Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Loafing in the Lot - by Theo

After the wonderful hospitality of different generations of the Kuhfelds in London and Kent we arrived at Dover docks at 7.15am braced for a short crossing and then a mammoth drive. Rosie, who has proved a better flier than her mother and better sailor than her father, is not the world's greatest car passenger so we dreading the long haul from Calais down to Ste Croix in the Lot valley region. However, some judicious timing, several breaks on route and Kate's tireless entertainment efforts kept our PFB generally pretty chilled when she wasn't asleep, so when we finally arrived Chez Cathy & Jean at 10.15pm we were merely frazzled and not on the edge of mental breakdown as we'd anticipated. The warm welcome and soup we were met with at our home from home went a long way to restoring us.As we were not the only visitors at Labouysse, Cathy & Jean's converted former tobacco drying house was at capacity. They had very kindly given us their double room, allowing us to be able to actually move around without tripping over various baby paraphernalia, while Kate's Aunt Frances was in the spare room we usually occupy, her cousin Erica was in the caravan that usually serves as Cathy's painting studio while our hosts themselves had set up a bed in the old oven room in one of the other buildings. Amazingly bathroom queues were at a minimum all week!I only met Frances briefly at our wedding and had never previously met Erica (who Kate last saw over 10 years ago), but they were excellent company, taking to Rosie immediately (and vice versa), politely allowing me to win at backgammon and keeping the franglish flowing over the lunchtime banquets Cathy provided. Trips to the local swimming lake as well as various friends of Cathy's with swimming pools were very much on the menu. Rosie was rather lukewarm about swimming, unlike the pools which were generally a bit cooler, though with much patience she was generally enticed in.Kate's sisters Anne-Marie and Claire were also in the area, staying with Kate's former step-dad Tim round the corner at Lebreil, so a trip round there for lunch was very much in order as was a delicious lunch (again) at fellow expats Mike and Brenda. On a slightly cooler day yesterday Claire and Mia walked round to spend the day chez Cathy and join us loafing around in Cathy's garden, eating her food and playing games. Frances and Erica have departed today, heading on to visit friends in Germany, and we are leaving tomorrow ourselves, thoroughly relaxed and fed-up (in a good way!), heading home to Madrid via San Sebastian.

No comments:

Post a Comment