Sunday 27 December 2009

I don’t think anyone who reads this blog knows where I live, but even so I didn’t want to post a big “hey, my apartment is going to be empty for a week” notice on this site and come home to find the place robbed. :-P

We had to go to France unexpectedly to attend the funeral of my father-​​in-​​law, but we still managed to see a lot of Mr. Lothere’s friends and have some fun. It was one of those non-​​stop, on-​​the-​​run, intense experiences where you’re crying one hour, and laughing till you cry the next. I didn’t sleep nearly enough, but I have never eaten so well in my life. The Christmas Eve dinner we had was the most magnificent meal I have ever eaten. Roast squab and roast goose, frog legs (YES SERIOUSLY), foie gras, etc. (Even the “etc.” is still among the best food I’ve ever eaten.)

The generosity and solidarity of the people of the north of France also really impressed me. Mr. Lothere — who so dislikes France that he hasn’t lived there in 25 years — thinks they all saw Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis and it made them all “euphorique,” to quote his term, but it was pleasant all the same. Every time we asked a favor or had a problem, the response was always “Y’a pas de souci, pas de souci…” And indeed, everything went wonderfully well. :-)

We also got really lucky at a few points on the trip. We arrived in Amsterdam in the middle of a winter storm and made it onto the ONLY train heading to Belgium that day — everything but the Thalys was canceled due to snow — with only minutes to spare. And on the way home we boarded our flight to Vancouver at the Amsterdam airport only hours before the attempted terror attack on the Amsterdam – Detroit flight went down, whereupon I can only imagine All Airport Security Hell broke loose at Amsterdam.

We walked through our door shortly before midnight on the 25th, and I wish I could say I am all rested now and ready to go back to the story, but I’m still recovering. Yesterday I did nothing but sleep and catch up on my Bloglines reading material. Today I think I will read some old chapters to get me back into the mood. But I’m glad to be home.

Bûches de Noël et Champagne.