December 27: What we ate in 2012

Our friend Ingrid sent us a 2013 calendar she’d had made using photographs she’d taken during the year. What a great idea! There was even a couple of pix of her visit to Nice in there, one taken in our very own (ex-)guestroom, which was flattering. Her calendar inspired me to visit the site she used to produce it, but once I got there I felt a little overwhelmed by the potential editing processes that would be required to come up with a good calendar. Going over this year’s pix, I see that Ted, Joel and sunsets seem to have been my main subjects. Well, quelle surprise. I’ll definitely make a calendar of Ted (maybe not THIS year), for a very select and appreciative audience. But I could edit good architectural calendars, flower calendars, sea and beach calendars, market calendars, even London calendars…

IMG_5796

I don’t take photographs every day anymore, though I usually have my scruffy little Canon Ixus 95 IS with me. I’ve been stalking camera shops and sites for about six months now trying to choose a new one, and STILL haven’t decided which it will be, other that knowing it will be an SLR. I stick with cameras for a long, long time, so I want the choice to last.

Meanwhile:

January 2012: sea urchins, a winter dish. You use tough kitchen scissors to cut out a circle of the shell at the bottom (Joel does this), then scoop out the orange roe with the tip of a teaspoon and spread it on thin slices of buttered baguette.

January 2012: sea urchins, a winter dish. You use tough kitchen scissors to cut out a circle of the shell at the bottom (Joel does this), then scoop out the orange roe with the tip of a teaspoon and spread it on thin slices of buttered baguette.

This is one of two brothers who run a stall in the market in Ventimiglia, Italy. We often drive there to buy gorgonzola made with cream (indescribably delicious), balls of fresh buffalo mozzarella and hunks of parmesan. This brother is my favourite, and Joel always refers to him as "your boyfriend".

February 2012: This is one of two brothers who run a stall in the market in Ventimiglia, Italy. We often drive there to buy gorgonzola made with cream (indescribably delicious), balls of fresh buffalo mozzarella and hunks of parmesan. This brother is my favourite, and Joel always refers to him as “your boyfriend”.

March 2012, Biot: a restaurant in the village, set for a special lunch. Biot has an annual Crusader-fest, where everyone dresses up as crusaders - wierd, but based in Biot's actual history. It my favourite village hereabouts.

March 2012, Biot: a restaurant in the village, set for a special lunch. Biot has an annual Crusader-fest, where everyone dresses up as crusaders – wierd, but based in Biot’s actual history. It my favourite village hereabouts.

April 2012: on Mala Beach, one of the loveliest within miles of Nice. It was quite a rough day, but the sun was warm and the beach virtually empty.

April 2012: on Mala Beach, one of the loveliest within miles of Nice. It was quite a rough day, but the sun was warm and the beach virtually empty.

May 2012: courgette flowers stuffed with salmon mousse and lightly fried are a big thing around here. Sometimes the courgettes themselves are sliced very thinly and served raw with olive oil and pine nuts.

May 2012: courgette flowers stuffed with salmon mousse and lightly fried are a big thing around here. Sometimes the courgettes themselves are sliced very thinly and served raw with olive oil and pine nuts.

June 2012: A heart-shaped cherry

June 2012: A heart-shaped cherry

July 2012: This was when I was going through my taking-photos-of-breakfast phase. We had flat peaches (which they call donut peaches in the US) every morning for weeks.

July 2012: This was when I was going through my taking-photos-of-breakfast phase. We had flat peaches (which they call donut peaches in the US) every morning for weeks.

August 2012: An evening on the beach at Villefranche. Two sets of families with a picnic dinner, oblivious of each other.

August 2012: An evening on the beach at Villefranche. Two sets of families with a picnic dinner, oblivious of each other.

September 2012: Le Rustique is a camembert cheese, and we went through a phase of eating nearly a whole round of it a day, lunch and dinner, until we convinced ourselves it would kill us.

September 2012: Le Rustique is a camembert cheese, and we went through a phase of eating nearly a whole round of it a day, lunch and dinner, until we convinced ourselves it would kill us.

October 2012: Pizza delivered from our local pizza guys. Check out the box: that's GOT to be George Clooney! Every pizza place in Nice seems to use the same boxes, so I hope the supplier has cleared the rights to use his image with George's agent...

October 2012: Pizza delivered from our local pizza guys. Check out the box: that’s GOT to be George Clooney! Every pizza place in Nice seems to use the same boxes, so I hope the supplier has cleared the rights to use his image with George’s agent…

November 2012: Joel and moved into our new flat on November 1st. For the first couple of weeks we could still sit outside in the garden for lunch. This is a reflection of the building above our table.

November 2012: Joel and moved into our new flat on November 1st. For the first couple of weeks we could still sit outside in the garden for lunch. This is a reflection of the building above our table.

December 2012: full circle, as the sea urchins are back on our table!

December 2012: full circle, as the sea urchins are back on our table!

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About Suellen Grealy

In 2011, a series of coincidences led my husband Joel, our cat Ted and me away from London, where we lived quite happily for 30 years, to Nice, where Joel grew up. While he and his sister ran their restaurant, I wrote a novel. Family being family, Joel and his sister no longer work together. Writing being writing, the novel lingers on... Meanwhile, we've found ways of living a completely different life from the one we had in London, including running our own restaurant together, 7 Villermont. The only constants are our Ted, our now-battered Peugeot, and each other. Everything else is a complete surprise
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