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Allô allô, Bonjour!

Hurray! A Nouvelle Année! A brand new year full of opportunities. Mostly to do what we were too busy to do last year. Like working less and live a little more. That’s gonna change this year. Our motto for 2012 is: less, but better.

Allez, on y va!!

 
 


In this Slurp!

Pruning month
Eating
Rag-pickers and purse-snatchers
Good taste



Pruning month
snoeien
Believe it or not: two pictures of the same vineyard. Four months have passed. So little time is needed to change this sunny Valhalla full of lewdly ripe sunbathers into a barren field of battle. But in a few months the twigs will have grown back and will be heaving under the weight of the grapes. It remains a miracle. Every single year again.

druppel

Some of them haven’t realized yet that the stream of juice needs to be stopped, and continue gathering nutrients for grapes that have long since departed. The so called 'grape’s tears' are carefully collected in little vials. Its great for wrinkles, melancholy and other winter-ailments.

Soon in the SlurpShop.


Eating
visvlees
During the holidays we eat so much that we weren’t sure whether we should take the plane or the car back to Holland.

To be on the safe side we decided to make a stop at the city of light.
onweer


Rag-pickers and purse-snatchers
A few centuries ago the rugged area outside of the city limits of Paris was inhabited by murderers, purse-snatchers, prostitutes and rag-pickers. During the day they were chased out of the city by the gendarmes, but when night fell, they came right back. Moon-fishermen they were called. At night they would stalk the streets, rummaging through the thrown away junk in the alleyways, searing in the heaps of rubbish behind restaurants.

voddenrapers
They formed small packs and built shacks just outside the city gates. There, they sold broken household items, rags, or snail-shells (the contents of which had been eaten). Bars appeared, outside city limits the wine was tax-free and a glass of Guinget, a local sour white wine, only cost a few cents. There your life, as well as that of your wallet, was uncertain.

voddenrapers


kastanje
The life of your wallet is still uncertain over there, because they are still there, the moon-fishermen. In Saint Ouen, the biggest flea market in the world, grown into a maze with thousands of streets and alleyways.   After about ten minutes you’ll be completely lost, so make sure to bring a rolled up newspaper with some roasted chestnuts so you have some provisions when you get lost.

kraampje
It's always a laugh to have a closer look at something on one of the stands, cautiously enquire as to the price of that particular object and hear that something you threw in the bin a few days ago has an asking price for which you could easily spend two weeks, all inclusive, in Bali.

poster
Any real wineboer laughs in the face of danger and doesn’t think twice about risking life and limb if wine is involved. So we made our way to the heart of Saint Ouen to have a glass of Guinget. It's still possible. Because if you look hard enough you’ll find, hidden deep in the ant hill that is Saint Ouen, 'Chez Louisette', the last Guinguette in Paris and we were in luck; Manuela was performing!

binnen
We’re on time, the Guinguette is still empty. Although, it’s always full at Chez Louisette, of Christmas decorations. They are on display all year round.   Manuela, a little heavier set than on the picture outside, had yet to slip into her costume, just like Marie Belle (L), AKA Sitting Bull.

orkest

The twoman-orchestre is ready to rock!
An extraordinary performance by Manuela was about to commence.

tafels
When the first guests start coming in Manuela grabs the mike.
Surrounded by pictures of long since deceased predecessors she sings, with a voice full of emotional anguish, that she 'doesn’t regret anything'. A reassuring thought when you go somewhere to have a bite to eat. Keyboard player Serge (L) is a phenomenon: even though the human face has more than 30 muscles to control it, he has only one facial expression.

mandje
Pay attention to the little basket with the flower print on the ground next to the feet attached to Manuela. As the lunch progresses it will become ever more important.   But a wineboer is kindhearted; with a generous gesture he donates two Auchan shopping cart coins.
wijn
The salade chevre chaud is abundant, the baguettes come straight from the bag, but the wine… @©&*!?‰)Œ
zangeres
But when the microphone is passed to the next artist the shit really hits the fan. Suzie, some sort of crossbreed between Dolf Lundgren and Mike Tyson, isn’t satisfied with the two pants buttons that the wineboer offers as compensation for her performance.
'Des sous!' she bellows at a pavarotti-ish volume but the sound could only have been his if he had smoked all his life and had a rather nasty cold. Forcefully she shakes the basket next to the sensitive ear of the lord of the castle. 'Allez! Je veux des SOUS!!!'

wc
Overwhelmed the impoverished grape-knight flees to the toilet. To do that he has to leave the restaurant and cross a questionable alley. But having arrived at the toilette, it turns out that your wallet isn’t safe there either. He has to make a choice: or 1 piece of 50 cents, or 1 coins of 50 cents. Erring on the side of caution he decides on both and continues to bring his well deserved offer to Bacchus.

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Good taste
A friend was having some construction done and could therefore not enter his house for the weekend.
'You guys are in France so often, couldn’t we just stay at your place in Holland for a few days?'
'Of course! Pas de problème!'
But when we came back a month later we found this…

zooi

zooi
But look, just to the left of that coffeemaker, that's our wine! A sign of a true hedonist after all: Good taste!

Allez, Heartily Santé et à la prochaine!
bonne annee


Allez, wholehearted Santé et à la prochaine!

sante
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