Sat Jun 17th, 2006 at 04:35:41 PM EST
Update [2006-6-18 8:48:56 by afew]: I took some photos but most of them seem to be no good, one way or another. Perhaps Alexandra in WMass, who also took pics, can communicate some to us when she gets online again (she's travelling). But I'm putting one up that shows the homemade jams about to be consumed with crÍpes:
Alex in Toulouse was right. The weather in Toulouse was hot and sunny. We met on time in the right place and proceeded to picnic on the grass by the River Garonne, under the shade of a willow, Alexandra in WMass, M. et Mme Lupin, Maggie the border collie, Alex in Toulouse, and afew. Foursomes sculled by, a fisherman baited his hook. In the green and watery afternoon, time stood still.
It was then...
...that we broke out the provisions, and provisions there were aplenty. Saucisse sèche, smoked salmon, taboulé, fougasse, cantaloup melon, several varieties of stinky cheese, a good white Tariquet from the Gers, a good red Capendu from the Aude, delicious banana bread made by Mme Lupin, crêpes, and candidates for the home-made jam tasting : blackberry, blueberry, fig, watermelon and orange. A lemon was held ritually over a crêpe at the height of the ceremony in order to scare away evil spirits.
And it worked. No evil spirit came near, and we spent some excellent hours together. Fascinating people, eurotribbers, and so well worth meeting in the real real world. What did we talk about? Our lives offline, our lives online. Blogs, politics, American, French, British society. DKos, European Tribune.
What came out of it? The gnomes being firmly at their posts all along the watchtower, we hardly dared foment a revolution. Some ideas were suggested for ET, that we should discuss some other time.
And, as Alexandra in WMass said, after all our virtual (and transatlantic) discussions, there we were for real, and all those goodies weren't virtual any more, they were real. The people too. Thanks, everyone, for giving me such a good afternoon.