Sunday, July 21, 2013

Le Chapeau Volé

Last weekend we went up to Pas-de-Calais for David's dad's girlfriends, Christian's 60th birthday party. I had been dreading it for months because at his brothers wedding, which was small, I was jet lagged, sad about leaving my friends and family and had been living in a glorious bubble of English for two weeks and neither me nor my brain were feeling cherry about switching to French. Both sides of his family were there, and since there wasn't a lot of people, I got cornered tons and asked why I wasn't pregnant, when I was getting a job why my French wasn't better etc etc.

I forgot that Christian's family A. Likes to party and B. Doesn't give a shit about any of the above mentioned things and C. She has two super fun daughters who are about my age

The party was held at Le Cochon Qui Rit (The Laughing Pig). They rent out tables to people having birthday parties, bachelor/bachelorette, anniverseries etc etc. so there are tons of other people to dance with/watch humiliate themselves doing karaoke. It's loud and dark, the drinks flow, the food is good and the different groups of people mingle and laugh and tease each other. We left at 2 a.m. and the party was still going on. Not bad for 60.

Our family can be found by looking for the glow stick bracelets and necklaces that only we were clever enough to bring with us.

The B&B's in this area are pretty inexpensive (50 euros a night with breakfast) (homemade yogurt, and fruit preserves, rutabaga muffins, bread etc. at this particular one) and it's cool to see the inside of big old houses. This was an old farm house called the L'oreiller de Houblon and it turns out brasserie also means a place where they make beer. Which they also do here.

malt for the beer and rutabega for the muffins in the backyard  

always a good sign when there is a leave a book/take a book shelf

We bought some for David's dad, and some more for his friend Nicholas in Lille, where we went the next day to catch up with him, his wife and their adorable two kids. The last time we saw their daughter she was a few months old, and now she's three, so it was quite bizare to see her talking, laughing and sporting pigtails.

We walked to an exhibit with an 80's theme, which was quite cheesy and fun, but my phone was dead so I don't have pictures. You will have to imagine the Nintendos, Garbage Pail Kids (yes, they had them here too) and 80's hair in Sears family portraits they had obviously lifted from

Ok, I stole a picture so you guys could see Les Crados

While we were leaving Nicholas realized his hat was missing, but no one had turned it in. We left to walk home and noticed a young couple walking in the park taking turns passing a hat back and forth, so Nicolas went to chase them down and see if it was his. He looked so truimphant when he turned the corner to find us waiting for him, with his hat jauntily perched on his head. You probably had to be there. I asked him how his hat was doing today and he told me it's "dans le coffre-fort" (safe)

This is a map of the events of my life in Pas-de-Calais. The yellow vase that is supposed to be a beer bottle is where the B&B we slept at is, the yellow hat is Lille, the heart is Bethune where we got married, the white cross is where the priest lived and the diamond ring is where David's brother got married. Don't be jealous of my artistic talent folks. 

Oh, and remember when David's brother and his new wife stayed here right after they got married? Well guess who's pregnant? They had been trying for years and years, and even got a dog, which David told me meant they had given up. I don't think anyone has stayed here and not gotten pregnant, so let that be a warning to my friends who have plans to come visit.

In other news I caught Maza in a private moment playing the "choking game". Looks like it's time to put parental controls on the internet. Le sigh. They grow up so fast.


  1. Ha ha at naughty Maza. I once found our kitten in the loo, but I don't think that's an internet craze.

    I've probably said before, but I used to live in Ebblinghem, between Hazebrouck and Saint Omer. Meeeemories...

    1. No wonder your French is so much better than me. It's a lot easier to be lazy and get away with speaking English in Paris. No chance of that up North!

      Was your kitten installing a camera? You better check and make sure. You don't want to go viral.

  2. Woman, I am soooo not sleeping in the spare room. You and David can romp in there for the two weeks we are coming to crash/hole up/take over your apartment. Glow sticks = greatness. Looks like everyone had a great time, including Man With A Hat.

    1. but you have skills making adorable red-headed fanged babies. You should have another one and name her CoCo after the place she was conceived.

  3. Sounds like you have a game plan, already! =0)~~

    1. don't get mad at me if you end up pregnant. This place is cursed (or blessed).

  4. If I get pregnant again, I'm hiring you to stay with me for 3 months after the baby is born. You've been forewarned...

  5. I love the glow stick party! I need to do that when I'm 50 so I have a few years to plan!
    Emily pregnant...hmmm cursed or blessed? Only time will tell chic-I-dee! Food for thought... What if you were THE ONE that brakes the spell?