Not always..... 'a tranquil retreat in the heart of the Normandy countryside'

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

...Ooops! Mind that Ditch

In their haste to reach this idyllic spot in the Normandy countryside, some guests simply forget to look at the directions, which tell them just how to get here. So whilst I was waiting for my 'locateurs' (eng. tenants) to arrive on Saturday evening and the phone rang with a gentleman enquiring anxiously (with scarcely a trace of his native Dutch accent) whether I spoke English. ....I thought, 'It's them, they're lost!'

I was frantically struggling to gain the upper hand with with a duvet and it's cover in preparation for the arrival of another family ( At 9pm!? ....I do tend to err on the side of being disorganised!!). Never mind ...I would soon get the Dutch contingent heading in the right direction - it would just take a few moments explanation. So...............

'OK.' I said. 'Where are you?'
'Well, we have found La Foucaudiere but we can't find you!'
La Foucaudiere is a hamlet of 4 or 5 houses so how difficult could it be I wondered (I have to admit with just a hint of irritation) whilst beating the duvet into submission with my free hand.
'Well, If you have gone past the house, you just need to come back and look for the house with the sign on the gate'
'O.K.'.....pause....'There's a problem though..'
'I'm kind of stuck in ditch...just along the lane'
'*!*!*!' (said silently ), ' OK...( spoken in a calm, professional, land-lady-like tone), I'll come an help you - just hang on a minute.'

I have solved many problems in my time here in Normandy but I have not yet singlehandedly hauled a vehicle, let alone a huge and ancient dinosaur of Mercedes estate car, out of a ditch... but there is always a first time!

The rain was now torrential, but Fudge and I gamely sprinted up the road to size up the situation. Fudge, getting there first, leapt soggily through the open door on the drivers side to find out whether Dutch people throw tennis balls for dogs to catch. A young woman was sitting with a soup bowl held in her hands. Was she having a picnic I asked. No she was catching the water that was dripping through the leaky sunroof. It all just seemed ever so slightly surreal.

The day was saved, I have now to add, by the incredibly timely arrival of my indefatigable neighbour Mr Lemur. Being a man-with-a-shed he had the only tool that could save the day ..a winch!!

The slightly worrying aspect of this whole crisis was that my overriding thought was 'Why didn't I bring my camera!' so that I could photograph the predicament for the blog!! Sadly, you have to make do with the above photo, taken today of a small part of the the aforementioned vehicle.

Maybe this is the answer:

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