Monday, August 19, 2013

Like a No 9 Bus…

…you wait two hours then two come along at once; thus after Kim and Rogan along came my French son and DIL – sans les enfants cette fois.

My French is elementary, you may have noticed – the book I am reading – ‘Failing Paris’ by Samantha Dunn uses more interesting French phrases and then drops in the translation without spoiling the flow.

 You may think it daunting to cook for the French, especially as my DIL’s mother is a superb cook – but as long as there is plenty of HP sauce, Marmite, Cornish Pasties and - most importantly - plenty of Aga baked potatoes with cottage cheese they are happy bunnies.  Also they muck in.

 M and I had an appointment with the solicitor to sign papers and then were taken over the road to another solicitor to swear an oath.  I was first and had to repeat after him.
“I hereby swear by almighty God…” but he did just three words at a time –possibly thinking that would be the limit of my memory.

Then it was Ms turn and there was silence.  We all looked enquiringly at the silent solicitor and he sheepishly told us he had forgotten the words, which lightend the atmosphere considerably.  As we were leaving he said he now he knew what it felt like when an actor dried.
“I’m sure it will go better next house,” I comforted him.

 Another beautiful day and off we went to Exmoor and had a large lunch at the Blue Boar.  None of us could face a pud – must remember to ask for a smaller portion next time.  Then we dropped down the long spectacular road to Lynmouth, then up the windy spectacular road to Lynton.  To my delight M suggested we leave the car and walk along the cliff to the Valley of the Rocks – a walk I feared I may never do again.

M reminded me of when we pushed my father along in his wheelchair – nervous that I was going to push him over the edge - accidentally of course.

 This time I miscalculated and we came up too early - missing quite a scramble but seeing Exmoor ponies at close quarters was a fair exchange.  As we returned to civilisation we visited a craft fair and I bought gifts for my old friends Joy and Jackie- who both have birthdays at the end of August.  Then we saw a candle shop with a notice saying:

We’ve lost our butcher and our baker – please help to save the candle- stick maker.

We spent a happy time sniffing all the fragrances and of course bought some.  He told us he had been working since 4 am as they had a lot of orders to finish and the police called to see what was going on.
He said no-one had ever asked to take his photo before and as you can see below he was happy to oblige.

 The next day – whilst M and I continued with getting rid of paper work dating back to the seventies – in triplicate – my DIL nobly tackled the garage and made an enormous pile of out of date tins and bottles.  I didn’t know beer could get out of date.
Then we took them to the tip afraid they may tell us to empty them all – but no - fortune smiled on us and another load was dealt with.
We were going out to dinner later and M had the exciting idea of a small bonfire.  We chose an old copper coal scuttle and based it on a narrow path wedged between the side of the garage and the hedge.  The matches we found were old and took some time to ignite – as did the cardboard and paper.  Eventually thick smoke burgeoned forth and we had difficulty dodging it on the narrow path and all the local dogs started barking.

Soon it was time to leave for dinner but first we had a bottle of champagne for DIL’s birthday then - red of streaming eye and reeking of bonfire M persuaded me it was safe to leave the smouldering cauldron.  All was well when we returned but I felt it was definitely dousing time and had the pleasure of pouring bucket after bucket before we retired.

In the light of day and stone cold sober we realised there was a great deal of black ash and a large sodden mass of half burnt paper.  Like the rock he is M decided he would clear it all up and many black plastic bags later that is what he did.

Not surprisingly I felt a little emotional waving goodbye but then there was a friend from the bereavement group coming to tea and on Tuesday we have an ‘outing ‘on the steam train!  

 Such funJ

See photos below.




Granny Annie said...

That candlestick maker had a pretty good sign. It would be difficult to leave without making any purchase.

Looks like you had a lovely time.

Pat said...

Granny Annie: it was the best of times; much useful work done and lovely company.

John Greenwood said...

Sounds wonderful!! x :-D)

Pat said...

john: yup:)

SDC said...

You do paint a picture with your words. The photos are beautiful and do add to it after the fact, but I'm glad it's your words I get to see first.

Mage said...

Oh, what a wonderful trip....with photos, without papers, and especially without all those tins and old beer. LOL Lovely shots.

Pat said...

Mage: if they had lived through wartime the young wouldn't be nearly so fussy about sell by dates:)

maurcheen said...

“I hereby swear by almighty God…”
I didn't realise folk still do that. What if one is a little singing atheist fella? :¬)


OldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh what a fabulous thing to get rid of so much "stuff", as George Carlin used to say.....Would they like to cross over the Pond for a quick Clean-Up here in Hollywood? Just kidding, my dear....though I could sure use some BIG! It makes such a difference when someone lends a Helping Hand....

Such lovely pictures of such a special place, dear Pat...!

Gadjo Dilo said...

Devon's fab, isn't it - I spent many summer holidays in Dawlish. What with the family reunions and the countryside, plus the French in-laws, you're reminding me of a book I just read called Three Junes - "women's fiction", I guess, but I enjoyed it.

LL Cool Joe said...

I wish my life was a busy and fun as yours. It all sounds great.

Exile on Pain Street said...

I wouldn't cook for French, try to dress an Italian or tell a German how to drive. I just wouldn't do it.

A nice, humane moment from the solicitor. Here in the U.S., lawyers are never mistaken for being human.

Beer rarely gets the opportunity to get out of date.

Nice bit of wandering here.

Ms Quotes said...

I love the valley of the rocks as well... and haven't been for a couple of years. I liked watching the goats.
I should try to get up there again before summer is done with us.

Pat said...

SDC: thank you - that's nice to hear.

Maurcheen: we asked about that; the little singing atheist fella would 'affirm' instead.

Naomi: the garage and bonfire were delightful surprises.

Gadjo: 'Three Junes' maybe I'll get it on my kindle.

Joey: mostly you are hearing the good bits:)

Exile: I like your 'crits':)

MSQ: sadly we missed the goats but gained the ponies.

Chef Files said...

An outing on a steam train sounds suspiciously like a girls gin party to me. Some of this Bletchley parlance is breakable my dear lady.

Pat said...

Chef: not a drop all day - I swear - but two slices of chocolate cake.

Kim Ayres said...

Aga baked potatoes... mmmMMMmmm...
Perhaps next time :)

Pat said...

Kim: that could be arranged:)

rashbre said...

The candlestick maker burning the four a.m. candle?

Pat said...

Rashbre: at both ends no doubt:)