A Few Things Here and There — Quelques choses par ici et par là

A few things here and there.

Number 1:

I will most likely be in Paris in next April — yeah — sometime mid-April (never long enough but better than nothing). So, if anyone in the area would love to meet up, say even organize a mini food-blogger meeting, why not, let me know. I do not have precise dates as of yet, but when I do, I will let you know.

Number 2:

I was tagged by the lovely Bee from Rasa Malaysia for a Meme, to answer “Five Things You Do Not Know About Me”. I have not done a Meme for a while, so I could not really miss this one. But to say what? Hard to choose. Don’t you know it all?

In no order, not necessarily food related either, here are my five items.

#1 — My mum and dad were primary school teachers and both my brother B. and I went into their classes. We were 5 and 6 when we studied with my mum, 8 and 9 with my dad. My mum was strict, my dad very relaxed. Same school, same village. In class, we used to call them Monsieur et Madame, talking in class about our parents as they. Quite freaky when I think about it now, and fascinating all the same.

#2 — I received a downhill ski instructor diploma when I was 18. When I was growing up, all I talked about during the winter season, after the first snowflake came, was skiing. I was literally obsessed with it. I learned to ski under the most challenging conditions in Les Vosges, the small mountains that can be found in my region, Lorraine. Think ice but also beautiful forests. Some of my friends must have been so bored with me at that time with this obsession! No, no, I am not the obsessive type! One day though, after many hours spent on the ski lifts, I realized that teaching skiing and skiing pour moi were simply two different things, and naturally I abandoned the idea to do this as a job, in the same way I abandoned the idea to become an air hostess — when I realized that to travel, you did not need to be an air hostess. Aren’t we pleased to grow up?

#3 — I was once a waitress in a French restaurant in Aberdeen, Scotland, and I was horrible at it. I could not understand the chef when he announced the dishes in the kitchen — hear here that he was saying the French words with a Scottish accent. For my defense though, Aberdeen is pretty rough for the learner of English as a second language!

#4 — I can speak Dutch. I know, you must be wondering why? Well, let’s say that my Dutch is currently quite rusty but there was once a day when I was quite fluent in Dutch. And I have a funny story. When I was studying Dutch, I spent a summer course at the university of Nijenrode in Breukelen, in order to perfect the language. We were over 200 people, from 50 nationalities, and only Dutch was allowed. I still remember how I arrived there. I was back from Wales where I had spent three weeks working. My brother picked me up in Paris and drove me to the place. We arrived at what looked like an enormous castle by 4 am under pouring rain. We did not really know whether it was the place and my brother had to leave. Hard to believe but true. So he left me under a porch, with my luggage. No one was around. I stayed there and fell asleep. By 6 am, I got woken up by a tall person on a bike, cycling and carrying a large umbrella at the same time. Half asleep, with my head still full of English after three weeks in Porthcawl, I mumbled some English. The person responded in Dutch — on purpose I am sure! The bike, the rain, Dutch, tall people. I really knew then that I was in the Netherlands.

#5 — My ultimate dream? Too many! But, I have one. Continue to travel and combine my travels with food. So one day, I would love to be working in the Food and Travel business, the two together, writing, photographing, testing food and meeting locals. Are you surprised?

Thanks Bee!

And to pass this Meme, I would love to hear the 5 Things About Me from the fellow food bloggers:

Gattina from Kitchen Unplugged
Veron from Veronica’s Test Kitchen
Christine from My Plate or Yours
Gracianne from Un dimanche à la campagne
Ximena from Lobstersquad

Posted in General


  1. so many adventures, bea! i cannot believe you fell asleep under a castle porch in the rain, haha!
    and what a lovely photograph of you – so pretty.
    i hope your ultimate dream comes true; i think we would all benefit. 🙂

  2. Dear Bea,

    Thanks so much for doing this meme, now I know more about you. The portrait of yours is beautiful with a very sweet smile. 🙂

    Wow, you are truly talented…multi-lingual, a great cook, an articulated writer, an aspiring photographer, and a skiier! I salute you.

    I am sure one day all your dreams will come true, that is, to work in the Food & Travel industry. Seriously, much like Matt Bites, I wanted to see you publish a cookbook one day!!

