Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mango Sorbet

My friend Ngan gave me this rose, so delicate and perfect, a new variety called 'Avalanche Suisse'. So lovely in this Leonardo glass it makes me happy looking at it.

We spent the afternoon cooking and eating, making sorbet, chatting and watching half of the four episode British drama Serial North and South (how I love these BBC period films!). Her husband Jozef joined us in the late afternoon and we had dinner on the balcony late into the night.

It was a good good day.

Mango Sorbet

Ingredients :
450 grams mango flesh
3/4 cups water
3/4 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon muscat
1.5 Tablespoon lime juice

1. Make the syrup ahead of time by boiling sugar and water. Let boil for one minute and chill thoroughly.
2. Blend mango with the syrup, muscat and lime juice. Put the mixture in the fridge until thoroughly chilled.
3. Freeze the mixture in the ice cream maker.

Bon appetit!

Monday, June 6, 2011


On our way home yesterday something happened that left me feeling strangely disturbed much of the evening but also reminded me that I was blessed to be with a man with a big heart and to have many generous souls as friends. Today I needed to think about the nature of my generosity, or rather, the lack of it.

I came across this book at my friend Moira's 15 years ago. The work had been translated and published in 1960 and was no longer in print. The poetry of the writing and the author's sensibilities touched my heart.

And she simply gave the book to me.

To a most special friend, Rung!
(read p.30-31 Dear Martha)
Lucky me to have met you!
Sincerely, Moira

And here is the letter Dear Martha that the author wrote to a twelve-year-old little girl:

Dear Martha:
If people ever tell you that they love you, it is best if you would first consider whether they would be ready to give you their favorite book-- their most beloved doll-- or their enchanting spring hat. I think that is as good a test as any.

You see, my darling, today I am sending you my beloved sea-shell collection, which I am even now packing into an exquisite little japanese basket which I have had for many years. I have, myself, gathered these shells on the shores of the Adriatic, and among many thousands that were strewn about on the sand, these were the choicest and most perfect in color. I collected these treasures to assist my memory, if ever I tried to recall the healing, care-free days I had spent on the Lido. These artistic masterpieces of the Adriatic are very dear to me, and only two of them, the Tiger-shells, I had to buy in a shop, because they can only be obtained at the very greatest depth of the sea.

So now I am sending you my little treasure trove, and if you want to know whether you really love someone, you must first consider whether you are prepared to give these shells up as willingly and gladly as I do now.

With all my heart,

I am holding this book in my hand again, re-reading Peter's letter and Moira's note. It is one of the very few things I know I will always have with me to treasure and talk to me about kindness and perhaps one day I will learn to have a big heart too.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A day in Dieppe

Today we took a day trip to Dieppe, a port city on the English channel in North Normandie, 45 minute train ride from Rouen the capital of Normandie where we have been the past few days. We walked and walked for hours, the streets of the old town where there was a large farmers’ market and the shopping festival, then along the pebbled beach where we had our impromptu picnic lunch, up to the castle, and then up to the viewpoint where there was an old church. The many gorgeous shades of blue green of the ocean were magical. It was very pleasant to walk all these hours and look at the tended flowers and little wild flowers and to explore and to see and to hear the ocean again. The air was similar to that of the West Coast in British Columbia and that reminded me that cool cloudy gloomy summer days could be rather dispiriting and also that I especially didn’t like being surrounded by so many seagulls.

We have been blessed with good weather since arriving here a few days ago. It’s our last day before heading back to Lyon tomorrow. As soon as we got back to our maison d’hôte late this afternoon the rain came down hard with lightening and thunders and all and feeling thoroughly exhausted from so much walking around today it’s so nice to be watching the rain from inside this lovely lovely place and hearing the thunders and the occasional bells of the village’s church and the birds chirping away…

Friday, June 3, 2011

At the Piano

A few self-portraits I did 5 years ago exactly today.

It seems like 5 years ago was longer than it really was. Work was busy and exciting, we were upgrading to a new version of PeopleSoft. I was making good progress at the piano with my teacher. In the evening I'd go out dancing salsa late into the night. The garden was exploding with purple and yellow flowers. The World Cup was going to happen soon. I have many happy memories of this summer. I was also speaking French again everyday as Yannick and I were getting re-acquainted... Hearing French and his gentle voice on the phone made me happy!

I found an email I wrote 5 years ago today (3 June 2006) to my aunt Sai and uncle George who live in Switzerland. "...I have to find a way to record the piano because I want to share with you. Last week I played a Rachmaninoff prelude for my teacher and she's quite pleased. I am learning a new one. I love Rachmaninoff music. It goes straight to my heart..."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Québec City: Memory II

Québec City : Memory II

You happened the way
certain Chopin's, certain ballade phrases,
wearing all their conviction,
enter my bone to claim
a place of immortality. The rose of
all things you are, inevitable, deathless
music of ancient stones. Silently you wait to
grow memories.

How is it that I arrived ?
Here music rises unheard, melodies in our flesh
and bone intensely felt, intensely lived.
Only in resignation
can we exist. Here I feel you
also taking shape, making a decided entrance
against all power.

How well I know I can never leave.
How I know you will not leave.

- Rung Potisart -
February 1999