Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Les Gros Titres... sniggering at the back – that means 'the headlines'. I think.

It has been a whirlwind of a week. In 6 days I slept at home once, the rest of the times included my sister’s shared bed, a draughty auberge and a stack of cushions on a West London floor whilst travelling Paris – London – Paris – Reims – Lac du Der Chantecoq– Reims – Paris – London – Paris. Unsurprisingly I am now sniffling and gulping down Echinacea.

So here goes on a couple of highlights:

Mystery Man

My sister is dating a man who has met most of her friends and family (well the ones that matter) apart from me. I have been told not to take the fact that he preferred the company of his sofa on Thursday night to a drink with me and sis, personally. So he still remains “tall publishing man of mystery” (but he reads this blog so careful on the comments!). He hasn’t made it onto my blacklist yet because he organised a great personally dedicated new edition of one of his author’s books. The author in question apparently thinks my sister is fabulous (aside from her success at selling his books across Europe). Her book has a one word dedication: “Run!”. Clearly a man with confidence in his editor!

Sister and I had lovely dinner in Clapham and caught up on gossip, news and plans. Given the choice between her sofa and a shared bed, I duveted down with her in the queen size. The next morning she told me she sleeps better with me than with the boyfriend. Since I am tall but certainly not 6’3” tall and have considerably less testosterone (and from what I heard, hair on chest) I am a little concerned about the surprised tone in her voice when she announced this.
Having slept on a good Aussie friend’s floor this Monday night (on the second round trip to London) I did miss my sister and her queen size.

Over Fifties

The wedding by a rather large lake in the south of the Marne was lovely if rather icily cold. I represented the inappropriately dressed English contingent, in a light summery dress as bitter winds blew off the lake. The village and church were beautiful and we were all warmed by a trio of gospel singers and copious amounts of champagne.

The marriage ceremony itself had started at 3pm with a vin d’honneur at 5pm and then dinner at 9pm. As everyone had imbibed (too) many glasses of champagne by 7pm, a muttering amongst many of the older men folk that they were looking for distraction. Frog went back to the auberge where we were all staying and tracked down a pack of tarot cards and a back room. We slunk off discretely in small groups to set up a couple of card games before dinner. Frog Father and his accomplices (including Father Frog’s friends, Frog Sister & husband, cousins, wives, Frog and myself) were found hiding out by Mother Frog at about 8pm who very loudly declared her disgust at her husband for leading this low behaviour at his “own son’s wedding”. Ahem.

There were eighty odd people at the wedding and the majority over fifties. They are all regulars at these types of family events so I seem to have met most of them before. The older generation showed us 'young ‘uns' up as they enthusiastically danced to to waltzes, accordion, sixties twists, seventies disco and eighties rock hits. All faithful French favourites with the odd Abba hit thrown in. I am rather proud that I am now one of those who jumps up, hands in the air to Claude François. Is this assimilation? Father Frog was an incredible sight as this usually quiet assured man turned into a jiving hipster. Apparently nobody had witnessed anything like this Father Frog behaviour before. At 2am Frog and I rather shamefully left the rest of the over 50’s to continue partying and kicking balloons around the village hall floor until 5am.

Yawn... must try harder at the next wedding, on Saturday, in Spain.

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