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From the rop of Paris' big wheel, the Tour Eiffel.

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Christmas Is Stinking Hot

Email from John Adams, writing from Australia. Sent via the Internet: Friday, 24. December 1999:-

Christmas in Australia is the opposite season to yours in France. So here it is normally stinking hot - however this year the temperature is struggling to get above 25 C, and the nights have been as low as 4 C.

My 'French Connection' is through my wife Jacqueline, who was born in Brittany in 1943 but has been in Australia since 1971. She claims that she would never return to France, but she watches the French news on satellite TV every morning.

I am an Australian born and bred, and have only been out of the country once - and that was to meet my new relations following my marriage. I would quite happily live in France - actually my Australian pension would go further, and I love the food - although the crowning achievement of my first visit was to cook a Chinese meal for my relations, after considerable trouble getting the ingredients!

After nearly 18 years of marriage I still have little conversational French - although on my visit some 12 years ago I managed to hold my own in a day-long political conversation with my new brothers-in-law. 'Twas all good fun, and if my lungs can ever handle the pollution again I'd like to come back.

Maybe even settle somewhere in the South, which seems to be the favorite place for expatriate Aussies and Poms.

Hope you all have/had a very merry Christmas, and may your New Year be all that you could wish for! Keep up the good work Ric - I read the lot every week.

John Adams

John Adams©1999
Snowless Christmas in Chattanooga Too

Email from Philip B. Beaudette, writing from Chattanooga, TN. Sent via the Internet: Friday, 24. December 1999:-

Merry Christmas, Ric:

I have enjoyed reading your website since my wife and I returned from our first trip to France in May 1999. I was becoming a little lonesome for the finer things that we enjoyed while in Paris and in the country and decided to go surfing on the Internet to satisfy my longing. By chance I happened on your website and have been captivated ever since. Keep up the good and fun work!

Now, to the issue at hand, how we will spend our Christmas. My wife and I are originally from Michigan. I took a job in Chattanooga, TN a little over 12 years ago. Needless to say it was quite a transition, but at this time of year it is difficult to get used to a snowless Christmas in Chattanooga.

So, we have developed our Christmas celebration into one of culinary feats. After awaking, opening a few gifts from the family - we have no children - enjoying a mimosa with our scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, we settle into the kitchen to prepare a dinner that we have selected from one of Barbara's volume of cookbooks.

This Christmas it consists of an appetizer of smoked salmon terrine with Christmas caviar sauce, followed by grilled veal chops with asparagus and hollandaise sauce, and whipped rutabaga. Also accompanying the dinner will be Heavenly Delight - a fantastic Christmas style Jell-O concoction - black olives, and fresh rolls. I can't say what dessert will be because I don't know yet. We will have a bottle of Morgan Pinot Noir with dinner and Courvousier with our dessert coffee.

If we can walk from the table after dinner we shall then clean the kitchen and retire to read one of the tens of books that we've started over the course of the year but have not finished.

That pretty well sums up our Christmas Day plans for 1999. We are contemplating buying a condominium in northern Michigan and hopefully we will be able to write to you from there next year amidst several feet of fresh snow.

Merry Christmas to you.

Philip and Barbara Beaudette

Philip B. Beaudette©1999
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