Thursday, March 31, 2005

Easter in Champagne

Sunset Chemin des Dames
Originally uploaded by oiseau.

We had a fabulous long Easter weekend. Mum was coming to Reims for the first time and since we were all staying with the Frog family this was also the first time that she would meet the other family.

I wasn't actually nervous about this at all - Frog and I knew everybody and knew that (acts of god aside) everything would be fine. However, understandably, my Mum was a little nervous given the language barrier and strange family residence. I had been given strict instructions by my younger sister to "look after Mum". Like I'd do anything else!

Mum surprised me with her level of french - it was pretty good! After the first 24 hours she was having basic long conversations with all the family members. And her French is far more polite and formal than mine has or ever will be!

Frog mum and brother also put some of their English into practice. So my mum got more efforts than I get! But as in all international exchanges there was lots of smiling, sign language and more smiling carrying us through the weekend.

Notably, we spent the weekend eating and drinking. Plus a quick tour of Reims & cathedral and a walk through the local vines where we tried to lose Job. Our longest trip was 45 mins to the Chemin des Dames to visit the WW1 sites. I caught the sunset above whilst Mum was taking photos of tanks to give to her other half whose father had fought on this site in the tank regiment in WW1.

Whilst I knew there wouldn't be any problems over the trip I am so pleased that I also really enjoyed it! It's not often that I get to spend time with Mum away from either of our home environments and she's not only a great mum but great company as a friend.

The additional bonus of the trip for me was that Father Frog and I chatted. He's a lovely man but he tends to avoid direct conversation with me as I think he's nervous that he'll get stuck with a communication problem that he can't resolve. But I was clearly the lesser of two conversation 'evils' compared to my Mum and he cracked jokes and chatted in an almost relaxed way with me!

Next time Mum comes we'll be moved into our own flat in Reims. Four weeks to the Paris departure and counting!

No comments: