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eiffel tower sponge

A souvenir, a memento, a remembrance.  Paris, 1989, with sponges purchased from the souvenir shop on the Eiffel Tower.  (As Mr. Foxy says, they are a very good likeness of the Eiffel Tower, but they are much more absorbent.)  

I have always been in love with Paris, or the idea of Paris, so amongst the excitement of contemplating my first visit there I was steeling myself for possible disappointment … but au contraire!  Paris was not to disappoint – it was all true!  The art, the architecture, THE FOOD!  And there really were people walking around wearing berets, carrying baguettes and there really were slim designer-suited women walking poodles on leashes.  The memories of the first visit are still heady.  I was 25, travelling with the man of my dreams, staying in a picturesquely shabby one star hotel, walking endlessly through those wondrous streets, picnicing on chevre and pain poilane, dining in tiny bistros every night.  I felt like we were Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg (only without the crime, police evasion and misogyny).


We returned a couple of years later, then again in 2004  and 2006, and are still dreaming of when we can return again.  On the last visit, the exchange rate was fairly bad, so I couldn’t buy anything of great note, so satisfied myself with a buy-up at the cheap souvenir shops near Notre Dame.  I tried to buy every possible likeness of the Eiffel tour that wasn’t too expensive or too crass.  (Sadly the white ceramic salt shaker is no longer with us).  I love the iconic nature of this structure, and despite its over-exposure to the point of kitsch, it is still an impressive and magical building.


Paris, 2006.  Our first child was designed in Paris during our 2004 visit, so we felt that it was only right to take him back for a visit for his first birthday (and while he could still travel cheaply on aircraft).  

And, this post should rightly end here, but I just had to share this, which appeals to me enormously.  Wafer biscuits stuck together with icing!  This is from a little booklet for kids that I bought at the supermarket, Little Disney Library, Ratatouille: What’s Cooking (ACP Magazines Ltd, 2006).  There are also other great French- and rat-themed novelty recipes, including fabulous faux escargots made from gherkins and pin-wheel sandwiches!  Perfect for that upcoming Bastille Day dinner party (I have already bought the wafers …)