Our six week trip the states was a nightmare. We ran like lemmings from one cliff to another the entire time. I didn't get to see some friends as much as I would like, some not at all, and worked far harder than either of us had planned. Not good work either. Cleaning out garages and closets. Reorganizing living rooms. Trying to sell a mountain of books, DVD's, posters, books on tape and CD, backpacks, and various and sundry useful items that no one wanted.
We hosted parties, we attended parties, we had dinner with friends and family. All of it completly necessary and vital. We had been gone six months. People want to see us. They won't be denied and we want to see them just as badly.
Sure, we spent some days down at Wendy's home down at the lake swimming and drinking beer in inner tubes and water hammocks, but we did it with people who wanted to see us, had never seen Wendy's home, and people we wanted to introduce to the new life Wendy and I were sharing.
I wanted to teach Wendy how to drive stick. Every time we were driving somewhere I would ask her if she wanted to drive and the answer was always the same. "We don't have time. We have to go here and get back by this time and I need time to practice. We need to get these things done first." In six weeks there was rarely a day when we were not on a schedule to meet people.
In the past few years Wendy has spent late August in Provence with Mathieu and Collette at his parents home in Brigneau. In the guest house. Overlooking the pool. And the mountains.
Guess where I am now?
Monday we packed from noon until four. Jim drove us to the airport. We arrived in Madrid at eleven in the morning. We went home, packed a bag for Provence, slept one whole hour, taxi back to the airport, flew to Provence, rented a car and drove to Brignoles an hour away. The radio was broken and I couldn't get the car into reverse, pushing it once out of a ditch. Some fun.
We arrived and had dinner with Mathieu's parents and their guests. These consisted of their daughter the model, two spies, a stunning CFO of a private aviation firm, a former girlfriend who now owns her own PR Firm in Paris and an unemployed writer. I did my best not to say anything stupid and decided not to ask for ketchup for the lamb. (They told me it was mutton but I know they were lying just to get me to eat it. I don't eat babies, remember?)
Today we went into town to get groceries and champagne for dinner. The wine store we stopped at had two clear vats in the back. They were six feet tall and four feet around with gas pump hoses attached to them. Apparently you can come into the store with your own jugs and fill up on red or white table wine from a five hundred gallon cask with a gas hose attached to it. Wendy didn't have her camera but we're going back to get a picture of me with a hose in my mouth.
Pretty sure the book I'm writing about a year in Europe with this beautiful woman who keeps exposing me to all these adventures is going to be called "I'm not an alcoholic, I'm just European."
The plan this week is to lie by the pool and drink wine. I'm hoping to get in some writing (note the updated blog...) and maybe read a couple books.
Its only been one day here and I've done fifty times the writing I did in the states.
Expect me back on a more regular schedule at this blog, at least until Christmas when we fly home again.