Thursday, January 11, 2018

Goodbyes and seashells...

When I first bought this house in France and moved over with The Ragazza, her brother elected to remain in England with his father. That was my first experience of The Empty Nest and it was tough, very tough for me to handle.

In part I think that was one reason why I returned to the UK two years later, the other reason being that new job with the so-called-ethical-employer, I was not only not ready to lose my child, I was also not done with the world of work, at least, with working in IT.

I am so much more at home here now, even though both of the Rags are living in the UK and leading their own lives as young adults.

Which does not mean to say that I do not miss them when we have to say goodbye.
Yesterday I drove The Ragazzo (son) to Dinard airport to catch a flight back to the UK and I had not been looking forward to the parting or, especially, the drive to Dinard, or having to set the alarm for 6 am to get there in time. (Mindful of that time I turned up on crutches to deliver The Raggaza (daughter) and as we approached check-in the Ryan Air woman placed the Check-On Closed sign on the desk in front of our noses).

But the sky was still dark and starry as we left home and I'd packed him a breakfast of chocolate pastries, a banana and fruit juice (I am really good at looking after people, if I do say so myself), and we discussed some pretty deep topics as we drove into the dawn and a beautiful new day, so we made the most of the trip.

Carpe diem.

It is easy to find the airport.
As I discovered when we turned off the main road following the signs for Pleurtuit...
I had been a little anxious because I haven't driven there for over 10 years and I wasn't really sure of the way, but once you leave the main road there are airport signs...





And it is a very small airport with few flights during the winter months, so parking is not a problem...
Neither is the short walk to the only terminal...




And inside there are rarely many people...

So check-in is swift and painless, especially if you have checked-in online, selected your seat etc the day before...

Although the advertised flight fee of some 45 euros had mysteriously morphed into 105 euros by the time I had finished the booking which never pleases me, smelling, as it does, of skulduggery!
Show me the real cost for a person wishing to take luggage, I always say.


 

But flying is often stressful and people fall for the low-cost lures and end up paying almost three times as much. don't they? 

THIS is why I prefer to fly with Icelandair, British Airways etc, you know where you are with them and, if anything goes wrong, they treat you with respect, usually.

Tant pis, there is no choice if one wishes to fly to the UK from Dinard.

But the check-in lady was friendly and efficient on this occasion and we have no complaints with this particular Ryan Air Flight so...




I paid my 1 euro parking fee and left the airport to drive home.

And since we were passing anyway, and it was a beautiful day, and I wanted to distract myself from thoughts of planes, we took a small detour to Les Rosaires...

Parked right next to the beach...




And took a walk on the sand.




Where we spotted a brave chap taking a winter swim (un bain d'hiver)...




Which reminded me that I need to clean out my sandy, muddy car interior and re-load it with my beach stuff - swimming costume, towels, rugs, wet suit, flipflops etc...
Because, when the sun is shining and the sea is inviting I might just fancy a swim, even in winter.




This time all I could do was dance in the waves, admire them as they broke gently on the sand, and  collect shells, of course...




This time tiny scallop shells, complete pairs, still hinged but without their occupants...
Except for one that still had a live scallop in it which I gently placed back in the surf.

I collected a bag full of shells, happily for me, because the tiny drill that I had ordered arrived in the afternoon so now I can start making wind chime and decorations with my shells.

And of course, I took a lot of photos...
These look like bird prints on the beach but they are made by the water as it ripples over the sand.




In fact, if you are not glued to a smartphone, or viewing the world through the lens of a camera, you notice all manner of beautiful patterns in nature...




N'est-ce pas?




I arrived at the beach just as The Raggazo's plane was taking off
And I left just as it was landing in London
So the trip to Les Rosaires resulted in a lot of new shells, a few new freckles and a nice distraction

And as I drove the rest of the way home with France Culture on the radio, the windows wound down and the sun shining on me I couldn't help thinking, 'It really doesn't get much better than this'.

And that is what surviving cancer is all about.