Wednesday, September 21, 2005

vivi goes for a drive

Steph had a sniffle when he came home from work yesterday, and before the night was over, he was propped up in bed with tissues stuffed up his nose. Yes, it must be Fall. The weather can't change without one or both of us getting sick.

We had a lot planned to do today, as Wednesday is Steph's day off, but it became clear very quickly that what he really needed was a day of rest. We had been invited to his parents' for lunch and were just contemplating whether or not we should cancel when the phone started to ring.

Looks like the apartment has finally been listed with a local realtor. In rapid succession, three people called to make appointments to see the apartment, the first one due to arrive in fifteen minutes. Luckily I'd mopped the floors yesterday (seriously - that was one chore I'd put off for way too long) so we scrambled around tidying up things a bit.

After the first potential renter left, Steph called his mom to cancel lunch, who then offered to bring lunch to us and help us set the apartment to rights. About an hour later, she arrived with lentils and sausage (not something I would usually rave over but she does this dish very well!) and before we had the food on plates she was scrubbing the toilet and washing the kitchen walls. I used to get really offended when she came over and started cleaning things or offered to take my ironing home and do it (that one sorta still puzzles me) but she told me herself that she likes cleaning things (you could probably eat off her floor) and if someone wants to scrub my toilet who am I to stop them?

The other thing Steph and I had planned to do today was go grocery shopping. Can I just say that I love how couples and families go grocery shopping together here? That never happens back home. I mean, obviously it's not always practical but I think it's fair to say that there are just as many if not more couples/families shopping than people by themselves. Anyway, someone needed to be home to great the next potential renter and Steph needs to rest, so I volunteered to go shopping by myself.

I know you're thinking, "and so?" But here's the thing: until today I haven't driven in France by myself, and the only times I've driven are right out of town on nice big streets into villages where everyone was already home for the night; none of this in-town driving around roundabouts business.

So I did it. The good thing is that we've been taking the same route once every couple of weeks for a year, so I know the way pretty well (though being a passenger is never the same as being the driver, you know?). Honestly, there's nothing really to report: I got there ok, I piled my cart high with lots of yummy things, I put them in the car, I got gas, and I went home.

But I still couldn't resist doing a victory lap when I got home, throwing my hands in the air and yelling "I did it!" at my bemused husband.

PS Still no word from Mr. Irish. It's coming down to the wire now.....

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