Diplomatic farewells or "Pour Prendre Congé"...
Last Friday was a bitter-sweet occasion. A farewell dinner-party for a colleague who is leaving. The awareness of the quick turnover of the personal landscape that surrounds you when you're an expat is always a bit sad. But we are glad and joyful for our departing friend who is always in tremendous spirits, awaiting the new sceneries an challenges.
Anyway, one cannot be blue or moody for a long time when a superb patriotic stew with real gourmet flair was on offer. A "court-bouillon" ( http://www.recettes-et-terroirs.com/recette_detail-22-2066.html ) was introduced in the recipe with obvious merits. The toasts were up to the expectations. Everybody left the imposing building (portrayed above) in good spirits.
( I remember with some nostalgia those parties that were organized by Their Excellencies for my own departures. The first in imposing Belgravia, black-tie stuff and short speech, as demanded by local tradition. The second in a warm Holy Land night, wearing a linen suit in a wonderful outdoors dinner-party with an exchange of really warm friendly toasts. The third, a rather more discrete, blazer-using, supper with glasses raised for mutual health.
If that progression continues I'll have to dinner alone next time, with an open shirt, keeping silent... :) )