    Thanks again.

    Sincerely yours,
    Bee@Rasa Malaysia

  3. Goodness, you are full of surprises. I don’t speak Dutch or ski or…., well, I will see what I can do. I am traveling today, but I’ll get on this when I get home. Merci beaucoup for the tag!

  4. Enjoyable read;) I don’t speak Dutch, but I used to be fluent in Danish, which is pretty close, I’d say:) And as for downhill skiing – I’m off to my first ever attempt in Italian Alps tomorrow. I’ve only done cross-country skiing until now, so I’m pretty terrified..

  5. What lovely stories Bea! I loved the one of your waking up by a castle by a tall Dutchman on a bike! I have been to the Netherlands and have a lot of great memories of the place…

    I wish you success for your dream of working in the food and travel industry. With your talent I have no doubt that you will achieve this!

  6. Ah, la fille de l’instituteur et de l’institutrice, ca ne doit pas etre facile comme place dans la societe d’un village.
    C’est sympa de m’inviter a repondre, je te remercie, mais c’est deja fait, en beaucoup plus court que toi: http://undimanche.blogspot.com/2007/01/cinq-choses.html

    Et bienvenue a Paris en avril, je serai evidemment ravie de te revoir. Donne nous tes dates, on trouvera surement un endroit sympa pour te rencontrer.

  7. You command the ability to hold my attention with food and word. From where I sit you are in the food and travel world, I wish you success in having it support you. Great photo of you!
    Wish I were in Paris then or any time! Enjoy!

  8. have a ncie trip to Paris… If you have time, just take a 1 jour train and come buying some chocolate in brussel. I’m sure belgian food bloggers will welcome you 😉

  9. j’aimerais aussi beaucoup te rencontrer.. ou même te recevoir!! J’espère que tes dates correspondront avec mon “planning” de femme au foyer surbookée lol

  10. Hey Bea, thanks for tagging me 😀 I’ve done the same meme but still love to bring it up to you again, here is the link for you
    I wanted to be an air hostess when I was 17, but my eyes started getting worse (short-sighted); couldn’t pass any eye test. You’re right, love traveling doesn’t need us taking a job as air hostess. So here I’m, living in a foreign country, one after another 😀
    Bea, hope your dream comes true!!! *kiss*

  11. Je découvre ton blog et aucun mot ne me vient à la bouche tellement je suis estomaquée!!! Je suis sous le charme de tout ce qu’on y trouve!!! C’est magnifique…. non, même les mots ne décrivent pas assez ce que je pense de ton blog. Que dire alors? Félicitations!!!

  12. thank you Bea! that was fascinating, and now I can lose a few hours sleep thinking of what five things to choose. I love a meme!

  13. Mes deux parents sont aussi instituteurs mais je n’ai jamais été dans leur classe – et je n’aurais pas aimé, même si ce sont de très bons instits. Je compatis donc…
    Dans quel lycée peut-on apprendre le néerlandais ???
    Les anecdotes sont très sympas. Que votre rêve se réalise, vous seriez parfaite pour ce job !

  14. So funny about the experience you had in Aberdeen! But rest assured – that accent can be pretty tough even for other native speakers of English!! 😉

  15. it must be a blast being the student of your own parents! wow!
    and that’s a lovely photo bea!

  16. what interesting experiences you’ve had! thanks for sharing. (btw, lovely portrait!)

    i think organzing a food blogger get-together in paris is a great idea. count me in!

  17. I second everything Tanna said so eloquently! 😉
    May you continue to live your dream with added rewards and pay cheques!
    P.S my parents were teachers too!

  18. L’idée d’une rencontre me plaît bien.
    Dès que tu auras la date, je te dirai si je serai disponible.

  19. Thank you very much for your notes and encouragements. Yes the stories in the Netherlands and in Scotland were quite something, I have to say! Aberdeen, as Melissa says, hard hard! I remember being only able to say good morning to my neighbors for the first week I was there, while they were having real conversations with me. I nodded politely 😉

    Nika, I would have loved to, but I will not be here at that time (in New Zealand instead, not bad either!)

