Helping an old smelly french man and other joys


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Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Ax-les-Thermes
August 8th 2017
Published: August 8th 2017
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Yesterday looked like it should have been fairly dull. After a late breakfast we headed to the nearest town, Ax, and introduced the boy to French cafe culture as we sat outside and had a plate of meats and cheeses (rather too much meats and cheeses as it turns out!). A wander up to the thermal springs for baby splash time (lots of crying when we had to leave) and a trip to a supermarket before home and a quiet evening. First off, in the supermarket, a very elderly French lady took a shine to the baby and literally followed us around to coo over him. Once was sweet and flattering (no idea what she was saying) twice, amusing, by the sixth time, when it looked like she was actually going to get in the car with us, it was a little on the odd side. We escaped with a squeal of tyres on tarmac (this is a lie) raced out of town and spent time in hiding (also not true, I'm missing my diagnosis murder so I'm making it up instead!) and got home. I stayed in the car to clean it out and generally have a sort out. I could hear shouts. Regular, repetitive and indistinct. I assumed it was a farmer or something as I couldn't really make out what was said and I heard (I'm sure) another voice. When I came to leave, bearing in mind it was nearly thirty degrees and I had a bag of rapidly warming food, the shouts got louder and sounded more like 'madame, m'aider' I went across the road to find a very old man (old was today's theme) in an electric wheelchair such was stuck fast. (Dead battery apparently) Using my (considerably better than I thought) French and his nonexistent English I spent twenty minutes trying to help him move (no chance) getting his phone from his kitchen, waiting while he rang for help (he only had to type the number in twenty eleventeen times to get there) and make sure he was OK. Amongst all this was ignoring the overbearing smell of wee , the flies crowding round us and the festering smell. Fortunately he was rescued by professionals before too long. Given the heat I dread to think what would have happened if we'd been back much later, I'm considering it my good deed to pay back for all the fly deaths on my conscience this week. In the evening, baby in bed, Ash sat in the hot tub with a beer. I stood in a tepid tub for ten minutes before deciding it was too cold to sit down and refused to join him!

Today was a return trip to Andorra, land of plenty, dangerous weapons and giant tubs of nutella. The mists descended and the temperature dropped to single figures. Wrapped up in full winter clothes, we found a bar to feed the boy in which was distinctly reminiscent of a 1982 festive ski lodge, did some brief shopping in a town best described as like idiocracy with more French people and headed back to the relative sanity of the house as soon as we could. In an effort to avoid having meat, cheese and bread for every meal as has been the theme, I made French bread pizzas for lunch, which had meat and cheese on them.....so this evening we ate....meat, cheese and bread! I'm actually craving a nice vegetarian pasta dish or something!

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