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3rd September: 7 year bitch

One word for you. Barbecue.

Gah.

I have barbecue-related issues.

We’re just home from a lovely bonus week in France. The delayed trip that we chickened out of earlier in the year. Car loaded up with literally everything we own. Kids’ Disney CD on repeat (God Help Me. Someone. Please.)

We chug down to the ferry port. The rain is thrumming down, bank holiday stylee. It does not bode well. We call in at His grandma’s house. She has one of those independent-living flats with the red pulleys. Her fellow tenants do not NOT like children. The net curtains twitching as my kids stretch their little legs by running around?? with smiles on their faces??. Heaven forbid Old Timers!! His sister is also visiting. She tells them not to worry about the old lady next door. She’s just a grumpy old wicked witch. The Big One’s Eyes like saucers as he tries to catch a glimpse of her through her stained blinds…

We continue on our journey. The overnight ferry is amazingly uneventful. We arrive into St Malo and hit the beach for a breezy Sunday morning stroll. We ask some passing Italian tourists to take a photo of us all by the town hall where we’d married seven years earlier almost to the day. Sweet.

Back in the car again. We head southwards and momentarily enjoy a magic moment driving thought the French Countryside with all three asleep. Needless to say it didn’t last long…

We spend the week seeing old friends, making new ones, swimming, going to the beach…the usual stuff. On what would have been my lovely Grandad’s 90th birthday, we pop some champers and feast on oysters and prawns = very very happy me!

Which brings me onto barbecues.

What’s my beef with the BBQ I hear you ask…

Men. That’s what.

What could be more frustrating than a bloke. Beer in hand. Stood over a fire. Prodding stuff. Turning stuff unnecessarily. Barking out requests for more beer. For the plate of meat. For the tongs. For another plate to put cooked stuff on. Ignoring the children as he stares. And prods. And turns.

Meanwhile. As if by magic. The table is set. A variety of salads are prepared and dressed. Potatoes are cooked. Bread is sliced. Drinks are poured. Children are cared for.

And all the while he stares and prods and turns. You eat. Then he basks in the thanks and praise as you wash up. Grrrr.

I’m being harsh. Most unlike me.

My lovely man excelled himself on holiday. He arranged it all (well, it is his job!), and drove the whole way there and back. He did the shopping and displayed his usual boundless puppy dog energy with the kids. And did all the barbecuing….

On our anniversary he makes me a rather amazing meal. The whole thing, not just the grilled meat bit. Fillet steak with bratkartoffeln, green beans and bearnaise sauce. Delicious. He even does all the washing up. Seven years? (plus the 11 before that!) The man deserves a medal. 10/10.

A footnote. Because I wouldn’t want to you think we’ve lost our chaotic charm.

We arrive home late evening, a bit bedraggled (with the beginnings of a migraine from the Baby’s antics). We both stand at the front door like lemons. “I thought you had the key”. “No, I thought you did”. Long story short. We end up jemmying open a window and feeding our four-year old through a la Artful Dodger. The whole street knew we were back. Those nutters from Neighbours From Hell have nothing on us….

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