Friday, 5 June 2020

A Two Alcohol Apero and Some Lace

These days aperitifs involve not just wine, but carefully thought out nibbles, and hand sanitizer. 

Wine and hand sanitizer.
Post Covid19 lockdown aperitif.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

I went to my friend Nathalie's for apéro soon after lockdown eased. It was just her and me, joined later by her partner. I arrived at 7pm and didn't leave until 11.30pm. Neither of us had done anything social for the whole of lockdown, so with the long warm summer evening, it was too tempting and we sat there for hours nattering, spaced well apart, at either end of her outdoor table.

Nibbles logistics is tricky. You need to have stuff that only one person touches. We solved it by having individual bowls and tipping or spooning small serves of anything we wanted into our personal bowls.

Nathalie was taking the health precautions super seriously. She is the only person I know who bought surgical masks before lockdown had even started. Apparently the pharmacy assistant thought she was mad.

 The top of a Tourangeau bonnet, hand embroidered by Nathalie's grandmother.
Top of a homemade hand embroidered Tourangeau bonnet.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
Photo courtesy of Nathalie Perrault.

She had spent the lockdown much more productively than me, by clearing out her attic. Naturally some forgotten family treasures emerged, including various pieces of needlework made by her grandmother.


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chm said...

This bonnet is amazing. A real piece of art. How many hours did it take to complete it?

Susan said...

These bonnets were worn by every woman in the area until the mid-20C. Hours of work. Women made their own, but there was a thriving professional embroidery trade as well.

Colin and Elizabeth said...

It is fast becoming a lost art like so many other skills, the list could be endless... Sad or does it really matter as time moves on and things change and are churned out in bucket loads by machine...

Susan said...

Certain people are always going to want to engage with skills that involve nimble fingers and fine detail. It just might not be embroidery for many now. Part of the reason for that is that it is increasingly difficult to get thread that really works for this sort of embroidery. So styles inevitably change.

chm said...

I should have added that this bonnet belongs into a museum.

Susan said...

One of the main attractions of our little local museum in Preuilly is a collection of these bonnets.

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