Saturday, August 4, 2012

Back on the road

They say opposites attract so there is a reason I'm married to Handyman. I break things and crash into things, he fixes them, I pack virtually everything I own (one holdall just for shoes, another for toiletries, you get my drift) he travels light and I love a lie in while he is up before the birdsong starts and has been for a walk, breakfast and coffee before I have even brushed my teeth. Our last night in Western France before leaving for the UK was a frenzy of packing (me and Issy, who have oversized suitcases, so much her mother's daughter) while he nonchalantly chucked a few bits into his diddy Samsonite and hey presto, he was off to the bar while we waded through unworn, unfolded clothes that there was no point unpacking in the first place.  This morning, an hour before we were due to leave, he was hassling us to close our cases so he could start loading the car. I am allergic to organisation on this scale especially when I'm still in bed with sleep in my eyes. Issy was still unconscious. I dragged myself out of bed, shut my case and he was off sprinting to the car with it. Half an hour later, with the car immaculately loaded with cases, wine, beach bags, my bike and concrete candle holders, I realised that the apartment key was still in my clutch bag, now packed in my suitcase. Cue a complete unpacking of the car, amid stifled hilarity upstairs while Handyman burned off a few cals of last nights pizza/pasta carb fest trying to find the right clutch (they were three to choose from, so easy to get confused.) The moral of this story is that it doesn't always pay to be ahead of yourself.  Despite the fact that this last month was supposed to be a relaxing holiday, with some work and adventure thrown in, it has been rather eventful. I am covered in cuts and bruises, the result of biking/surfing exploits. Two days ago, I fell off my bike in front of 200 tourists as I left the ferry at Cap Ferret. It was far worse than landing in the dirt in Spain when at least no one else was around. But by far the worst accident was surfing. There I was, surfing at Biscarrosse near Bordeaux, catching some great waves and enjoying the water. After a couple of hours, I decided to get 'one last wave.' Unfortunately so did the guy next to me and he ploughed into me, knocking me off my board and somehow entangling his ankle leash around my neck under the water. As I fought to release the cord, the guy was tugging his board above me and strangling me. The surfboard fin smashed into the back of my ear and as I finally emerged from the water, I was covered in blood, my diamond earring ripped from my earlobe and the back of my ear sporting a gaping slice. The Baywatch guys swung into action, cleaning me up as other bathers looked on in horror and sending me off to Dr Fabian, a cool hippie with a surfboard in the corner of his office who stiitches up all the unfortunates. The surf shop owner said 'Fabian is good with a needle and thread.' He took a photo with his iPhone to show me the gaping flesh before and the neat six stitches afterwards saying, 'It's a shame it's behind the ear as it looks so pretty now.'   My mum has urged me to take up something safer, like knitting. In London, I have decided to leave the derring do to the Olympians and stick to pedicures and some light shopping instead. Meanwhile the 12 hour journey back to the nippy North unfolded with us both doing what we do best....Handyman driving and me reading the satnav, the papers on the iPad and Cote Ouest.  

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