car journeys, cars, christmas, England, family, gas ovens, questionnaires
Good afternoon blog,
I’m excited. Genuinely. This will be the first Christmas that I’ll spend in England with my charming (witty, good-looking, intelligent, modest) family since 2006. It’s a shame that my ‘usband will not be joining me and buggers 2-5 (the Prodigal being already there). He is so selfless – offering to stay in France to mind the dogs when he could be surrounded by the cast of 1000s that is my immediate family, all telling witty stories in English and at high volume; eating meat that was cooked in the oven for over 30 seconds yet just under 4 hours; going to mass on Christmas day; enjoying the beautiful harmonies that my family creates when we start the sing song……ah……such selflessness for himself and love of our dogs, Masie (the slightly more intelligent one than we gave her credit for) and Lidl Supermarket Dog (definitely less intelligent than we gave her credit for).
The 798,562 boxes of Christmas presents I had sent to my parent’s house, have arrived. Unfortunately, they’ve taken up so much room that my parents are now homeless……but only until Christmas Day morning. Not so bad.
I’ve warned the kids 3,4 & 5 that if, for whatever reason, we can’t get to England then they don’t get any presents Christmas morning. Of course they were extremely understanding when I told them. I expect the same level of understanding, come Christmas morning, if we are stuck in France……
We now have that drive north to look forward to. Comfortable – that’s the word I’m looking for – all 6 of us, plus luggage, plus two dogs in our car for what? a mere, 900km……CANT WAIT!
Since my last post, what’s been going on down here in Nowhere:
Appalled that some toy of his seemed broken, I said ‘Give it to me and I’ll fix that for you.’
‘You’re not a very good fixer: you’re just a lady.’
My brother suggested that he picked up this attitude from the Peppa Pig series. You see, tv is good for young children. They learn so much about the world and how it works.
Yes, so my very giving father in law has donated another car for our enjoyment. We now have 4 cars which are parked around the village as we don’t in fact own a garage.
Let me tell you about something that happened a few weeks ago:
We’d run out of gas for the outside oven (yes, you read that right, outside oven and yes, it was November and yes, we live in the northern hemisphere. we have an inside oven, a beast of a thing but I’m not allowed to turn it on until the outside temperature hits minus 50 degrees). So, my husband decides to go to replenish the gas bottle (yes, we are indeed very backward around these parts) even though we have two football matches in two different locations to go to within another hour.
There is a knock at the door. The Face who is fluent in French, answers it but comes to tell me that there is man and he doesn’t understand him. Why the Face thought that I would be any more enlightened than him, is beyond me. The man started talking fast about opticians and stepped down into the house…..
at EXACTLY the same time, my husband steps into the house behind him and has that ‘Who the hell is this guy?’ look on his face. It’s a fair question as I don’t know either.
The dogs are barking and jumping up and down around the man.
The man starts to explain. Meanwhile, my husband is telling me, over this stranger, that the exhaust fell off the car halfway to the town and now we only have one (working) car to go to two football matches.
The man continues with his explanation.
My husband is stressed as he now has to take two kids to two matches in less than 10 seconds.
The man continues his explanation and follows me into the kitchen where he pulls out his questionnaire on opticians of France.
I have to tell you, if I were before Magnus Magnusson, Opticians of France would not be one of the topics I would be answering questions on.
I had a go (in fact, when I die, I might put that on my gravestone ‘I had a go’ which is better than the line I liked when I was a bookish 19 year old ‘for men may come and men may go, but I go on forever’ – actually, I still quite like that one).
The questionnaire, which he assured me would only take 5 minutes, took, in fact, 45 minutes. I made up the answers. He made up some too. He gradually began to age before my very eyes with every answer that he tried to understand. The kids, who’d had no interest in me at all that day, seemed to need my immediate attention every 20 seconds. My brain was stretched to maximum output as I only have about 5 sentences in French that I can say and my concentration on listening to French lasts about 15 minutes.
I expect that we’ll never see him again. He probably dropped dead of sheer exhaustion after leaving this house.
And we were still out of gas!
Now blog, I had SO much more to say but I need to go and collect the Prof from school. Later, lucky us, we have to go back to the Prof’s school for their Christmas Spectacle where we’ll all be crammed into somewhere unsuitably small and hot and eye each other up and speculate about each other and not listen or watch what the kids are doing at all. I know how these things work.
Bonne soiree to you as we won’t be having one.