At some point they will arrive at their destination, park the caravan and erect the awnings, and boot the kids out to go play at "Bury the Body" on the beach: whilst Madame is preparing the moules-frites Monsieur will stroll around, shirtless - unfortunately - and beer in hand, to exchange a few words with the neighbours at the camp-site, whom he has not seen since they all left Brussels together about ten hours earlier.
(Yeah, I know, the guy died. I'd be pissed off if that was my epitaph.)
Whatever, I toddled off to the mairie the other day to buy our tickets, the guy at the desk dragged out the seating plan and said "where do you want to be" and I replied something along the lines of "I could care more". Apparently the English contingent around here usually buy their tickets en bloc and so get seated together and have to talk to one another: I am not sure I want to go there.
For one thing, there will be more than enough time to mingle and chat if so inclined whilst we're swilling wine and nibbling on the quivering masses of quiche, pizza, pissaladière and godnose what else that are set out just to whet the appetite for the real meal, and for another, I can think of better things to do. Just suppose, for instance, that I get seated next to Anthony and Sarah-Jane: WTF am I supposed to say as an ice-breaker? "Sold any good ships lately?" Can see that going down like a cup of luke-warm sick.
And this same time, this year, I'm out on the terrace under a sun umbrella, with a soleil de plomb above in the bright wide blue sky. So it's been almost a year we've been down here now, and neither of us regret the move. We put up, albeit grudgingly, with the inconvenience of sun and hot weather, and being obliged to have barbecues: after all, that only lasts for eight or nine months of the year, and it's a burden we're willing to support in exchange for relief from the snow.
Don't get me wrong, looking at the spreadsheet where I note down my hours I actually work more than before but a) it's all billed and b) it's at my rhythm. Stuck on a problem? Take the time to think about it, preferably with another cigar. Bored witless? Take the dog off for another walk, enjoy the countryside. Or bone out the leg of lamb and get it in the marinade ready for the evening. It works for me.
And as luck would have it, just a few days before he called with the news Margo -knowing him as well as I - had ordered a fancy waterproof case from Amazon: sadly, it has not yet turned up. I guess he gets an early birthday present this year. (But still, WTF?)