Monday, 8 October 2012

Are we there yet?

So we're in a French gite, right, where we've been licking our wounds for the past four days after car trouble in Jura.

We have to wait until Tuesday for a new dynamo to arrive from the UK after the Renault breakdown garage said it was 'impossible' to mend. The man from VW Heritage says otherwise, and we are crossing fingers, arms, legs and toes and anything else we can find. We want to set off for Italy on Wednesday.

We will be approximately a week late at our destination, Corfu.

When Bella the old Beetle shuddered to a halt, it was as if she'd been saying: 'Enough, for goodness sake. I need to rest my weary springs. Just a short break will be fine, and then I'll be back on my tyres again.'

So we checked into the Hotel Charmless, made bearable by the lovely receptionist, who was manning the fort while the owner and cook were away (together? A French tryst maybe?), and her eight-year-old son who was ready for bed in his Spiderman pyjamas.

'Good evven-ing,' the child said, in the French policeman's accent from Allo, Allo.

The Champneys bath gel I'd insisted on bringing helped calm frayed nerves in a roadside hotel set between the traintracks and flyover, and where the corridors smelt of stale cigarette smoke.

But when the dawn rose the next day, we had found ourselves, quite by accident, in the heart of Jura wine-making country. Result.

There could be worse places to be.

So we swapped the Hotel Charmless for a gite in a small village.

Today, on the road to nowhere, we were reminded of the Enchanted Village: Fog.

We made the mistake of Skyping home and then watching Mr Grigg's videos from our wonderful Jubilee celebrations in Lush Places, where I ran the disco and the old man led the boys in a well-rehearsed routine of The Village People's YMCA.

It got me thinking about all we had left behind. The village wedding, and Mr Putter's kilt.

Mr Grigg and Champagne Charlie slipping off to tap the beer barrel.

The hard work going into re-opening our village shop - now looking more and more likely to be somewhere else rather than in the heart of the square.

The harvest supper and all that village entertainment.

The arguments about where we should site the fireworks this year.

And the controversy sparked by just having a few sheep in the churchyard to keep the grass down.

It's making me all incredibly homesick. But, unlike Orpheus, there's no turning back.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x


  1. No, don''ll start me off happens, often, but you will have some fabulous memories when the year is over....
    Take care

  2. Trials and tribulations along the way... all adding to your wonderful adventure (although I'm sure it doesn;t feel like it at the moment)! Good luck with the car - Corfu will still be there next week. Enjoy the wine whilst your there - it will be better than the krasi in Greece! XX


  3. Twas in the Jura that I first tasted morilles mushrooms. Heaven disguised as fat, crinkly prunes. I remember that every hilltop had a lake, which seemed incongruous somehow. We stayed at the Moulin des Truites Bleus, which had a waterwheel and really did extract trout from the surging white water to bring to the dining table. We have a watercolor that husband painted right there. What a fortuitous place to break down:)

  4. As was said in The Hobbit (cartoon version) the greatest adventure is what lies ahead!

    As your sweet VW rests up and gets repaired, enjoy the scenery, the wine, and this unexpected adventure. Almost before you can say "Jack Robinson!" you'll be headed in the other direction, toward home. The anticipation of all that awaits you there will win out over being pulled back to Corfu by good memories of the year there - unlike Shirley Valentine, doncha know?!

    Still, you're braver than I am in setting out in the first place. :)



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