Mixed feelings

Trip Start Jul 19, 2009
Trip End Oct 25, 2010

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Flag of France  , Aquitaine,
Monday, July 6, 2009

My mother-in-law was right of course when she suggested one of my last bits would be about mixed feelings.
We are going back to Amsterdam the day after tomorrow and though we have spent about seven weeks here, it feels like it's only just begun. It goes without saying that health problems have been a fly in the ointment - very frustrating not being able to partake in all the fun and activities I normally would. Still it's been wonderful just being here, watching the flowers grow, drinking the wine, getting a feel of la joie de vivre - I'm not complaining.
Sad to leave though, as always.

The good part is seeing the kids again, Rose, Dick and Ezra, and all the others I've missed. And I need to get back, for not much later, the 19th, my plane to Africa will take off.
With or without me? Who knows, still 11 days to go and I am counting on my lucky stars.
But I'll get there, sooner or later, and will be keeping a web log provided by the organization I'll be working for. I think it is www.katherinelapthorn.helptmee.nl, so if you like you can give it a try. Might even be able to hook it up to travel pod somehow, I'll sort that out.

Anyway, tonight we have been invited to dinner by Bernadette and Nico, her new beau.
I am amazed by the speed at which both Bernadette and Jacques found new loves after parting. Shacked up again, getting on with their lives as if nothing earth shattering happened.
Seems like I'm the only one still trying to figure things out, but hey, good luck to them, really and truly. I'll just have to get the new names right and pray they will last for a while.

Nico has owned a famous restaurant for decades and I was dying to taste his gourmet dishes, only Bernadette popped in this morning, casually mentioning she would not allow Nico to cook while on holiday, so we'd have to make do with her bits and pieces.
Ah well, probably for the best - being laid up all this time has done nothing for my slimming plans and I love Bernadette's cooking anyway.

I'm writing this in between packing, emptying cupboards, filling suitcases, sighing and pondering. When will I be back, what will have happened by then, what will happen next?
I don't really want to know, what's the point of that, I want to experience it all, to charge on - I  want to daydream, take it slow.
Mixed feelings? Maybe, but as long as the formula is right I think it will be just fine.

p.s. Just back from a wonderful night with Bernadette and Nico and an absolutely delicious dinner, prepared by.......Nico.
Somewhere along the line it was decided he'd take over and I am very happy he did. Oysters for starters, delicately fried, in some wonderful stuff. Ah, I won't go over the rest, too complicated and a fair amount to drink - you'll just have to take my word for it, it was excellent. The wines matching perfectly. The dessert wine, I'm beginning to acquire a taste for that, a Sauternes 1979, tasted so heavenly, I indiscreetly wondered outloud what one might pay for it in a restaurant, as I had just heard it was no longer to be found. I almost choked on it when Nico calmly answer: around 1.000 euro.
Good god, I had just casually swallowed some 500 euro worth of wine. Yes, I know, you don't have to be a genius to work it out.

So it was a nice send off, making me forget about tomorrow, the last day.
I'm going to sleep now, I hope I'll dream of the wine, a taste of honey, a taste of France.

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