t asking for an urgent lift to a hospital because the baby was coming. We had already had a quote from a local business that we had thought was pricey for three windows and a back door. Considering we had had a window put in a solid wall for less per window, I thought a second quote wouldn’t go amiss. When they calculated a quote of over three times the first quote though… I showed them that quote to which they gave a gallic shrug and said impossible for them to drop that far and that the quote I had was “correcte”. So, who knows perhaps the local business paid these guys to come and give me a ludicrous quote. Whatever – it worked, and if they are that clever then good luck to them. We called them in and signed the quote thinking maybe next week? But no, this is France so of course late May for installation perhaps…
Sparkling wine – Delia’s favourite tipple, ok its actually champagne but even in France that’s still nearly 10 times the cost of a bouteille de vin rouge. As I am sure you know only champagne made in the champagne region using the champenois method can be called champagne. We have bought real champagne and its always enjoyable. So are many of the sparkling white wines too – you’ve probably heard of Cava (Spanish southern Pyrenees – we visited there with Bill – Delia’s dad, and its even nicer tasted locally) but there are so many ways of describing sparkling: petillant, cremant, mousseuse, gazeuse in French then into Italian with frizzante, spumanti. All more or less the same, petillante sometimes means slightly sparkling but not always. Anyway from the heights of anything above 16€ for “real” champagne down to 1.37€ for the cheapest sparkling blanc de blanc (white wine made from green grapes) – all pretty tasty I think. Delia says the 1.37€ isn’t worth drinking but she had some last night and thought it was ok (though she didn’t know it was that cheap). Food? Oh yeah, any cheese tastes pretty good with it. Delia says chocolate too.