I have really enjoyed watching so many World Cup matches this time around. I always enjoy international football unlike my husband who prefers cricket. However, after ribbing in the bars here, he has made an effort to watch this year. I have found it quite amusing to hear his commentary.
Out and about the football has made an easy talking point with our friends and acquaintances here. Both England and France performed so well. Madame in my favourite bar said she would open and put a telly in the bar if England and France both made the final. Sadly, that did not happen.
Myself and my teen turned up for the Tuesday game and enjoyed free chips. My son was amazed that every time her cleared a plate of them, another lot would turn up. I enjoyed being out independent of my husband. I still think it would be great if we could find a house in the village itself giving myself and the children more stimulation and more opportunities to speak French. When my husband came to pick me up he said how lovely it was to see my looking so happy.
Yesterday, we dutifully turned up in the new bar yesterday to support our adopted country France. The landlady gave such a big kiss to my husband that he ended up plastered in face-paint. He also got a free T-shirt along with other select customers. When France one the place erupted into a wild party atmosphere with jumping and dancing. Apparently the song that equates to “It’s coming home!” here is “I will Survive!”. It was funny they chose an English song to celebrate and I am not sure it fits particularly well but they played it over and over. The streets filled with happy people blowing horns and waving flags. Tractors came along the main street almost as if there was a fete with floats. They had a board on the front with the colours of the French flag and the final score – so organised!
We did not know many of the people in the bar and there were loads of women which is unusual. Some younger children got bored and fractious but it was great to see men taking their turn at looking after the children too. One of our regulars ribbed us a lot about the England loss but in jest which we responded to enthusiastically. Pizza was served at half time.
The man whose house I did the horizontal can-can came in with his girlfriend. By now I wanted to go home. It was a French party and I thought we should leave them to it. My husband took some persuading of course. We went to sit in the sunshine and I suddenly felt the loss of my Dad a lot on what would have been his 91st birthday. I got a little tearful – he would love it here. I think some people thought I was sad about the football but I was actually thrilled but that only made the grief for Dad hurt more. I think I also felt a little bereft for the first time that we will never be French however much they welcome us. I guess it was just a day of high emotion for various reasons.
We bade our farewells and came home for a lovely quiet night in.