Yes, cider again, but this time Breton cider, drunk in a bistro in Cheltenham on a blistering day with Dave.
Memories: 1982. I'm one of a family of six kids. Our mother was effectively single, our father lived in Mexico and we lived in Ireland, later moving to the west Highlands of Scotland. Our summer holidays were spent in Argyll with our grandparents, in an idyllic wilderness of river, sea-loch and forest. Not counting a childhood trip to the Canary Islands, I did not go abroad until I was eighteen, on a family holiday to Erquy in Brittany. What a place! What a time! I can still smell the tropical coconut suntan oil and feel the sand between my toes.
We travelled in two cars. My mother and 5 of us in the Renault, and my older sister TML/Tanya and her husband with M, the ten year old, in the 2CV. While the larger family group were sometimes mistaken for the youth club or the raggle raggle gypsies-oh, Tanya and N and M presented like a normal married couple with a child (who was only eleven years younger than her mother). This distinction was made evident when we stopped at a roadside restaurant one evening. The raggle raggle gypsies parked first, went in and were seated. We asked for food and drink, and were served cider in cracked rustic china cups. Tanya and N entered next, with M, and were given an attractively located table, and their drinks were served in glasses! Funny how that made no impression on me at the time, but my middle sister remembered, and recently reminded me of it. Even in Brittany, there is a pigeonholing system.
I don't think I could ever live in France. I'm just too scruffy, gauche and maladroit, unless I spent three hours scrubbing up every day. But I do love Brittany, Normandy and the cider, cheeses and the D-day landing museums and exhibits as well as Mont St Michel. And then there's Provence. Where even to start?
Thank goodness for memories. I can still travel in my mind, n'importe quoi what madness is going on out there in the CoVid reality.