So firstly I feel like Drew is the queen, being that he’s having multiple birthdays at the moment! We decided this to make up for ‘missed time.’ His actual one was spent on the road, next try we ended up driving up a mountain to take him to an animal sanctuary planning to find food en route, turns out there was sod all up that mountain other than RAIN. No sanctuary and no food, sorry little man. You know those situations where you feel like you’ve been driving ages to find food yet for some reason you CANT.FIND.ANYWHERE and the longer you look the harder it gets, everyone gets a bit hangry and no one really knows what they fancy and it ends up being the most unproductive outing ever?! It’s almost like you know an hour into your mission that it’s prob destined to be an epic fail yet you carry on anyway! Kind of reminds me of Harold and Kumars journey to White Castle minus the weed. In the end we found a supermarket, came back to the caravan made roast pork, cubed potatoes and ratatouille (when in France and all that…)
So back to today, headed for soft play, it’s raining again so this seems a good choice. Except the car loses all power on the way there and we have to pull onto the hard shoulder which randomly feels scarier on the other side of the road! After just a few profanities Ben puts on his hi-vis and sets out the warning triangle!! In the meantime I’m ushering the kids up a STEEP grassy bank to safety. (By the way they think this is awesome and carry on eating their snack boxes whilst mummy absolutely freaks out.) Then darling husband pipes up “engines gone bang and we’ve got no breakdown cover” …how bloody fantastic. So I begin wondering how long I can entertain the kids whilst next to a motorway for. Luckily after a call to the mechanic (in the UK) he starts playing around and gets it to work! (Engine hasn’t gone thankfully.)
– Annnnd back on our way to soft play – hang on – MAJOR screaming meltdowns because the kids are telling us we’ve gone to the wrong one.. (I know what a problem to have eh?) Also.. hang on a minute we’re in France how do they know where an earth we are.. apparently as we had given them the choice at home of two soft plays of course they had chosen the opposite one to where we were. Ironically we get the kids to make a lot of our decisions for us because it can makes things easier, but it’s hard to police these things with three of them to be honest.
Like the absolute mugs that we are, we get back in the car and go to the other soft play, (cue more crying because we’re leaving current soft play.) WTF. Turns out soft play was pretty decent and the kids did have a lot of fun, they played with a really cute French boy as they made a house from play bricks laughing with him and saying ‘Merci” every time they passed things to each other without a clue what it meant. Still it was very sweet and despite me saying (probably badly) that I can’t speak French the little boy just kept talking to me. I had no idea. My response was just ’oh how lovely’ or ‘yes that’s good isn’t it.’ I took it as a GCSE but like many other things in life that information is just never there when you ACTUALLY NEED IT.
We decided to go from here to the Cathedrale Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption such a beautiful cathedral built from volcanic rock, so dark that in the distance it stands out in the city and looks just like a silhouette. We went inside and it was magical. I’m not a religious person but this place really had feeling and it’s truly stunning! The stained glass windows, the chandeliers, candles, the silence just beautiful. It’s one of those things that words or pictures just don’t do justice.
noticed a heavy police presence in the city and a helicopter circling above, then further on saw the riot police. Wondering what was happening we instantly saw a mob of people charging towards us chanting and shouting. (They may have been peace protesting for all we knew but when you don’t understand the language it always feels threatening especially when you have the kids with you!) Heading to the car there’s another mass of people right by us, cars, shouting, beeping horns, women and men sitting on and hanging out of cars while casually driving around, we realised it was the aftermath of a wedding! Maybe that’s the norm here, but when you’re from a small village that was enough excitement for one day lol. I love cities and find them intriguing but have always said I really don’t think I could live in one. As we’re driving out we get stuck in traffic and see clouds of black smoke everywhere, turns out the protestors had set several bins on fire. Obviously not protesting about climate change then! As it turns out we chose to go to the city on the day of the anti Brexit protests!!
It’s left me thinking that times like this it actually kind of make you feel alive! Yes the kids have been hard work and we are all still adjusting but how grateful we are. Despite a few set backs it has been a lovely day. As I always think, regardless of wether some of the memories aren’t positive, the majority of the time we’re grateful for the experience itself and the opportunity to actually make these memories. I do today feel pretty grateful.
Hope you’re all having a great weekend, lots of love xx