This morning was one of those mornings that make me even happier than I usually am that we moved here. For some reason the children were nice to me, and to each other. Even Max the cat was spared his normal morning tail-pulling from Leonardo.
I took the girls off to their gym course in Pezenas. It is the school holidays and they are doing gym and art every day from 9.30 to 4pm. This is costing us a total of £30 for both girls for the whole week. Amazing considering we paid more than that for half a day in a Sussex nursery when we only had one child. They skipped behind me with their friend Manon, happily discussing various ‘books’ they are writing which they assure me will make them a lot of money. Yeah, right, I know all about that. I’m sure with my aunt disinheriting me the books I have written so far have actually lost me more money than they’ll ever make me. But I didn’t mention that to them. As their subject matters are clowns, water and fire I doubt they’ll offend any remaining rich relations.
Having dropped them off I went shopping. By the time I arrived at M. Clerc’s shop I already had my hands full. Once there I bought fresh asparagus, artichokes, cherry tomatoes and lots more goodies.
As I went to leave with all my shopping he said: “Wouldn’t you rather swing by with the car?” What a sweetheart. Minutes later I arrived and pulled up on the pavement, holding up the traffic behind me. M. Clerc loaded my shopping in, told me I looked beautiful and gave me a kiss goodbye.
There are two main reasons this little episode makes me glad we live here; first there is no more charming grocer on the face of the earth than Jean-Luc Clerc, shopping with him is a joy and however tempted I am sometimes to move to somewhere a little more exciting or closer to a plate of proper Italian pasta I know I won’t leave until he retires. Second no one here would give you a hard time for holding up the traffic while your lunch is loaded into your car. Is there anywhere more civilised to live than France?
I’ve read Impossibly French and visit your website several times a week–I enjoy your writing very much and the glimpses you share of your family. I’m writing from chilly, drizzly Cambridge, Massachusetts, where it feels more like the 4th of November than of April. In an attempt to imagine myself elsewhere, I’ve been reading about and looking at photos of southern France–and there you are, shopping for asparagus, artichokes, and cherry tomatoes. What a boost to my imagination! Everything must smell wonderfully fresh, too. Perhaps you could send me some fat new asparagus?
No! There isn’t! I wish I lived in France – lucky HFP!