Sorry for the delay with the blog. Mother in law and football problems intervened!!

It is Tuesday evening and I am enjoying the peace and calm that has at last descended on La Godefrere. Mother-in-law has left the building and is on the road to the ferry port for her return home to Exeter. She has been here for a week although it seems a lot longer and Mrs. Parish is bearing the burden of driving her home and staying for a few days.

My mother-in-law (MiL) is 87 and enjoys her visits here in France. She has a big appetite and eats her fair share. She also likes a drink or two. The problem with MiL is that she keeps on talking all day long and then doesn’t listen when you talk to her. So, we have repeated conversations all day long. This week it has mostly been to ask what time is the kick off for the World Cup games and who is playing. Regardless of how many times she gets the information she carries on asking the question!

We took her to the bar at Oisseau to watch the France v Argentina game and she still kept asking who was playing. She’s not going loopy, she just doesn’t listen. Anyway, we kind of made her the mascot for the game and she enjoyed the drinks and basket of chips at the end. France won the game. My friend Ian and I had our usual large cognacs to celebrate and to relieve the stress.

Allez la belle-mere

It has driven us mad and increased our stress levels and alcohol intake. Mrs. Parish has borne the brunt of this and has been close to cracking. So, yesterday on her last evening I decided to give Mrs. Parish a break and offered to take her for a walk around the grounds. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

So, off we went with MiL talking nineteen to the dozen. We got down to the top of the big field when she suddenly stopped talking!! Alarm bells rang as she examined her foot and sandals and began hopping about complaining of a pain in the bottom of her foot. She thought a twig had got in her sandal and I was worried she could not walk. Could I get her into the trailer and hook up the tractor like some sort of rustic ambulance? Probably not a good idea.

I thought to myself “there is no way I’m carrying her”, she will have to hobble back to the orchard where there are some garden chairs. We managed with some difficulty and me holding her arm to get her to a chair, she was complaining all the time about how much it hurt. I was thinking about how I was going to explain this to Mrs. Parish. I got her sat down and took off her sandals to examine the sole of her foot and discovered the sting of an insect still stuck in the foot. With great bravery I pulled it out, leaving a small hole.

The next stage was to get her to the house again with moans and groans about the pain we hobbled in. I said to Mrs. Parish “Sorry but I appear to have broken your mother!” Mrs. Parish (after giving me a hard stare) assesses the situation and goes to get an ice pack and antihistamines to try to ensure that her foot did not swell up. Our unsaid fear was would she be unfit to travel and have to stay for another week.

The concoction of cream, pills and ice pack thankfully had the desired effect and the pain went and the foot was not swollen. Great sighs of relief echoed around La Godefrere. And today at 7pm the car left La Godefrere to return MiL to England. I am free but spare a thought for Mrs. Parish who is driving her and who will be cooped up all night in a small cabin!!

I can now reflect on France’s performance in the World cup as we have been to the bar for all four of their games. The worst performance was against Denmark which was a 0-0 draw and an awful game. It did not start well as at the beginning 32 small school children came along from the school to watch the first half. They were a bit screechy but were collected by parents at half-time. The game was so bad I was diverted to and excited by a conversation about the quality of various types of material for decking. The food was not so great either as we had crepes with jam which in my book does not go with football or beer.

The next round against Argentina was a much better occasion. Ian and I had learned the words to La Marsellaise so we could sing along at the beginning of the match. We duly sang along only to find that all the French supporters were more concerned with the seating arrangements and sorting out the beer or wine. The game was good but when France went 2-1 down we were fearful that our trips to the bar would end. France then scored 3 goals and the bar went mad. Argentina then scored to make it 4-3 to France and after some scares we held out to win. We then had a lovely barquette of frites, much better with the beer. Our traditional glass of brandy was much needed. We now play Croatia on Friday. Not sure what the food will be this time.

England kick off in half an hour so I need to crack on and get some food and wine out ready. It could well be France v England in the final probably with a three-course meal!
New speed limits came into force in France from 1st July. The 90 kmph limit reduces to 80 and so we will have to take care to remember. It is designed to reduce road deaths but how to get through to some French drivers who seem to ignore all the rules may be more difficult.

Sad to report that our good friend Emile (of the cider and calvados) has been and remains unwell. He is 86 years old and has heart problems. In effect his heart is wearing out and despite various triple bypass operations, pacemakers and stents his heart is not coping too well. He has just returned home from hospital and is supposed to be taking it easy. He is still driving his car, which doesn’t seem sensible. We have managed together to stop him driving his tractor and cutting grass. As a team his close English friends have got together and taken over from him the grass cutting jobs. We tell him it is only temporary but in reality, he is not going to get much better and will have to rest.

Last Thursday I became strimmer man in full superhero gear to tackle the grass around fence posts all along Emile’s drive. Strimming is not usually one of my gardening tasks but Mrs. Parish was still in England. So, strimmer man was born and went forth to tackle the fence posts. After of course we were treated to cider, coffee and calvados chez Emile.

Strimmer man

It is now half time in the England game and it is 0-0. I’m half way through a bottle of red wine. Could be a tense second half. England went 1 up but Columbia score in the last minute. Still 1-1 after extra time. Now to penalties and the whisky bottle for me!

We win on penalties. Amazing. Another whisky required!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bon match