Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Je suis une belle age

I would never have thought in MY LIFE that I could be 60 years of age on St Benedict's Feast day 1107, but in actual fact it has been quite easy, and not as traumatic as I feared, though the few weeks of preparation have been rather daunting, full of anxiety and fears and the aftermath has caused me and him (Captain Sensible) to be actually quite knackered.  Excuse the expletive but there is no other word.  Also, we have been caught up in the extraordinary French National celebrations of the reminders of the historical storming of the Bastille. This year it started at the weekend as the 13th was a Monday.  Many French towns and villagers celebrate this event at the weekend or definitely on the eve of Bastille day or on the actual day itself 14 July, with fireworks, brocantes, repas, bals.  Certainement les gens connaissez comment apprecier le bon vie. The problem for us is that we keep needing to say, "Nous avons besoin de revivre" !!!!!!!!

I want to write so much about the preparation for our party accompanied by the days of anxiety and fear, to describe the actual day with the rain falling out of the sky threatening to mar our day and the amount of food prepared, and to record everything we have now learned about how to organise and how not to organise a party in France for over 60 people including children.

I want to tell you about my presents, but more importantly about the people who gave these presents.   I want to tell you about being such a lucky girl, hearing comments about myself and wondering, "Is that really me?" 

I want to tell you about the man I love and how he and his friends and our friends helped us to create a  birthday success out of our planning which had gone awry because of our lack of experience and practice.  You see the French know team work. They have learned it since childhood. They know exactly what to do because it is THEIR culture.

I have only ever given three big parties. One was to about 20 people when I was 30 and I prepared raw foods!  The second was when I was 50 and I chartered  'The Girl Sybil' in Southwold for my immediate family whereupon once out of the harbour I became comatose with seasickness!  Marcus a great seafarer and RNLI member had never ever seen anyone quite so ill.  On terra firma I took a taxi alone along the coastal route whilst they sailed home!   I was so excited to see the joy I had given others sailing into the harbour. They surprised me with Champagne lunch and birthday cake! I know that I LOVE the sea but I learned that I prefer to walk alongside the place where water and earth meet! I can dream of sailing across the waters to be free but my crab sign likes me to scuttle at it's edge.  Three years ago we entertained THE GROUP enjoying our first long table of French dining with 12 people dans notre jardin.  Fish hung from the trees and salmon was grilled on the barbecue. Carole and Edna played their accordions. It was magic. 

Now this ......   I will start to write and capture the event with words and photos but you may have to wait a while for it all to come together as a story, an event never to be experienced ever again. I have come of age and am proud to receive my pension when the UK government concede to send it to me.  I had to complete a dossier in order to claim it!!! 

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