Have you seen the film Chocolat? With Jonny Depp when he was swoonsome and you didn’t realise he was old enough to be your dad? Well go to that village in your mind for a flavour of the village my grandma resides in. For those who haven’t seen it you will get the picture I hope…..
So me and little piggle went on an adventure, to visit my grandma in her child unfriendly but amazingly beautiful holiday home in the Lot. It’s on the market and we don’t know if we will get another year so I wanted to take H and also to have one last holiday there myself. Me and daddy piggle have spent many evenings eating cheese and drinking wine on the balcony, waking late in the wonky bedroom with a wonky head. Browsing markets, eating out, visiting the supermarket Mecca that is L’eclerc. It’s in the middle of nowhere and feels like a world away.
Our trip started in Stansted, an airport I absolutely loathe. It took an hour to get my car seat and buggy tagged (checked in online so didn’t even need to check in) and then I had to take it somewhere else to check it in. Followed by security evilness and a patronising man who quite frankly was a bastard when I pointed out my liquids bag was sufficient last month in Heathrow and ended every statement with the line ‘do other airports do this…’. No you idiot they don’t harrass sweaty women travelling alone like a laden donkey with a small child in a sling and make them put their liquids in two separate bags….equating the same amount of said liquid! Oh and we both got searched – a sling search is most random essentially lean forward and hands go in!
Anyway rant over, on the plane both ways lovely kind ladies kept H entertained. The lady on the return leg commented on his calmness and said he would be a lovely kind grown up, I thought that was so sweet. He was brilliant bar a scream on the way down on the outward journey, but to be fair we had been stuck in the middle seat and he was exhausted. He cried himself to sleep in the end after we glared at each other having strangely not experienced him having this sort of crying fit before! I think we were equally confused.
Arriving we were whisked back to the village. Yellow stone chocolate box houses with small windows and shutters fill the village, centred around the square with the boule area surrounded by trees and a small church. My grandmas terrace overlooks the square and gives you a view of village life. There is a small restaurant we have never frequented (well she has and no one else so need I say more…), the church, Mayors office (Marie), a playground and a village hall and that’s about it. A phone box as there is no signal, I have phoned daddy piggle before from there – very old school. Snacks and tea where quickly followed by an aperitif on the terrace and little piggle getting lots of attention. The fresh air, the sunshine it was perfect.
The village never changes, there are engrained families with a long history. Not many people come and go, it appears once you are in you are in. There are good old family feuds and gossip as in all villages but it might be a ‘special’ French kind. The houses are all ancient bar a few new ones in the hills, higglydy pigglydy on top of each other. So quaint and so charming. Park anywhere, let your dog roam anywhere (not good for old wimpy here who is terrified of all dogs), it seems a very close community. I have always thought it was a bit weird but there is something charming about the oddness!
So what did we do…we chose wine and treats at the supermarket. Ate out, for me true plat du jour deliciousness the others vegetarian (surely a crime in France). Visited the market for a browse and to soak in the ‘atmosphere’. Looked at little piggle a lot, entertained him, fed him (including him testing garlic). Watched the villagers have a brilliant time playing boule, a real social hour or so for some of the men of the village of all ages. We enjoyed the summer breeze and fresh air, little piggle slept a lot! I read some magazines (!!?) and we chatted with no interruptions from a crazy three year old.
And then it was time to return. I was longing to see big piggle, it was hard to keep in contact as there is no signal or wifi….literally every other random village we visited had it but not ours!
It was a magical, relaxing few days I did nothing for many hours which didn’t even feel wasteful. I savoured every second. And my little one got to visit the village and meet the friends my grandma has made over the years. I think we are all secretly hoping it doesn’t sell but if it does au revoir France…we will meet again one day 🇫🇷