Tuesday, 7 May 2013


Here I am sitting at a table in a cafe in the Place aux Herbes:

My husband has taken himself and the baby off on a jaunt to look at a bike, as he has been struck with a sudden urge to conquer Mt the saddle. I'm feeling somewhat virtuous as I've already been for a jog in the garrigue on the hillside outside town......except that I've cracked and  taken up coffee again, oh.....and after eight weeks of abstinence, sugar.

I needed a jog after the weekend. We made a sentimental journey back to stay with friends in Espondeilhan,  the village where we spent most of's only an hour and a half from here on the motorway....or significantly longer if you take a wrong turn, as we did on the way back. Anyway, as our friends who we stayed with are part of a wine producing family, Domaine l'Arjolle.... there was a lot of wine involved.

My husband may have found his French late on Friday night at the bottom of a red wine bottle. The conversation had moved onto the subject of Cannes and all of a sudden he was telling everyone about my friend Rebecca. Now, Rebecca.....who I met, at the gym of all places, when our now five year olds became firm friends at the creche way back in the day when we were both nursing a workout a filmmaker who wrote and directed the cult Tasmanian short film.....Cupcake: A Zombie Lesbian Musical. She is heading to the Cannes Film Festival later this month as she's working on her zombie lesbian musical being made into a feature film. You can imagine my husband trying to describe all French. It gets better. One of the songs  that accompanies the original film is 'My Girlfriend Ate My Pussy - Literally'. This is where we managed to pick up a couple of quirks about French language pronunciation. If you happen to find yourself having a conversation, in French, about your could happen....and you inadvertently pronounce the 't' at the end of the word 'chat' (cat) then you aren't talking about your cat but rather a woman's rude bits. Beware.

Think this is all just a tad too bizarre.....well, on Sunday....more food, more wine...more friends and their family......come the cheese course and out came the microscope to examine.....the cheese. I kid you not. On the cheese board was a young Mimolette, an 18 month old Mimolette and a chèvre style Mimolette that I'd bought from the Pezenas market the day before:

Mimolette is an orange, pockmarked because of carrot juice and pockmarked because of cheese mites which live on the rind and enhance the flavour. You can tell by the state of the holes, which cheese is older as the bigger the holes, the longer the cheese mites have had to do their thing. Supposedly, cheese mites, their skin and their excrement are wiped off regularly during the course of ageing and before sale. The whole cheese mite thing understandably grosses people out...... so much so that Mimolette has recently been banned in the United States and you can only buy the young, supposedly not so mite encrusted, Mimolette in French supermarkets. I must admit that I did have to psyche myself up to actually put it in my mouth the first time I ate it.....yet I can report that it really is delicious, with a firm texture and a nutty flavour. Truly.

Anyway, on Sunday, out came the microscope to check the state of cheese mites on the Mimolettes:

There were wrigglers on all three.....including the cheese from the supermarket. Under the microscope they looked like this:

Source: Wikimedia Commons

And the cheeses were teeming with them. Apparently....and I only have this on hearsay....the mites are good for your digestion, especially if you eat a lot of cheese and drink a lot of wine. Which is good news for my husband....he had seconds of the Mimolette.



  1. Cheese mites! I think I would be fine with it if it was called something other than a mite. Do the French have some charming word for mite?

    1. They call mites the same thing yet it sounds like 'meat' which I think sounds worse! After looking at them....the cheese still tasted delicious! Rx

  2. Oh Romy! That makes me feel ill. You are remarkably measured about it. Far more so than I would be. Loving these little peeks into your daily life. J x

    1. When in France Jane! Although there are some things I'd draw the line at! Rx

  3. Still laughing here about your husband, his French, and the cupcake, zombie, lesbian, pussy palaver.

    Going to be super interested to see what google search terms people put in to get to this post!

    Cheese looks yummy, mites not withstanding.

  4. Yes, it's all a bit strange isn't it.....feel like I'm living in a parallel universe! Hoping Rebecca can get me a gig to a celebrity party at the film festival.....imagine! I'll say it again, that cheese is delicious! Rx

  5. Ha! Good thing we didn't have a microscope while living in France, Mimolette was a favorite!

  6. I love it that you are blogging from France!Tres chic!

    Will see you in maybe 2 weeks? What Fun we will have x

  7. The cheese looks a little off to me.. I know you should be fine about eating extra protein, but yuck! Reminds me a bit of eating home grown broccoli and finding half a green caterpillar in the middle of it. Love the film plot in French story... and agree with AFW that I'd love to see what google terms drive visitors to this post!
    I think you probably can't avoid sugar and coffee in France? Looks like you're all settling in nicely xx

  8. I am never saying 'chat' again... ;) xv


I LOVE hearing your thoughts! Rx