Tuesday, July 19, 2011

patisserie plomberie

My husband dropped his wrench under the pipes in the broken sink. "Four of them this August? You mean the baby, too?"
I nodded.
"I better fix this," he said, picking up the wrench.
We really need a new plumber, but he'll figure that out.
Jean-Luc, a patisserie chef by profession in France and supposed plumber in the US installed our plumbing years ago.

As charming and skilled in the bakery as he is, his plumbing skills came out like a twisted meringue.

Every day he brought his wares as he installed our plumbing; pain au chocolat madeleines, a frangipani tart. Bliss.
However for years the pipes leak, hot water comes out in shoots, drains get blocked. The convoluted system Jean-Luc entwined in the bathroom and kitchen continues to confound new generations of plumbers, non patisserie chefs, and my husband. The non patisserie chef plumbers raise quizzical eyerows. "How could this connect like this? Why does this pipe go here? How could anyone do this?"
We shrug.
But the immediacy driving us to re-fit our pipes this is that my dear friend Anne, from Paris will descend on our shores this August with Gabrielle, her one year old, Zouzou, her almost six year old and her friend Cathy, a policewoman. And laundry.

I'm excited for all kinds of reasons - it's like Paris is coming to us. We'll play with the kids, Anne can take a rest and I can talk police with Cathy over sushi, her favorite. Plus this gives me an excuse to go to the farmer's markets and try to show off California's best organic. Anne's hosted me for years, sometimes on the couch, last time at her father's place on the Left Bank and I more than owe her hospitality. We never get to spend enough time together in Paris since she works sixty hour weeks and has two children so I can't wait. I'll babysit and read books with Zouzou - she reads already!

So it's fix up time chez nous for the four French ladies and we've got to get all the beds together and baby proof what we can since Gabrielle, who'll be one is crawling and taking steps. Renting a stroller, checking on Yosemite availability, the Monterey acquarium etc and my tires.It's so fun to contemplate our house filled with Gabrielle's dulcet baby tones to Zouzou's singing - she loves to sing - and French, French, French. I'm planning on urban exploring with Zouzou in our neighborhood and showing her Americana - bbq's, swimming in the pool and blackberry picking. And a working bathroom.
Cara - Tuesday


  1. Have a lot of fun?

    Whoever would have thought of a pastry chef/plumber? Only the French.

    Sounds like a fantastic vacation to come.

    And I love the name Zouzou, and it sounds so good in French, as does everything.

  2. At least he's not union...hubby I mean:)

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