    Merci à tous. Je vous tiens au courant de mes dates parisiennes, dès que j’en sais un peu plus! Laurent, Bruxelles en effet, c’est bien tentant, ça dépend du temps que j’aurai. Merci en tous cas !

  20. You are most welcome de Perros Guirec, if you have any occation to hop in Cotes d’Armor, Bea.

  21. oh Bea, what a beautiful picture, it is so nice to put a face to your writing! It’s no wonder your writing takes on the feel that it does – you have had such interesting experiences!! and wow, dutch?! i used to be fluent in french, haha! i had it every year in school from the 3rd grade through my last year in college…but, if you don’t use it, you lose it i suppose. i do enjoy reading your little french tidbits though, explanations of words and past memories, it helps me “brush up
    a little. i hope to travel to france someday soon (with iamchanelle, no less!), so we’ll be practicing our french-speaking in preparation!

  22. Bea – ooh jealous! One day I will get out to NZ. Have an excellent time. Will raise a shrimp in your name *winks* We will have to organize another food photography meetup time for when you get back

  23. I really loved reading this. You live such an interesting life! We share the same dream about food and travel, but you are wayyyyyy ahead of me in that department. You are already actually living that dream. 🙂

  24. What a lovely blog…I came across your blog while wandering on interent..would definitely love to visit more often…

  25. Strangely, I may be in Paris next April too! If so, I would love to meet you…your blog is one of my favorites!

  26. I’m new to your blog too…but just last night made your madeleines..yummy. And I recognize the Nijenrode Dutch program! I did the same Nederlandse Taalunie program (but in the town of Zeist instead). I think my Dutch is now as rusty as yours…

  27. On apprend de nombreuses choses en te lisant! Vivement Paris, ça serait un réel plaisir de faire ta connaissance… alors peut-etre, en avril…

  28. Here’s something to brush up your Dutch:

    Wat een enig verhaal over NIJENRODE. Toen ik jong was, heeeel lang geleden…lolol..heb ik er met vrienden veel feestjes gehad. Zij studeerden economie daar en de opleiding duurde 4 jaar.

    Ik volg je blog al een tijdje en geniet van je mooie foto’s en heerlijke recepten. Ik heb ook een kookboek online (zie mijn website) met een paar vriendinnen, een uit Canada een uit Nieuw Mexico, een uit Californie en ik ben uit Amsterdam Holland. (Vlinder)

    Wij hebben elkaar leren kennen op een International Quit Smoking Forum en ofschoon wij al lang geleden zijn gestopt, zijn wij er nog steeds. Kijk maar eens rond in ons kookboek, het is natuurlijk heel anders dan dat van jou. Wij willen gezond koken propageren in Amerika, Canada, Australië enz…..dat valt niet mee, zoals je zelf zal weten.

    Ik zou graag eens iets van jou in ons kookboek willen zetten onder vermelding van jouw eigen naam natuurlijk. Ik kom er nog op terug.
    À bientôt!

  29. hallo béa! ik heb in de Nederland (Nijmegen) gestudeerd aussi, maar ik spreek niet goet Dutch! superbe post en tout cas. C’est toujours un réel plaisir de te lire et de te découvrir! Une venue à Paris? se sera avec joie d’organiser une petite rencontre si je peux me libérer de mes études à Caen et descendre un week-end. J’attend tes dates!

  30. Relly, I would really love to, if only I had more time! Thank you!

    A Foodie Froggy, great!

    Veron, thank you.

    Krysten, thank you. Ahah you have to practice more of your French 😉 Hope you have nice travels to France!

    Nika, yes I am lucky, I know! Definitely another meeting, should be fun! JUne for sure, yes?

    Christine, thank you!

    Jeff, ah yes, would be fun, eh?

    Sushma, yes that sounds a great idea.

    Molly, oh nice, I am very pleased. Funny that you did a similar program. Did you also get pocket money like I did???

    Adele, oui, avec plaisir!

    Carol, too bad! A few weeks apart!

    Pascale, oui, oui, je te tiens au courant!

    Ahahh Elenor! dank u wel! Ik moet studeren!

    Noemie, oui, avec grand plaisir!

  31. you are absolutely fabulous person. :] tons of great pictures and great dishes! wish you luck with everything that you do. have your blog and flickr on bookmark ^^