The girls have a 6th Birthday party to go to. Eli has asked her friend if they can come dressed-up so they are dressed as Princesses Jasmine (Aladdin) and Cinderella, complete with sparkly shoes. They are the only ones in fancy dress, but as the other little girls are more impressed than anything, it doesn’t seem to matter much. The only red faces are blushes from compliments. I leave them to it and go off to attack my tax return. They are gorgeously easy to do in France. For starters they come mostly already filled in, are done on-line, and are only 4 A4 pages long. Mine is a bit complicated as I several sources of income, but still in 3 hours its all done bar two lines, which can’t be completed until my English accountants have done their stuff.
At 6 p.m. they are free. And off we go for another weekend at the beach, taking Margot with us. Margot is 14, and the daughter of my best friends. I’m rather flattered that she feels that it would be nice to come with us.
This being France and May, it is another bank holiday weekend. And, that is not the only good news, it is also seriously hot. Too hot to wear trousers and swimming in the sea suddenly becomes desirable, and not just for the under 5s.
When we get to the beach, the routine is to empty the car and take the dogs out, so that they don’t leave surprises in the garden. Off we go to the beach end of the street where chaos greets us. There are lots of camper vans, and tent structures. On further examination we see that it is a jet-ski racing competition that lasts for all three days of the bank-holiday weekend. I’m glad of every one of the 500 metres between us and the noise of jet engines and loud speakers.
My American colleague and her 10 year old son Tom, come for the day on Sunday, with her dog and puppy, which sends Spot the Spaniel into a total tail spin and he spends the day hiding in a cardboard box. Margot’s parents turn up late for lunch. We have slightly given up on them and have started eating.
After lunch we leave Tom’s mum to try and kip (with 5 dogs this turns out to be impossible) and head to the beach with the young ones. My girls have been begging for chichis, long sticks of batter, fried and dipped in sugar, and so off I go to get them. Now, the beach is absurdly busy. It is as busy as it would be in August, which takes me completely by surprise. This being May, I just hadn’t expected it. As a rule I have always come to the beach at slightly odd times of the day and year, because I like walking the dogs here without having to worry about people. So a really hot day would not normally be my first choice. Margot’s dad is busy being a model father to all the other children, who are finding the shock of the hot sun and cold sea a bit too much.
On the Bank Holiday Monday, an old English friend comes down from Cherbourg. We haven’t seen each other for over a decade, so there is lots of catching up to do. She manages to forge a super quick link with Nina and after lunch they go off for a mega walk together along with Carolines dog, who failed her final exam to become a guide dog because she stole the steak off the table. Meanwhile I doze on the sofa while Eli has a proper sleep. She has had a temperature since her BCG jab at school on Friday. Not that that stopped her going to her friends birthday party.