Back from France, it feels like an age since we left. The P-S clan came and spent the night on Sunday evening. David made a gorgeous mushroom tart and strawberry shortcakes. A quick constitutional post dinner along the river, with Sophia walking Deuce and telling him sternly ‘No cheesing Deuce!’.
The next morning saw us bleary eyed and bundled into our car by 545am for the drive to Portsmouth and our awaiting 8am ferry. Among the magazinses, chocolate and games, they also had this:
Yes. That is a banana keeper. I’m not sure why that in particular made the list of limited items to sell aboard a ferry – but I like that someone clearly thought it ought to make the grade. What next, a peach keeper? put me down for 2 monsieur!
We were in Normandy by lunchtime, and sitting at a seaside restaurant by 2pm. The oysters were absolutely amazing. The periwinkles freaked me out, but the whelks were delicious. Sophia brought her baby ‘Lucy’ whose hair was the same colour as David’s!
We drove on to Bayeux where there was a protest by the farmers against milk prices. They parked their trucks, some of which contained a load of manure, on the main street and abandoned their trucks to the hot sun. Peee-eeww. But the town itself was sleepy and calm. Our friends S&M met us at the hotel and we wandered off to dinner, Sophia playing with Alanna, trying some oyster juice (not the oyster, just the seawater and lemon left in the shell). Sophia sang ‘Alouette, gentille Alouette,’ I dragged up distant memories of school taught songs and sang ‘Il etait un petit navire’ and ‘Sur le pont d’avignon’. We taught her to sing ‘Frere Jacque, dormez-vous?’
I was falling asleep at the table, and was grateful to find my pillow. There was a party nearby, but after about 5 minutes I was blissfully unaware of anything but sleep.
Tuesday morning dawned overcast and breezy. A small mercy as my dress was wool and long sleeved. The service was held in a small country church yard, in a wee village. There were wildflowers blooming along the old stone wall, a few headstones standing quietly in the yard. The church itself had weathered centuries – a simple but grand building, unadorned, stone bleached white by the sun and moss growing along the corners. The pastor had a kindly face, and his service was comforting and loving. He spoke of love, faith, and living memory. I ran through two packs of tissues. The scent of figs danced in the breeze. We listened and prayed. And then we said our goodbyes, each putting a handful of earth onto her casket.
We caught the ferry back in the evening, and arrived home around 10pm.
Felt like lying in bed today feeling blue, but pulled on my running gear, and went for a run. Being practical – might as well get endorphins where I can get them.