40th and a recompense

*A bit of a catch up…*

The 14th of January was a bit of an uncertain day for me. I turned the magic milestone of 40 years old. A normal day with Rémy… not quite. My son sang “Happy Birthday to you” for the first time ever as I was waking up. Thumpah had some presents for me and had prepared a “cake” with candles (pain au chocolats with a 4 and a 0 in candles).

Rémy had been good the previous day, less so on my birthday. Starting with driving his new radio controlled car deliberately into Toffee the dog. One of the few times I have smacked him.

On Tuesday my back blocked – sort of a nasty “electric shock” feeling in my lower back and side. Rémy is starting to do things for himself now, so that helped me a lot because I didn’t need to carry him so much. I still have to lift him in and out of the bath though. So really did “feel” 40 on my birthday.

Even so, I have been so lucky. Thumpah has bought me an upgrade for my laptop – so I’m now at a heady 2Gb RAM. She also gave me another present, but I’m not writing about that here! 😉

My parents in law brought me a wonderful watch. I hadn’t worn one for some years, so it was a bit strange thinking about looking at my wrist for the time rather than the kitchen clock or on the computer. But it’ll certainly remind me about turning 40.

Back to Saturday then… Monsieur le Maire Adjoint had called me on my birthday to ask if I could attend the inauguration of the exhibition about Roger Soubie. The magazine has now been run off and was to be on sale at the exhibition. Snag was he wanted me there for 5pm because Mr le Maire wanted to present to me a “recompense”, but Thumpah wanted to take me somewhere that evening for my birthday.

So I had to check with her first. In the end it all turned out OK. We arrived at the Salle Polyvalente about 10 minutes late due in the main to Rémy playing up. After saying “Bonjour” to Mr le Maire and Mr Maire Adjoint, we were invited into the salle to look at the exhibition. Then as I was chatting to Thumpah, Mr le Maire went onto the stage to begin his speach about the exhibition. Then to my surprise I was asked to join him when I was awarded a plaque as a merci from le municipalité du village. I was honored and embarrassed. In the end I said “merci” and then left the stage, probably a bit red faced.

Mr le Maire Adjoint then went onto talk about the life of Roger Soubie before Mr le Maire handed out awards to winners of the “concours de décorations de Noël” – yes, more and more villageois are putting up fancy lights all over their houses for the festive season. The last 3 years or so, each year, the conseil du village have had a competion for the best looking houses. Probably a sign of how France is changing.

After a glass of champagne and a chat with a couple Thumpah has known since childhood, I was thanked by the chap who runs the Foyer Rural and again by both Mr le Maire & Marie Adjoint and said bonne soirée before we left. Both of them said to me that now I’ve been bitten by the job they hope I’ll continue to work with them. Mr le Maire Adjoint explained to me that this year there are two big typesetting jobs to do, then went onto say that it was he that had introduced Mr Gouarin (the current Maire) to the Foyer Rural 22 years ago. Through that he became involved with the conseil du village and as we know now, eventually Mr le Maire.

Anyway it is nice to be involved because it breaks up my job of looking after Rémy. I can do something different and also on occasion “meet the locals”. Being stuck at home with a toddler it is very difficult to meet other people here.

We left Rémy with our niece Lise and had a quick chat with Isa’s brother and his wife, before Thumpah whisked me off to Paris on the pretext of a meal in a restaurant together. In fact we ended up getting stuck in an almighty traffic jam on the A6 so arrived in the Paris 13th a little bit late, according to her and her planning. I was kept very much in the dark, but began to smell a rat as the 13th is a district that I’ve got to know quite well. My friend Pascal lives there.

I was delighted to be surprised at a Pizzeria by Ewa, Adam, Dominique, Amélie & Pascal. Had a lovely meal and was spoiled rotten.

Then the weekend after I had a super meal with Thumpahs family… but things didn’t end there… At the end of January Thumpah threw a surprise party for me with some of our friends. She got me hook line and sinker…

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