I have had a super holiday. Thank you very much. Lots of trying out the languages ( I love it when we don’t spot a Brit for weeks!) and plenty of sun and exercise. It was great. I admit that I even impressed myself with my French and felt rather proud when I made myself understood in Italian without the aid of my hands or funny pictures or even Google Translate.
( this was us just as we were leaving. Poor car was so loaded up, but what’s the point of travelling light?)
However upon returning to chez nous I thought I had walked into something akin to a political coup. What changes! What surprises! Firstly, my lovely bambini had been moved off the drive and used. After having the guts caned out of her, she was ceremoniously dumped on the pavement outside. I don’t know why they couldn’t be bothered to return it to the driveway but I was quite worried when I was told that No 1 Son had borrowed it when his van broke down. Getting a van load of equipment into a two seater sports car doesn’t bear fretting over because it will only raise my blood pressure, especially if the leather seats have been scratched but when Alaedene spilt the beans and told me that he had seen him driving it through the High Street like the phrase, ” drive it like you stole it Mate!” I admit to being slightly nervous. I have yet to catch up with him. Number 1 Son, that is!
I also thought that Number 3 Son may grasp his chance of his escape whilst I was away and finally move in with his girlfriend. I cant say I am overly pleased as he has dumped Uni and an expense free existence but its his life, not mine. H has found a job and he says he ” really loves it” so I have to stand back. So that’s one man down as you might think but sadly no. One man down and another 3 in residence. Yes, whilst No 3 son has moved out, it would now seem that Number 2 son has moved back ” I love being home again. Its like a haven. I always feel relaxed here!”
Well he may do but I am not sure I concur. As having returned home, I found that he had snaffled away my best pasta ( okay, its only pasta but it was given to me by Andreas Ferret so it had a special place in my heart. Sadly, the huge chunk of Parmesan also given with said pasta now resembles a chunk that even Mickey Mouse would sniff at ) and the batteries have been removed from the TV remote to be used in the once defunct Play Station 2. W T F????
Additionally, lovely Lexi, the girl that can do no wrong in the office had needed somewhere for her Spanish boyfriend to live as he was let down on a room in Brighton.
For some reason she thought it would be fun for him to come and stay at my place whilst we were away and be very quiet until he could find new accommodation. In truth he was not a nuisance and he has now left. And to finish off my grand return, I hear news that Number 2 (ex) Husband is on his way for his yearly vacances and is currently en route from Belarus. he always stays with his when he is in the UK. Not sure LM is overly pleased about this arrangement but what can I do… its been going on for so long now. However his arrival is not imminent today because as he usually drives from there to us due to the fact that he smokes so heavily he cant be without nicotine for even the short plane transfer it will be another day or so. This means that all of my bedrooms are going to be in use but worse than that, I have no means of escape as even when I disappear to the Rompa Room, some bugger seeks me out and stands either talking to me, over my shoulder whilst I am trying to work ( beyond annoying) or brings in a cup of tea ( did I ask for one?/) and thinks that a cup of tea equals ” oh hello. Do come in. Pull up a chair and tell me your woes!”
So frankly, let me tell you, IT DOES NOT!!!
On the first night of the holiday whilst we were dining out under the gaze of the Chateau at Fontainebleau, we had a text from Irma telling us that Mr NoseHair and her had a bit of a disagreement ( apparently it was one pinch on her bottom too many) and he was moving out one day earlier. I asked where he was going for the last night and she told me that it was all sorted and he was off to his friend, Mustapha in Brighton and Mustapha had already saddled the horses and was on his way. There was nothing I could say but it did taint the end of his stay and ruined the start of mine.
( yes I know the image is upside down, but pretend you are looking at the view from one of the many lakes surrounding the Chateau. Works for me… )
So you can imagine my surprise when on my return to the Office I find that Mr Nosehair wants to return and in fact has increased his weekly hours from 15 to 25 – but no Irma to teach him. As his demands are many; varied and GREAT we had to do a lot of calling in favours to get him placed. In the end we asked the lovely Murielle to take him. Murielle is French, as you probably guessed, but her English is faultless ( well better than mine at any rate) and she has an en suite bathroom to offer him. Also being a Parisian she has a certain style about her that he will appreciate and it goes without saying that she is a super cook. She will compliment her very bourgeois lifestyle with her socialist husband and his strident views which always makes for entertaining after dinner talk. So whilst Murielle will be whipping up a soufflé in the kitchen, her husband can be putting the Brexit Vote Debate to rights with Mr NoseHair. I do worry that Mr NoseHair may cause Murielle to combust in a puff of smoke but she reassures me ( endlessly) that she is capable of controlling any man after living with her husband for 40 odd years. She also says that as his main passion, after his lemons, is shopping, they can have many pleasant afternoons doing exactly that and she does, after all, know the best place to purchase a cashmere cardigan with leather elbows.
After that resounding piece of evidence, and showing me her Costa Coffee Loyalty Card, there wasn’t a lot more to say. After all, have you ever known an Egyptian man not get excited over a cup of espresso in Costa Coffee??
Talking of Brexit, as I briefly did, I was surprised how many people in Italy took my hand and commiserated now that we were ” on our own!” However the real Biscuit Taker was a American chap from California who said how he sympathised with me over the decision and how he hoped it wasn’t the end of ” us Brits!” He continued by saying that now we wouldn’t have the backing of the Americans he hoped that we would do ” okay!”. I was about to drown him, because the conversation was taking place whilst I was trying to do a few lengths in The Med but thought better of it. The easiest way to get rid of him was to say that I was actually in favour of it, which I was, and with that he looked at me in horror – forgot to close his mouth but did swim off in the other direction. Okay, I admit I also said that I found it rather pompous of a lot of Americans when they assume that GREAT Britain can not function without the hand of America guiding them and that I for one thought that any war film produced by Americans should be issued with a Warning that it is ” pure fairytale” and the element of fact based events in most films produced by them makes Walt Disney look like Chainsaw Massacre. Okay I probably did mix a few metaphors but it seemed to make the point and I noticed that the following morning at breakfast, when I went up to get my egg flipped at the poolside buffet, he hung back and tucked into the Muesli.
So back in the room, I am. Slightly testy but ever so refreshed. I shall bore the pants of you all very soon with pictures and anecdotes of our rather splendid European Road Trip
( ps… we are off in a minute to look at a Camper Van. I fancy doing it all again next year but taking it slowly and exploring more of the countryside)
(pps…. I have just been rejected for adoption. Well, I am not being adopted, I applied for it. But the Dogs Trust would not let me take Elvis the Basset Hound away as they say he was of a rather nervous disposition and they didn’t feel that my household would offer him the best possible start in his re homing journey. I admit to feeling rather taken aback and whatever suggestion I gave they brooked it! I can tell you now, I am appealing their decision and if anyone would like to sign my Petition, please feel free to contact me. I already have the backing of our local Councillor, although as the Dogs Trust said, ” if she works for you, I don’t think her opinion is particularly unbiased”.) Elvis is pictured below with Sally his girlfriend. I offered them both a home