Sunday, February 25, 2007

How Chocolate Came to Save Fran

We met outside the Collège Hotel in Vieux Lyon, somewhere between her place and mine. Immediately I could see that this chick needed some chocolate in her. Pale, wan, and with a sad look on her face, Francine presented herself, standing up a bit straighter than usual and buttoned up tight in an effort to put up a good front. At least she had her camera. That was when I think I saw tears swell in her eyes. She said "PMS" and I said "Bernachon". With that, we were off.

Did you ever have a friend that charges you with positive feelings just from being near her? A friend who is encouraging, helpful, generous, inspiring, beautiful, nurturing and creative all at the same time? My freind Francine is one of those. The first time we went out to lunch we found that we had more to talk about than we could fit in that day. Meeting Fran was like I had finally met a fellow member of the circus and right from the get go we were synchronizing double backs and gracefully mastering the leap from one to the other’s trapezes with the greatest of ease. I sometimes wonder if her inner eye has more strength and focus than she even knows. Her creative endeavors always bloom forth with a lot of energy and purpose.

Francine moved to a new apartment last month, a place with a garden. While moves are stressful and expensive in general, she was casting a positive light on the experience by putting a lot of thought into how her garden will grow, and how to arrange her studio space, etc. Once they got there and unpacked, Fran, being an island girl and accustomed to warmth and light, had to adjust within the winter confines imposed upon her by a new angle from the sun. It was the darkest part of the year. Her bones caught a chill, and it was at that moment yesterday that I caught her.

“What’s Bernachon?” She asked. Oh goodie, it was going to be just the thing. When they poured the chocolate we were both in rapture. Since she instinctively chose all of the chocolate flavored treats from the platter (the poor dear was really in need), I chose some of the other little mignardises and discovered they are very skilled at more than chocolate at Bernachon Passion. Oh la la. Pastry time! We have decided that we’ll hit the tea salons of Lyon one by one as we reach the milestones and deliverables of our respective life projects, or when we need a boost. That should give us plenty of opportunity, either way.

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Blogger David said...

Is Bernachone the best place in the world or what?
I don't have PMS, but I'm on my way...!

1:29 PM, February 25, 2007  
Blogger enuwy said...

I'm a new reader, and just wanted to say that was a lovely post - sweet account of your friend, lovely photos and chocolate. What's there not to like ? :)

1:34 PM, February 25, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Lucy, you have this talent to tell stories, you know! So down-to-earth to the best juicy details. Merci! Love the story and chocolate place! I def need to make a trip to Lyon!

4:12 PM, February 25, 2007  
Blogger Vernell said...

Hi Lucy, (this is Fran's sister btw)love how you told this and thanks for saving her. I know how much she hates the cold and winter and chocolate is just the thing. Your blog is awesome!

11:39 PM, February 25, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Lucy, I can taste those! I am wondering what it would be like to be the person who makes them. Such satisfaction from making people happy (and mitigating PMS).

1:18 AM, February 26, 2007  
Blogger Connie said...

what a wonderful salute to a friend, very sweet. and what a lovely spread of desserts.

3:01 AM, February 26, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merci, Lucy! I stayed at the College Hotel in Vieux Lyon and then to Bernachone as well. Thank you for bringing it back to my mind on this winter's day in Ohio...C'etait un temp heureux!

5:53 AM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger Jasmine said...

Lucy ~ this post, and your blog sont vraiment delicieuses! Merci beaucoup! À bientôt ... :)

1:39 AM, February 28, 2007  
Blogger a said...

A new reader here too...I have long dreamed of living in France, and now I must confess I'm living a bit vicariously through your blog. I have recently discovered that there are NO patisseries in the city where I live...which means I'm no longer at all sure that it is indeed a city...but I digress. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story! I must visit Bernachon someday...

4:21 AM, February 28, 2007  
Blogger Jann said...

what a wonderful experience for you to share with your friend!I think I could go here everyday-I felt as though I was there while reading your lovely story.

4:19 PM, February 28, 2007  
Blogger Sophie François said...

Bernachon... un nom et un endroit qui ressemble au paradis.

7:46 PM, March 01, 2007  
Blogger Clare said...


5:49 PM, October 16, 2009  

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