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

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Drama in the dark

Last Saturday afternoon I went off gallivanting!! Whizzing around the countryside in a friend's open topped car with not a care in the world! I stayed for tea and then watched Strictly Come Dancing in front of the cozy log stove. Then it was Casualty - then it was ...oh no! ...11 o'clock and poor Fudgie (also gallivanting) needed to get home for her beauty sleep....
Stepping outside, I looked up at the dark night sky and saw, scudding between the clouds, strange dancing lights. That, said my friend, is the Aurora Borealis! Wow! ( Northern France...well why not?) We jumped in the car and set off again with the roof down in order to marvel at the this phenomenon!!
Err....'I hate to disillusion you,' I said 'but I can see beams of light pointing up into the sky. It's not a geographically challenged Aurora Borealis we are looking at but something decidedly terrestrial.'
'Lets find out where it's coming from!!'
Well, why not? Another half hour wouldn't make much difference to anyone. 'Let's find the lights!' Nipping along the dark Normandy lanes, taking wrong turns into farmyards, the lights were tantalizingly always just around the next bend. Eventually, the source was revealed to be ... a disco!! The spiralling beam luring the wild young things of Vire to a night of revelry. We decided that we were the wrong side of ....midnight and it was time to go home.
Approaching the house I was perplexed to see more unusual lights - this time streaming from all the windows. Swinging up the drove to be met by a grim-faced committee clutching torches, I struggled to make sense of it all - what was going on?
'Are you alright?' some-one asked. I was fine, I assured them. 'Your friend here was worried about you'.
My friend? My friend! Arghhhhhhhhhhh! My friend Stephen, who had driven all the way from Canterbury emerged from the shadows. I had got the date wrong - I thought he was coming on Sunday! Arghhhhhhhhhh! Shame! Horror! Unworthiness!
Weary from his long journey he had arrived earlier in the evening and had found the door unlocked but nobody home. The house was in darkness, the dog wasn't there, my mobile phone was on the table, my purse was in the kitchen. He went round to the guests staying in the gite. They hadn't seen me since the previous evening when I had seemed perfectly happy, not acting strangely, not depressed. So....where the hell was I they wondered!
They called on the french neighbour and woke up the English couple in the village. A search party was forming itself. Madame Smith was most definitely in a ditch with Fudge keeping watch. They patrolled the lanes calling my name but in vain. Regrouping back at the house there was only one thing to do the gendarmes!
Thank God we hadn't succumbed to reliving our youth in a dubious disco!
Thank God we decided that it was really getting rather late.
Half an hour longer perhaps and there would have been more lights. Police searchlights scouring the hedgerows around the sleepy hamlet of La Foucaudiere!
So now it's the time in the story for apologies and also thanks to those kind people who showed their concern! I am just a bit worried that next time, when I really fall down a rabbit hole, they will think, 'Well she does like to gad about. I don't think we really need worry.'


  1. Ooo I know, the story of the boy who cried wolf....I know you didn't.

    How must you have felt, after such a beautiful evening .. what a comedown.

    You really have the most delightful people around you, including Fudge of course.

  2. We'll have to have you microchipped.
    Great story!

  3. Well there is never a dull moment at chez smith. Its a good job your new neighbours will be bringing some much needed respectability back to La Foucaudiere!

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