Thursday, October 16, 2008

Perfect Wednesday

Yesterday the weather offered one of those paradisical days of warmth, resplendent sun and blue blue sky. October as only the south can do.

Yesterday was a Wednesday, a day when most are at work, and if they're not, they're mothers ferrying their darlings about from one activity to the next and running errands in-between. I was one of those mothers. I thus sat in stuffy rooms, waiting; sat in my car, driving; and when all that was finished I had a mountain of ironing that had been lying about reproachfully on the sofa for at least a week...

My TWDB on the other hand was not running errands, or at work, or sitting in stuffy rooms. He took one look at the weather in the morning and knew that he just simply couldn't go to work. It would be a crime not to take advantage of such glorious weather. His motorbike was calling a siren's song of adventure, solitude and far-flung places.

I thus got a text message round about lunch time telling me he was in Les Saintes Maries de la Mer smack bang in the middle of the Camargue. He was following a canal, along a road that had petered out to a path. He was totally alone except for a bunch of flamingoes; the silence was sweet and he wished I was there. I did too.

The Camargue is a magical place of silence, mystery and beauty. I have been there both on safari in a jeep, and on one of those bateau mouche type boats. The safari was more fun because it was just us and the guide, and he took us off-road into the heart of the wetlands. The boat smelt of diesel, and there were 20-odd other tourists which spoiled the whole sensation of isolation and adventure. It was just a boat trip down a canal.

Refreshed by his experiences, my TWDB rode back via Aigues Mortes, which you can enter by bike, but not by car. It's a walled town, smaller than Carcassonne, but still impressive with fabulous ramparts that boys especially love running along. There he grabbed a sarnie and made his way back home.

Then he called me to ask if I was busy. I was. I had to go to the Mairie to make applications for id cards for the boys, and collect them from footie. That was a shame, he said, as he was just out again and heading for the Pic St Loup.

Wednesday afternoons are not 'off', they just involve unpaid work. While my TWDB was zooming about on country lanes zigging and zagging, breathing in the smells of the garrigue, fresh air and fun, I was chained to the ironing board and a hot oven.

Sometimes it's hard to be a woman, especially if you're a mother. Fortunately, it brings much joy too. Otherwise, I'm sure I'd resign!


  1. Les Saintes Maries and Aigues Mortes are both terrific!! I have such happy memories of both.

    For any blogreaders for whom the Camargue is a closed book: Sarah already gave a rough description of Aigues Mortes (to which I would add, yummy restaurants), but Les Saintes Maries is renowned as the site of an annual gypsy festival which is one of the not-to-be-missed spectacles of the entire world.

  2. I was cooped up too....CHU with the no-alls!

  3. Tough luck there, Sarah.

    I can see that teaching the kids some cooking and self-supervision skills is going to be a top priority, pretty soon.

    At least for the occasional Wednesday's blue afternoon.


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