I truly hope you and yours are well.
Last week I went out to dinner for the first time since February. Mark (my other half) and me went with our friends Gary and Annette (if you read my first book My Good Life in France, she’s the one who kept an abandoned, nearly ready to hatch chicken egg down her bra!). We’ve become so used to staying in, that going out felt a little odd. The restaurant in Hesdin, a town nearby, had tables spaced out both inside and outside where they spilled onto the cobbled town square, overlooked by the 16th century town hall, once the palace of the sister of the Emperor Charles V.
On arrival I advised we had a reservation for 4. “Aarfh muefff nommm” came the muffled reply from the masked waitress. I’m wasn’t 100% sure what she was saying, whether she was welcoming us or talking about Gary’s unusual haircut. Annette had cut his usually shaggy hair when the hairdressers were shut, she’d never used clippers before and managed to shave a huge line right the way across his head before realising she had it on the wrong setting. He then took over and managed to shave almost all of it completely either side of the clipper tracks.
It doesn’t take long to feel normal I found, especially when crème brulée is involved.
The canicule, heatwave, we’ve had this week brought more people out than I’ve seen in months. It never really gets that crowded here, but it feels very empty without the much valued tourists who usually come to enjoy the beaches and tiny fishing villages of the Opal Coast, the historic sites and towns, the memorial sites of the Somme and northern France, the markets and restaurants. I think it’s fair to say that when visitors can come back to France they will certainly receive a warm welcome – but no kisses or handshakes.
Wishing you and yours truly well from my little pig sty.
Bisous from France
Janine Marsh is Author of My Good Life in France: In Pursuit of the Rural Dream – ebook, print & audio, on Amazon everywhere & all good bookshops online, and My Four Seasons in France: A Year of the Good Life
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