Monday 12 August 2013

French kissing....

Talking of France and the French, as I was...we were in France a couple of weeks ago, enjoying temperatures of about 38 degrees.  It didn't start well when we went to pick our hire car from Budget/Avis (did you know they were one company now?) at Geneva airport and were told that they'd let our car go because we were late.  The girl on the desk had a victorious smirk on her it wasn't a customer-friendly smile.  This was a car that was booked and paid for, not just reserved, so I went at her like a rottweiler.  The Cat's Mother stood back.  We got a car, and Anglo-French relations have been put back a couple of centuries.

We'd actually arrived in Geneva a couple of days earlier...only just though as Swiss Air tried to bump us off the flight because the temperature meant they couldn't take on enough fuel.  At €250 each, it was a very tempting offer... Driving into Geneva the taxi managed to run into the back of a stationery vehicle.  I was facing backwards whilst The Cat's Mother and her friend were facing forwards.  As no seat belts were being worn, I can tell you that this is the first time for many, many years that two women have thrown themselves at me in an undignified manner.

Coming out of a restaurant in the old town late in the night a young girl of about 7 or 8 came out of the dark scootering towards us crying because she'd lost her mother.  She was desperately upset and in a complete panic.  We took a little while steadying her before beginning to walk her back up the hill the way she came. Suddenly she spied her mother in the distance and was off  without a glance back.  Children.  Mothers.

Down by the river, we sat at a bar whilst the drugs police dispersed the obvious drug-dealing youths with a dog that would strike fear into the Hound of the Baskervilles.  It certainly struck fear into the chihuahua that was sitting close and clearly thought it was going to be turned into a tasty morsel.

At our friends' flat there are rules.  The Swiss like rules.  They have a rule for everything.  I'm not sure why no monkeys are allowed (top right).  No singing in the bath is also to be applauded if you've heard me sing...perhaps you will understand all the rest.

Odd then that they allow the workings of the Lake Geneva paddle steamers to be completely exposed

We drove to Beaune in the Burgundy region for a three day wedding - bride French, husband English.  Beaune is lovely.  The wine is over-priced and not that great...but perhaps The Cat's Mother shouldn't have told the vineyard guide about the pleasures of Chilean wines these days.  She was very French about it.  The wedding was a chateau of course.

What a fabulous wedding indeed

We saw a lot of sun flowers

We saw a lot of chateaux and vineyards

 And wine
 Amazingly this is an early example  of the french national health service...look at the roof!
 And inside....