"Bonne journée les enfants..."
Still struggling with jet-lag, I pretended to sleep until 6 am. The rest of my family had given up at various stages between 2 and 5.30 am, so the kitchen was a hive of activity when I came downstairs. On the day's agenda was a visit to the bakery, a trip to find our Christmas tree and back home to wait for the fuel delivery man. First things first, though, we all needed to do numerous tours of all windows to see if the snow might make its reappearance from this window...or that one...or the one at the end of the hallway.
No snow, so as soon as the boulangerie was open, my son and I stepped out our front door and into the path of an elderly gentleman, who was coming towards us leaning on his cane. We smiled and, not fighting my irrepressible need to talk to everyone in town, I mentioned that we were waiting for the snow and were a little disappointed that it hadn't fallen overnight. He smiled and said that he was happy when it fell up high, but didn't mind if it didn't fall down low, before adding that he used to think the same way as us when he was young ... a long time ago. There was a slight pause before, with a very sweet "Bonne journée les enfants", he gave us permission to move on more quickly.
I laughed to myself, and then again out loud with my son, when I was out of earshot. What a great start to the day and how special to feel happily cradled in his fatherly arms.
Christmas-tree choosing was next on our list. A tall beauty, a poinsettia and another berry plant whom I can tell you will survive outdoors (I asked) came home with us, but not before we had witnessed the marvels of the tree bagging machine (above), which works a bit like a sausage casing does and had several 'bonjour', 're-bonjour', 'au revoir' and 'bonne journeé' with the very charming men at the nursery.
Homewards, and to my next appointment with the smartly booted fuel driver. In the past, I have looked forward to my annual meetings with Robert and his fascinating footwear and today was no different. Before shaking my hand very warmly, he pointed to his boots as a sweet reminder that he, his tartans and I go way back. But, this year will be our last like this; at least, no longer will we be meeting in the semi-obscurity of our cellar. Come June, he will be doing away with his big truck and early morning starts in favour of mountain skiing and cycling. I wished him well and reflected that, thanks to my many friendly encounters, it had indeed been a 'bonne journée'.