A Bit Of Meli-Melo

22 Nov

I had some trouble with that title; Viv tells me that meli-melo has a similar meaning to English bits ‘n’ bobs, and that would be great, if only I could type it.  So far it has been mile-mole, lime-loem, lemi-mloe and m%&*-m$£”. 

To get it right, I had to read it from my notebook with my eyes while my mouth spelled it out slowly for my typing hand.  I’m going off France.

Not really, of course.  I loved my visit so much, I feel the need to keep talking about it, so I bring you this meli-noma of bots ‘n’ bibs that I couldn’t squeeze into my previous France posts.


At the restaurant we visited, the waitress brought funny food things before the meal started (the three-course meal; French people do know how to eat).  Jov or Vick told us they were called amuse-bouche, pronounced amoose boosh.  I found them very amoosing.

That got a laugh when I said it to Vock & Jiv.  What’s wrong with you people?

Aran Jumper

Jick & Vov were stuffed full of interesting anecdotes and information.  This one fascinated me: admiring my cardigan, they said that every Aran jumper has a different pattern so that fishermen’s wives can identify their husband’s bodies when they drown and wash ashore weeks later.

It fascinated me so much I didn’t wear it on the way home, in case my plane crashed into the English Channel.  I don’t want my husband to think I was married to Marks & Spencer.

Body Scan

Talking of plane travel, on the way out to France I had one of those full body scans.  The Hub wasn’t selected which surprised me, because he was wearing a sweatshirt and couldn’t be identified by it.

I had to stand with my hands touching my head while the security staff giggled behind a huge screen.  I didn’t worry about the intrusion because I was too busy worrying about the life-size sign which looks like one of those police outlines drawn round the body.  Was it an omen that we would crash into the Channel?  I was wearing my Aran jumper.

Mistletoe And Whine

France seemed to have an awful lot of nests in its bare trees:

Then Vij & Ockv told me that the ‘nests’ were mistletoe, which is not a friendly saliva-exchanging encourager at all, but a parasite that kills trees.  I’m against killing trees in particular and parasites in general and I don’t need mistletoe because I’m married and haven’t kissed since the wedding (no, I must have done it twice; the boys will attest to that), so I found this a little disturbing, especially when I learned that it’s French law to remove mistletoe…we all know the Gallic approach to law, don’t we?  Accept it then ignore it.

Every time I saw a mistletoe-strangled tree after I learned this, I couldn’t help my resentment towards the French shrugging-off of a serious law from erupting into a stern tut.  I might even have tutted out loud once.

The Hub

Some of you might not know that the Hub has severe CFS/ME.  Some of you might not have realised that I took him to France with me (it was the only way I could board a plane and still retain clean underwear).  We were worried that he would find it too much, but he didn’t have to drive, he sat down a lot, slept every afternoon, and went to bed early each night.   He’s tired but doing okay.  I guess a little of what you francey does you good.



Never having flown with them, I believed the media hype and expected a terrible flight (that’s a given, given my fear), to be treated like cattle, to be charged for extras I hadn’t banked on, like seat belts, and to have them fixing the plane under us while we taxied out.

Well.  What can I say?  My £9 flight was excellent value for money; I would definitely fly them again; but I still don’t like Micheal O’Leary, especially if he wants to charge me to use the toilet.



Finally, I saw French cows.  I mention this because I made the Hub take a photo especially for my French friend, now residing in the States, Perfecting Motherhood; also known as Every Day I See A Cow:


Through a window in Pirou Castle. Amazing to think the same view would have been there for centuries. Just how old ARE those cows?


I have at least one more post that is France related, and then I’ll stop banging on about it.  Maybe.

Au revoir!



40 Responses to “A Bit Of Meli-Melo”

  1. Katherine Gordy Levine November 22, 2011 at 14:43 #

    Rant, rave, continue taking me to France, the only way I will get there.

    Happy to finally learn how to pronounce Amuse-Bouche. The Chefs on the various food networks often make them, but I don’t have the sound on when I watch. Or it may be on, but my hearing aid is off.

    I am deciding I might have to stop watching these however as I think that is why I can no longer resist butter, fried foods, sweets. And I am also beginning to suspect calories consumed on TV cook shows end up on my body.

    I also have had full body scans. Closest I have gotten to a sexual thrill in years, at least in public.

    My husband also has CFS but as he has lived longer than Hub, it is just called aging.

    Thank you again for all the good you do keeping us laughing.


    • Tilly Bud November 23, 2011 at 10:14 #

      You’re not doing a bad job there, yourself! 😀


  2. nrhatch November 22, 2011 at 15:07 #

    Lovely bits and bobs . . . (or, given the scan, butts and boobs). 😉


  3. laurieanichols November 22, 2011 at 15:22 #

    The amuse-bouche are for me the most fun because they are small, pretty and you can’t ever feel guilty eating them because they are so tiny. I like French cows as well and when one drives from Paris down to Bordeaux you really get the whole French cow aroma.


    • Tilly Bud November 23, 2011 at 10:16 #

      So that’s what French perfume smells like?


  4. SchmidleysScribbling November 22, 2011 at 16:25 #

    A few years ago, I took the high speed train from London to Paris. I enjoyed looking out the window as the view sped by, and I noticed those nests of misletoe in the trees. I knew it was a parasite or hemi-parasite and that it could kill weak trees.

    However, misltetoe is also beneficial to stands of trees because its berries attract birds who consume the berries as well as other berries in the vicinity of the affected tree and thus spread all the seeds along with a little fertilizer.

