Part 8 – Fruitcake’s French Adventure.

Guest blog by Fruitcake @barjan

Easter Bunny (Medium)

There then followed many months of uncertainty and stress, viewers getting our hopes up then coming up with bizarre reasons for not going ahead (one decided, after two visits and a coffee morning, it was too cold in the area! – Another said he couldn’t live in a house where dogs have lived, we had  viewers that cancelled etc, etc)

A follow up mammogram for me resulted in a biopsy – I made no mention of this to neither Mr. F. nor our girls until the biopsy had to be done – I knew they would worry and I knew there was no need. They did and there wasn’t – scar tissue from a previous operation.

In between we enjoyed Christmas (receiving Christmas cards from both Louis & Gisèle and Marcel & Alice, the latter pressing some flower petals in the card – we were so thrilled & touched ) and we alternated between the excitement of our plans and the despondency of not being able to make them come to fruition.

We continued to save every penny we could and amass what materials and bits of furniture we felt would be of use, cheap plants when we saw them, including any cheap shrubs and fruit trees. I continued with my private French lessons and with researching every aspect possible of living in France. We planned another trip at Easter, this time accompanied by a “work party” of our eldest daughter, my nephew, his wife and their 3 yr old boy Mike (Mr F’s Godson)

We set off at 5.15am on 4th April 1996.. We had a good journey, without mishap and on arrival we all cuddled and cried with the joy  and excitement of them seeing our little bit of paradise for the 1st time! We collected a caravan we were borrowing for Nephew, wife & little Mike to sleep in.

It was another labour intensive trip and everyone did their bit, digging, getting wood from the grubbed out apple trees, building a buttress, planting and finally completing the clearing of the stone staircase at the end of the ruin, revealing it in all of it’s charm.  A little wren greeted us each morning and sung to us all day flying from one building to another. The weather was mostly glorious although we had one day of rain in between. Mike discovered the big pile of sand, a source of much fun. As was me giving him rides in the wheelbarrow in between work! He had a lovely time!

We made time for a little leisure too, the “boys” went fishing in Louis’ pond and Mr. F. and I went to introduce ourselves to the Mayor, who took us out the back of the Mairie, where a boules game was being played, one of the players being Louis, who made a big show of telling his friends we were his new neighbours and we were invited to partake in a couple of glasses of wine! Mr. F. asked what about the gendarmes? This was met with guffaws of laughter! Of course we had some leisurely mealtimes together too and we did an Easter egg hunt for little Mike. Marcel, bless him, brought down some eggs for him too!

All too soon our 9 days were over, we returned the caravan &  packed all away and on the evening Mr. F. and I, together with our daughter, went to say goodbye to our neighbours. (Little Mike being asleep, his Mum & Dad stayed with him) Marcel & Alice first, who offered me and daughter some lethal, homemade prune liquor, urging us to eat the prune at the end, the potency of which made us suck our cheeks in and squint our eyes up! While Mr. F. was urged to have some equally lethal, homemade brandy and, after a 2nd helping, it was with glowing cheeks that we then went on to say our goodbyes to Louis & Gisele –   then  out came the wine! The three of us eventually giggled our way, arm in arm, back down the lane in the pitch blackness trying to avoid falling into the ditch on either side of the road, to join the others who were by then ready for their bed! With our apologies for our lateness, we all bedded down together in our sleeping bags in the one room with the green slimy walls and eventually got to sleep, but only after we all had a  massive fit of the giggles! Each time we said “Right we’d better get to sleep we have an early start” There would be a brief silence and then someone would titter and off we’d go again!

The next morning we were up at 5am and away by 7am, after packing everything away, to make our journey home, all feeling decidedly fed up!!

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9 Responses

  1. Blue velvet
    | Reply

    Ah Fruitcake, the joys of selling your UK house to live in France. Highly stressful, plus hilarious the excuses for not buying it!
    How lovely your Easter trip with your family/work party and your lovely memories of the neighbours and the wonderful times you all had together. We too had these sort of adventures and of the tasting of their proudly presented liqueurs , most were fabulous and about 70 proof!
    Loved the picture of you all giggling away in your sleeping bags in the slimey walls room, it will always be called that now, won’t it? Roll on the next episode :heart:

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  2. Fruitcake
    | Reply

    Thanks Blue. yes they’re all very special memories and you’re right about those home brews lovely but absolutely lethal! :rose:

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  3. Stinky
    | Reply

    Fruity, I have just read your Blogs from beginning to end.
    Outstanding, so easy to read and picture. Well done!

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  4. Eva
    | Reply

    I’m really enjoying reading your blog Fruitcake. I’m at home in the UK getting frustrated at my own house sale, we too have a place in Brittany we are hoping to move to.
    I think I may be able to beat you on stupid excuses for not buying…..’the lawn’s not big enough for my tortoise’
    Looking forward to episode 8.

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  5. Fruitcake
    | Reply

    Thank you Stinky & Eva, I’m working on the next episode! I intersperse with the short stories in case the “Adventure” blog gets a bit boring!

    Eva was that for real about the lawn and the tortoise? ! :scratch:

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  6. Eva
    | Reply

    Fruitcake, re the tortoise/lawn, yes it was a real excuse…and I took great delight in passing the feedback on to the agents saying ‘I bet you’ve not had that one before?’.

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  7. Fruitcake
    | Reply

    I don’t know about me writing the short stories Eva, I reckon there’s a book to be written about viewers excuses – that one should certainly be in it! :yahoo:

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  8. Liz
    | Reply

    Another wonderful story Fruitcake….. You write extremely well and are half way there with your book!

    List all the Chapters you have already posted and maybe a few more of your experiences and there you have it.
    Books don’t have to be two inches thick. I would rather read a good well written short book with a few chapters rather than one which just droned on and was boring. :good:

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  9. Fruitcake
    | Reply

    Ah thanks Liz, you’re very kind :rose:

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