Friday, 11 July 2014

Finally Forty - Part 3

Ok - this will be the last part, I promise.

I know that reading about a group of forty somethings frolicking in a French chateau pretending to be students again doesn't really float everyone's boat - and it is a bit indulgent but bear with me for one more post...

What was lovely about suddenly not haivng a family to worry about was the freedom - the freedom that we took for granted before children arrived. I know many of you will be saying, 'But you chose to adopt." and you would be right.

But in the three years that we have had the boys Papa and I have only been away from them together for one night and I have never been away from them all - not by myself. It took some getting used to - well, about three drinks and I was used to it... but there is a sudden realisation that life isn't all about routine. Life is also about having some time to yourself - we soon realised that we could get up when we wanted, eat what we liked, drink far too much and then - and this was the heavenly part - go for a nap -in the daytime!!!!!!

That was brilliant. There is something very decadent about sleeping in the day (when you are not ill, of course) but looking at the light around the curtains as you get into bed just seems really naughty! And no little hands banging on the doors demanding juice or that you sort out their argument with each other. We had a lovely few days - Furry had it all planned out. I'm not normally a fan of 'organized activities' but he had done them well. There was a quiz - boys against girls, the boys specialist subject was trout fishing, the girls tractor management - Furry had brought magazines so we could study. Our team divided the magazine up into sections - one member was very competitive and I was a little scared - so I studied 'Flies' and my question came up and thanks to that we won!

Furry also left a costume for each of us in our rooms - all ready for 'Allo 'Allo night (the eighties BBC show set in occupied France) My costume was that of Herr Gruber, the camp, alcoholic German officer who has a crush on the show's leading man Renee - played by the only genuine Frenchman in our group. (apparently it was typecasting - I tried not to be offended)

Each 'couple' had been designated an evening to cook and Papa and I had gone for a Singaporean menu - except Papa wasn't there, so I followed his instructions and made a Laksa followed by a seafood curry - I gave up on his dessert and made an Eton Mess - which all seemed to go down well.

Th big day came and the birthday girl opened all her presents over breakfast and had a little cry at the many messages people had sent in via their phones. I passed her the presents we had bought for her last year, with a couple more added on - by a guilty Papa - and this time she was allowed to open them.

Then we produced a cake that we had managed to put together despite having very few baking utensils, no baking powder and, more importantly, no food processor - but it went really well.

Actually, the whole few days went really well and it was a shame to leave.

There was only one person who spilled a small can of beans - after a lovely barbecue - which consisted of Furry scorching huge slabs of meat - I asked if we could eat the Vienetta for dessert - I had seen it snuggling in the freezer. Fairy's ears pricked up - "Vienetta' she squealed excitedly... Furry glared at me... 'That was a surprise,' he said through gritted teeth, Fairy politely looked the other way... Sure enough, later that evening as the clock ticked over onto Fairy's big day a Vienetta (complete with sparklers) was handed to her... oops.... still, I had managed to keep everything else quiet - which for me is an achievement! And all kudos to Fairy for still acting surprised when it arrived... (she is a professionally trained actress though!)

When I came back Papa met me at the door - 'Dont you ever go away again," he hissed looking a dishevelled mess whilst the kids seemed to have turned the living room into a circus of some sort...

Its nice to know that you are missed...

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