Friday, 16 March 2007


"Is it obligitory to take our clothes off" ? the Spanish lady asked tentatively. His Lordship who was dealing with the call in his best Spanish threw me a bewildered look. "Which website is she looking at"? I hissed back. Two way conversations in different languages, a recipe for confusion in anyone's cookbook. In the end it was established that the little box that said 'naturists welcome' had indeed been ticked but No, their state of dress or undress was entirely up to them in the privacy of the back garden. After a while, one holiday website blends into another especially when hunched over the computer in the rather dreary months of January and February where even here in the South of France it can get jolly cold. If you were faced with an innocent box stating 'naturists welcome' wouldn't you be tempted to pop in a tick for fun ? Anyway a letter arrived this morning from Barcelona, Dear Friends it began, we would really like to rent your beautiful property ........hope they are not expecting a discount for lack of clothes hangers,low usage of washing machine etc etc, ooooooh er, whatever have I got myself into now...............???

It's a sad day when you have the same thought before you drop off to sleep and awake with it in the morning. Sad because I'm worrying about forgetting my twin brothers birthday. You think no doubt that posting a letter here in France is an easy affair. Firstly if you want to post the letter in the village to support local rural business you have to remember that the post goes before the post office opens. If you haven't got a stamp then you are stuffed until the next day. Planning your morning then around opening hours, roughly two when I last checked give or take fifteen minutes, either side is crucial. That's if you can find a decent card to post in the first place. The French don't 'do' cards. Chocolates, flowers, kisses, yes. Fabulous greeting cards 'Non'.

The 'Bride-to-be' loved the house yesterday. All boxes of 'to be dealt with' were stacked high in the tiny corridor of our apartment. The daffodils swayed gently in the ever so warm breeze, violets nestled under the fig trees, crocuses tentatively beginning to open, the buds of the lavender bushes pushing out their sticky first shoots. Lots of smiles all round and excited talk of marquees and huge arrangments of flowers gracing the hallway and corridors. Oh, and talk of an all night party. Shrieks, throbbing disco music are two words that are forming in the back of my mind. And how much will it cost me in Pastis to pacify our delightful neighbours for the evening ?

Oh, and MUST NOT FORGET the Post Office opens in two hours time as is closed on a Saturday morning (I think).

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