A day out in Brittany rescues us today.
I wake in an emotional frame of mind and am my husband enters the bedroom. He has brought me a cup of coffee which I take to be a good sign. As is out way, I want to analyse the night before and my husband wants to move on to a new day.
I stay in bed late reflecting on the night before. When I come downstairs, the washing is on, there are clothes on the line and the washing up bowl is empty. My husband has visited the boulangerie and acquired tasty treats for us all.
Although we are later setting off than intended, we stick with our plans to visit a village close to what we hope will be our long-term home. Somehow we missed it entirely on our last visit and I want to check it out. To be honest, I am enjoying our current village very much and want to know the other one is as delightful.
It is a long drive and we break off for a snack at cafe in a garage type place. The service is super-efficient and the owner speaks good English. I am a little disappointed and realise that despite my shyness, I enjoy speaking French and the thrill of someone understanding what I am saying.
We order a pizza for my son and steak hache and chips for the rest of us. My daughter keeps saying she wants a burger and I say this is what I have ordered but she does not believe me until it arrives. The food is gorgeous and we exclaim at the way even a simple garage café offers such excellent fare in France. My son struggles to cut his pizza and the owner brings him a pizza cutter to help.
We finish our little stop here by buying a soft toy for my daughter. My son wants one too but insists on an owl which they do not have in stock.
The weather is glorious and although I still feel a little vulnerable after the emotional pile-up of last night, we are making a good day of it after all.
We arrive at the new village which is flat unlike our hilly village. It has a row of shops with includes a florist and a pharmacy along with a small supermarket and the inevitable bakery. There is a church, a medical centre, a bank, a post office and 2 bars.
We walk around the village noting the historic church. We are still taken aback by how huge the churches are in small villages and how they dominate demonstrating clearly that this is a Catholic country even if sadly, apparently mass attendance is not great.
A dog comes out of the bar to greet us, a small white and tan terrier type. At this point, my son determines we really much visit the bar and of course, we have no objections. The bar is empty apart from one older man sitting at the bat itself. The owner takes my husband’s order at the bar whilst we play with our new friend the dog. The drinks are delivered and the owner pays a few visits quickly to our table bringing us cheese, crisps and shrimps which he tells us are fresh. We enjoy the seafood but my children will not try them but do enjoy the other freebies.
When the owner brings the seafood, as he explains its benefits, I say “Great stuff!” in my best Yorkshire accent and in English which causes huge hilarity. The bar fills up with several men and I notice how the men look at you here and also acknowledge you verbally usually. I am so used to being invisible and despite the fact that one or two look at me as if they are assessing a cow at a country show, it is still nice to exist despite all my feminist beliefs.
There is a pool table so my son has a go with his Dad. He gets cross at himself at not being perfect straightaway. My son is really not used to struggling with anything so it is always a shock when he does not get things right first time. I teach him some of my Dad’s tricks and he cheers up.
I return to the table where my daughter asks to go to the loo. She is ages and I keep asking if she is OK. It turns out she has tummy pains so is not having a great day out in Brittany. My husband takes her to the pharmacy where he is asked if she is nauseous. He asks he and she says she is not and then promptly throws up everywhere. She has lost her colour and we accept it is time to head home.
About 20 minutes into the car journey, she rallies and we have a pleasant trip home.
We spend the evening watching a DVD about a woman setting up a new life in Tuscany following her divorce in America. It feels so good to be doing so much more as a family since we arrived. There are advantages to not having the Internet so readily available.
The conclusion of the film is that in life we may find our dream later than we wanted and that it may appear in ways we had not planned for which seems rather apt. Plus a hot love interest turns up at the end so there is hope for me yet!
In the meantime, where would you recommend for a day out in Brittany?