How to wash half a car, have a shower and gather a large French audience.
Shouldn’t mention it really, but when I was married to the first lucky man, I was taught from the start that Saturdays are spent cleaning the car. Even if it’s been in the garage all week, it would still need a clean! Inside and out, naturally, and polished from top to toe!
Here I am married to a man (lucky number2) who never washes cars, let alone polish them. So I introduce him to the French car wash. Much the same as any car wash you would say, but there are two distinct differences, JS and the French language.
Guiding him gently into the allotted space, he is insistent that he remains in the car (what on earth for?) mounts the metal grid designed for the smart car, continues forward, ignoring the “arrête” sign.
“Ok Nessie, fire away”
Whereupon, the brushes swing into action. BUT, it only starts cleaning the rear section of the landrover, JS opens the window,
“Nothing’s happening here Nessie, bloody french car wash, typical”
At the same time the 12foot brushes attack him!
The three terriers in the back are drenched, Hudsons eyes are out on stalks and thinks ”good God, he’s more stupid than me” and JS emerges cleaner than the car.
The French just loved it!
Luigi’s birthday last month. Tash gave him a Surprise birthday party last year and a silver bracelet this year.
Bought himself a newish bike, with all the specs that an 18year old must have, except he couldn’t afford lights! Drove Tash home, at twilight and inevitably got caught by the rural police. Was told that he had committed three offences (???) would have to pay 50euros per offence, but since it was his birthday, 20euros would suffice.
Don’t you just love the police sometimes?
July 7th. As the number of guests multiplies by the week, my number one organizer starts to come into action.
I am route marched by Chantal to every part of the Var to cross reference prices from damask table cloths to the cost of foir gras. We finally end up in the gateaux section. ”Gilbert” Notre Chef Patissier spends what seems hours explaining his masterpiece. “The Fantasia” (This section is for the ladies, the men will get bored, So go to the next paragraph and get really bored!)
This is no ordinary selection of gateaux, it is the ultimate choice. Chocolate, café, orange and pistach, all intricately prepared by yours truly ”Gilbert” the perfectionist. We are even asked if we would like to view the end result, photographs of his granddaughter’s baptism, at which, you guessed it “Fantasia” was the main attraction (not the baby!)
You even have graded heights of stands so that one can display these cakes at their best. (I wonder if you can eat them as well.)
Tessa’s graduation was moving.
I cried, JS cried too (I think he was working out how much her education had cost!) her godfather took the photographs; Tash thought the male graduates looked “hot”, Buzz reckoned he should have been asked to do the catering for the do, and Gilly had forgotten her glasses so couldn’t see a thing! Bill (husband no.1) bought the champagne, JS bought the second and third bottle (nothing changes)
I hugged Tess, and wondered if the new Mrs Lancashire was wearing a designer outfit or was it from BHS!
Several times a week our French telecommunications fail. Even the slightest storm upsets the delicately balanced wires hanging from a thread (literally) puts an instant stop to the outside world. Problem sorted, ring 1188, speak to an advisor, explain the difficulty and away you go.
Last time we lost communication the French telecom took 4weeks to rectify it. This time it took 2hours! The reason behind this was that they had understood from our fluent speaking JS that a cable had fallen onto our chimney (he meant chemin, this is French for the country lane leading to our house)
Now classified as an emergency, told not to enter the house, (we were having lunch in Cannes) and IT WOULD BE SORTED IMMEDIATEMENT!
Poor Tash had a suspected appendicitis last month so after a sleepless night, we took her to see our Dr Brachenet.
After the usual shaking of the hands and the Bonjour bit we were escorted into his room. He took one look at the familiar sight of JS and assumed it was he who had come for the consultation. Before we could say “mais” the hypochondriac was on the examining couch with the all the lines attached.
”He says I’m in perfect order Nessie” (that’ll be the day! just do a brain scan then we will see the problem!)
Tash will be 16 in June, so according to the French law, she can apply for a driving licence, take the written test and provided she is accompanied by her parents, or any other mad adult she can commence driving about the countryside in OUR car to her hearts content!
Can you imagine JS in the passenger seat, giving Tash a detailed explanation of the flora and fauna, not to mention the excitement of a military jet flying past, whilst Tash will be busy checking on the latest male talent on the A8!!
Then at 18, provided our car has stood the endurance test, she has to do 20hours compulsory instruction at a driving centre, take the test and away we go.
The grand opening of our newly built Marie in Figanieres took place in February. attended by all the regions dignitries,band playing, escorted tours, the cutting of the red tape, followed by an enormous banquet, probably prepared by “Gilbert” since Buzz is nowhere to be seen, and as much of the finest red, white or Rose as one desires.
Oh, so French, they need no excuses to have a party.
Hot off the press. Tess has been offered an SLT (speech and language therapy) job at last, at the Worcester and Kidderminster NHS trust, working with cute adults (I mean acute!)
This is only part time at the moment so she will still be complimenting her salary promoting such things as yoghurt and driving the buses at the NEC for £180 per day!!
JS is no longer doing his Mr Shipman veterinary phone in each month for saga; they have now been taken over by a larger radio company! So no more UK visits, but more upsettingly, no more Asda curries!
All my Love OLIF xxxxxxxxxxxxxx