Le treize et le quatorze

In my mind just now, I'm sitting at the table in La Huttière.  The red table cloth I've known for over 25 years on the table in front of me, the dresser I've known for just as long behind me, with the glasses and other dishes in it that I've used to share drinks and meals with friends and family for nearly three decades inside it.  Dad's sitting opposite me with his Sudoku, Mum's sitting on the sofa made by Philippe, with a good book to keep her company.  The boys are in bed in the bedrooms through the glass door behind me.  Ealasaid is playing on the swings outside,  trying to convince us that she doesn't need to be in bed yet.  Colin's either asleep on the sofa beside Mum, pretending to read, or he's asleep in the boys' room, pretending not to be.  The crickets are still calling outside and now and again we can hear fire crackers and/ or fireworks being set off, as a prelude to the official ones which will be set off tonight in some villages or tomorrow night in others.  I can smell all the aromas of the place I know so well.  I can see all the sights.  And my heart is breaking that I'm not there in person, with my family around me…and my French 'family' close by too.  I know everything happens for a reason, and I know it's God's will that we're not there at this time this year…but I would so love to be able to go to lay flowers on Roger's grave at the cimitière in Fougeres sur Bièvre tomorrow, as we always do.  I know he'll understand, but still…it hurts not to be there for our old friend, and not to be able to visit Gilberte to reminisce about old times.  No Jean-Paul popping round with home grown tomatoes or Francis coming round with the children to say hello, or Daniel appearing for aperitifs.  But still, what wonderful memories…and hopefully many more to come.  À la famille Samin, et les MacLéans… Bonne fête à tous pour demain! xx


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