    In other words, never fear, they misletoe plays an important role in the ecology of the forest, which is why the French government protects it.


    • vivinfrance November 22, 2011 at 17:10 #

      The French Govt doesn’t protect it: it’s the farmers who disobey the law.


  5. gigihawaii November 22, 2011 at 17:29 #

    What a rollicking good time you had in France. In Nov 1969, after 2 weeks in London (where I bought my 1st winter coat and gloves), I took the ferry across the channel to a seaport in Northern France (was it Calais?) and then the train to Paris. I think your air flight was much better! I was seasick on the ferry and barfed several times. ugh!


  6. Pseu November 22, 2011 at 17:39 #

    That sky in the top photo is wonderful


    • Tilly Bud November 23, 2011 at 10:29 #

      The Hub’s work, of course. The photo I mean, not the sky 🙂


      • Pseu November 24, 2011 at 20:48 #



  7. nailingjellotoatree November 22, 2011 at 19:19 #

    “friendly saliva-exchanging encourager” = bwhaha. Love it. Here’s a Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks for keeping us laughing!


    • Tilly Bud November 23, 2011 at 10:30 #

      Thank you; that’s very kind of you 🙂


  8. Elaine November 22, 2011 at 19:20 #

    I enjoyed reading your ‘bits and bobs’ about France. Vov and Jick sound like they’ve been great hosts. Lovely photo of the cows – timeless.


    • Tilly Bud November 23, 2011 at 10:31 #

      The more things change…the stronger they smell 😉


  9. granny19471947 November 22, 2011 at 20:19 #

    Don’t stop….I am LOVING your stories!!!!


    • Tilly Bud November 23, 2011 at 10:33 #

      I am almost out but I have one more 🙂


  10. Big Al November 22, 2011 at 22:32 #

    The photographs are splendid, indeed. The one from the castle window almost takes on the quality of a painting.

    Hope the Hub recupes well.

    P.S. I wonder where they found an asexual to pose for the scanner poster?


  11. Perfecting Motherhood November 23, 2011 at 00:50 #

    What lovely pictures, and I’m not just talking about the cows (my cows of the day, of course!). Normandy cows make the best butter and creme fraiche, but I’m sure Viv got you to enjoy butter on your baguette with her delicious jam. Yum, I can just taste the butter melting in my mouth right now, an unforgettable memory.

    The funniest thing about amuse bouche is what they mean. They literally “amuse” your mouth. What a colorful way to describe food. Only the French… And I’m not just saying that because I’m French!


  12. Gabrielle Bryden November 23, 2011 at 02:10 #

    Don’t like the sound of those full body scanners – haha. That first photo is so beautiful.


    • Tilly Bud November 23, 2011 at 10:37 #

      All the Hub’s work. He has an artist’s eye.


  13. Perfecting Motherhood November 23, 2011 at 02:31 #

    Tilly, you really made me salivate today.


  14. Jim November 23, 2011 at 04:36 #

    I’m liking your mishmash post, T.B. I do these occasionally, I call them This and That.

    We have mistletoe in Texas down by where we live. Every Christmas Adi and I go out and cut some down. Then we wrap the end(s) up in a pretty red ribbon, stand back waiting, and then comes the BIG kiss.

    We are planning on Paris this April. Our lives-in-London daughter, Karen, has a place in the Paris Marathon. I suppose it will be more of a baby sitting job with the two year old than a watch-Karen-run holiday.


    • Tilly Bud November 23, 2011 at 10:40 #

      You old romantic!

      I like bits ‘n’ bobs posts; they’re fun to write.

      Enjoy Paris in the spring; they say it’s lovely 🙂


  15. eof737 November 23, 2011 at 12:57 #

    There’s a lovely restaurant in NY named Meli Melo. I even wrote a review of my meal there… This is a terrific revisit /recount of the wonderful time you had in France. Good for you! 🙂


    • Tilly Bud November 24, 2011 at 11:52 #

      What a great name for a restaurant! I’m thinking of calling all my bits ‘n’ bobs posts meli-melo posts from now on.


  16. Lorna's Voice November 23, 2011 at 16:01 #

    Glad your Hub made it to France and was able to enjoy himself as much as possible. 🙂

    And, French cows…is that where they get French Vanilla Ice Cream?


    • Tilly Bud November 24, 2011 at 11:54 #

      Possibly. The vanilla ice cream I had tasted good enough to have come out of a cow. 🙂


  17. misswhiplash November 23, 2011 at 16:29 #

    C’est tres bien! You can ‘bang’ on as much as you like about your French adventure..it is so interesting.
    What a lovely husband you have to put himself through all that so that you could go to France..

    I do believe there are one or two people who do fly Ryanair but I am not one of them!


    • Tilly Bud November 24, 2011 at 11:55 #

      I would have said that until two weeks ago. I was impressed. It’s no frills, of course; but for £9 a flight you can’t beat it.


  18. Hattie November 23, 2011 at 19:27 #

    One of my favorite memories is heading south to Spain for Christmas through France from our home in Switzerland and seeing all the mistletoe in the trees.
    Sigh. I get so homesick for Europe sometimes.


    • Tilly Bud November 24, 2011 at 11:42 #

      That’s the trouble with all this round the world travelling… 🙂


  19. earlybird November 24, 2011 at 18:09 #

    Lovely post. You must come to France again. 😉



  1. Ooh la la, today’s cows are from France | Every day I see a cow - November 23, 2011

    […] retell her trip step by step, hour by hour, including the good, the bad, and the ugly. Even after today’s post, I don’t think Tilly’s done telling us about the wonderful trip she had. And I hope she […]


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