Well, Dear Reader, I have to say that this past week has not been at all what I had expected. It started off more or less as planned but went downhill quite rapidly. It has become the practice of the Old Bat and I to spend a few days at our house in the Loire (for the geographically challenged - like my daughter - that's in France) just before Christmas. This gives us a chance of a few days away from the mayhem, the hustle and bustle, and the awful television adverts. It also gives us the opportunity to stock up on all those goodies which are either cheaper in France or not even obtainable in England. We're talking wine (obviously) and even the Christmas tree, as we have found these to be generally about two-thirds of the price of the trees in England and sometimes even less.
So last weekend we set off early - well, earlyish - on Saturday morning and arrived at our house at about 9.30 or so in the evening. The journey is 435 miles door to door if we don't miss a turning and takes just over 8 hours driving time. We generally stop every couple of hours or so for a coffee and to change driver. This time, however, the Old Bat was still feeling a little under the weather - she hadn't really been 100% for about three weeks - and I did all the driving.
Sunday was fine and I spent much of the day outside, clearing up leaves and pruning the jasmine. We ate that evening at our favourite restaurant (more tomorrow). On Monday morning, the Old Bat felt lousy and she spent most of the day in bed. I bought the ingredients and cooked myself a meal that evening. The Old Bat felt really rotten and said she would prefer to come back to Brighton on Tuesday instead of spending the rest of the week there. So on Tuesday I drove the 435 miles back again.
On Wednesday the Old Bat rang the doctor's surgery and was told that the blood tests they had done had shown nothing wrong. We saw the GP in the afternoon and she seems puzzled and quite at a loss as to just what the matter can be. She did prescribe a drug which I personally think will have little or no effect and said to go back if that is indeed the case. I think we shall be back in the New Year.
It had been our intention to leave the French house very early yesterday so that we could be back in time for the annual Evening of Christmas organised by our friends Chris and Mrs Chris. Mrs Chris plays the piano and two friends join her, one to play the double bass and the other to alternate between the flute and the guitar. They play and we sing Christmas carols and songs, ranging from Silent Night to Frosty the Snowman. In between, we keep our energy levels up with mince pies and mulled wine. For me, it's the true start of the Christmas season even if it is a week before Christmas.