"Diary of a Nobody," is a wonderful satire of diaries and life in late 19th-century England. But it also tells us a lot about ourselves.
June 13, 2012
I always try to sleep on the plane ride over because I don't want to miss a waking minute in France.
Despite my preference for train travel, especially the TGV, my itinerary demands a car.
So, off we drive into the sloping hills of the Yonne. On a whim, I exit the A6, direction Joigny, where a decade ago, I met Anne Willan, great friend of Julia Child. I remember an exceptional lunch at her Chateau du Fëy, former home to La Varenne Cooking School.
Only the Brasserie du Pont, is doing any business and it's clearly more than the old cook and his wife can handle. Remember, it's August in France. Nevertheless, such spontaneity tastes good.
We patiently wait for the patrons to have their plates cleared, order dessert, drink their espresso, and pay l'addition before Madame is ready to take our order. We're rewarded with a tasty steak frites and saucisse de boeuf. Revived and back in the car, we meander along little rural roads canopied by perfectly straight rows of poplars. We parallel the Canal de Bourgogne and notice the long peniches or barges tied up to the riverbank.
Relying on my trusty yellow Michelin atlas and somewhat less trusty memory, I slow to 15 kilometers in order not to miss the sign toward Vézinne, which is discretely displayed on the façade of an old stone house at the corner of a road only slightly wider than the vehicle I'm driving. On the other hand, if we had missed the turn off, would it have been so tragic? Ever been lost and happier for the experience?