After three years of only providing my passport as proof of citizenship and identity when registering with work agencies (which proved pointless because then I found out cancer was eating me from the inside out) I used it for it's intended purpose last week!
I booked a ticket just before midnight on Monday and at 8am Wednesday was on the way to the train station. By the afternoon I was inhaling 3 month old baby smell and sitting on a navy version of my own sofa!
On Thursday I went with my oldest friend (of 26 years) to collect her eldest daughter from l'ecole. There was much kissing and chat (not from me) and I got a good look at the infamous Frederic, Elizabeth's beloved teacher (you wouldn't say no girls). We'd spent the day doing pretty much what you do when you've known someone that long and just hanging out - I even managed to take over ironing the 100% cotton bed linen for the gite when one Hayley's French friends came round. It's weird how you just fall into things so quickly, like they happen every day. Even though they moved out there three years ago and it was my first visit (oops) we've been in touch at least weekly, often daily through msn - free chat, you can't knock it, but it's not quite the same as arriving at the airport where there's a huge long hug awaiting you and making your luggage feel weightless all of a sudden.
On Friday it was lunch out to be ogled by hoards of French workmen at Le Lion D'Or with Christianne (and baby Mimi of course) and obviously I had to help drink the bottle of red wine that was present on every table but did resist knocking back the cider, wow self control, is that a side effect of cancer treatment? I had thankfully packed a pair of 3 in heel boots so I was the tallest person in the entire restaurant - yes they were probably only staring at my height but I don't care, there were real MEN looking at me when I went to get my buffet starters!
We had raclette in the evening - yummy! Google it, I'm not your French dictionary! OK, OK, it's a large griddle where you heat salted meats and little mini pans take slices of cheese which melts underneath and can then be scraped off onto the rest of the food waiting patiently on your plate, we had potatoes and salad with it and it was rather yummy, though after pigging out at lunch I was worrying about my lack of gym visits AND the good food.
Us four girlies drove into Fougeres to the market and I tried some clothes on in a boutique but wasn't quite feeling it - everything seemed to cut across the widest part of my thighs so I restrained myself from buying "just because I like it". Elizabeth had been promised MacDonalds as a treat so I had Le Menu and even managed to go back and tell the young (not spotty) lad he'd forgotten my coffee (after a reminder from Hayley, my O level French is still buried very deep back in the 1980s).
The husband of the French visitor earlier in the week came by (Hayley is doing some invitations for them on the computer) and after mentioning who I was, then discussing the health of one of the fish in the tank, Laurent enquired if "she is single", don't ask me WHY Hayley assumed this was about the fish, but she did - much to Laurent's amusement. Apparently they always ask, but I'm pretending it's because his single brother is incredibly hot and rich.........yeah dream on.
All too soon it was time to come home, after croissants and scrambled eggs we set off for Pleurtuit and accidentally ended up in a crepery for galette complete and a cup of cider (when in France! ). More coffee in the airport bar (slightly different setting to those lazy Saturday mornings when we were kids drinking black coffee in Hayley's mum's kitchen. My flight was almost delayed by 70 minutes which we didn't get told until we were seated and belted but fortunately it turned out to be 10 minutes. The house was very cold and empty when I got home, although Karys had arrived a few minutes before me and was tapping away at the computer as usual, I missed the family environment when the children are still small enough to just love you because you are their mum. That's not enough when they're teenagers.
I really should get a move on and get to the hospital because I have an oncology appointment tomorrow and I should have had a blood test by now.....oops. Too busy getting my hair done and going out on dates with men!