Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Monday, 26 January 2015

More childhood memories

The countdown has started. Another 4 days before my mother moves into her redecorated service flat. The place looks stunning, with the fresh paint job - beautifully executed by our local decorator - and the 'old' curtains, which have been dry-cleaned and measured and made up to size to fit the large windows.

In the meanwhile, my mother has been emptying her closets, ... revealing a lot of long forgotten items. One of which is this painting ...

The photo doesn't do it justice ...
the real colours are a lot warmer and deeper.
It's signed by G. De Mauko or De Mouko. It's hard to tell.

It's a souvenir of one of my late father's many travels in the late forties when he was working as a flight engineer with Sabena, our national airways company which went broke in 2001 due to mismanagement by its partner Swissair.

In those days, Sabena's long distance destinations mainly lay in Africa. I knew we had a lot of African art, because it was omnipresent in the small flat my parents used to live in between 1950 and 1977. When we moved to a larger space, most of the pieces disappeared (the attice, etc.) out of our daily environment, making room for more modern stuff.

This painting used to hang over the sideboard in our 1960-ties - 70-ties flat. During meals, it hung right across the room from my chair. I used to concentrate on it in the morning, when still half asleep, I had to drink this ghastly cup of warm Ovomaltine. I just hated it, but had no choice. My father had heard somewhere that it was the best protection against all the nasty bugs and viruses that were floating around. And maybe, just maybe, he was right because for almost 15 years I only missed 1 day of school due a bad cold ... Or maybe I just have a very solid immune system?!

Anyway, the painting that kept me happy during the Ovomaltine challenge is now hanging in my living room. I love it even better than I did at the time ... but not enough to make me drink Ovomaltine ever again...

Tell me, did your parents force you to drink this or any other terrible brew, simply on the pretext that it was good for you? 


Rhodesia said...

It almost looks like it is on copper, it is beautiful. No thankfully there was little I did not like to eat or drink but I did hate the luke warm milk that they used to produce when I was in junior school in the UK !!!! Keep warm Diane

Jean said...

The painting is very reminiscent of the 70's, with the palm trees and the boat on the river. My parents had something similar, although a rather poorer quality print, which hung over the mantlepiece.
As for drinks, I could never drink the sweet, milky tea that everyone else drank by the gallon. It was something to do with the tealeaves I think, in the days before tea bags were the norm.
Good luck with the move!

ladybird said...

Diane, I think it's the LED lights that it make it look like copper, Because it isn't :)). But I'm glad you like it. Continue avoiding the luke warm milky drinks!!

Jean, Thank you for the 'move'-wishes. As for the painting: Yes I remember those 70-ties prints. But this a late 40-ties original oil painting. Although it needs a good clean, it's still very beautiful. As for the tea, I like green tea with a generous helping of lemon juice. Hold the milk, please!!

Susan said...

My grandfather used to drink a concoction of cider vinegar, honey and hot water every morning for his health. The smell of hot cider vinegar has made me loathe it ever since and I didn't even have to drink the stuff. It didn't put me off honey though, which I love on toast.

Carolyn said...

This morning it's still snowing out there, and I was wishing I could see some palm trees. And here they are, on "Wishing I were in France."
I'd enjoy looking at that picture all winter long.

Also, good luck with the move. I hope your mother and you are getting excited about the change.

Bob said...

last night i watched an episode on House Hunters International where a couple moved from Washington DC to Brussels. They found an apartment for $2500 a month in the city. Made me wish I was there. I have a similar photo but it's more oriental than african. will send you a separate email with photo. i was not a fan of ovaltine, but like chocolate milk. hope your mom is warming up to the move.

Anonymous said...

It's lovely to remember past times. I have been doing a lot of that lately. My parents never made me drink anything to protect me but we had 'miracle' cures that I still drink today. One was hot Vimto, a fruit cordial from the UK, sadly not available here in France. The other is a fab remedy for sore throats, a bottle of lemonade, 1 or 2 sliced lemons and sugar - boil in a pan and mash the lemons to get the juice out. Leave to simmer for a while. Let it cool and it goes very syrupy best served hot but good cold if you have a very sore throat =)

Niall & Antoinette said...

Good luck with the move.
Never had a problem with a drink but I was forced to eat things I loathed [and still loathe] like witlof [endives] *shudder*!
All the ham and cheese in the world didn't make it any better tasting!

VirginiaC said...

Hope your Mum has settled in well into her new home.
I grew up on Ovaltine too, and for me it was just another chocolate/cocoa beverage like Milo.
I still eat Ovaltine biscuits since they're healthy.
Beautiful painting, I love the palm trees.

ladybird said...

Thank you all for sharing your childhood food 'traumas' and for wishing us a smooth move. A full report is coming up.