Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Polishing off the Parisian to Earning my Devon Freckles again

The journey from Paris to Bristol takes a little over one hour in real time. Though theoretically it lasts 15 minutes because of the one hour time difference. This just adds to my amazement because, for me, my life in Paris and my family in Devon are worlds apart!

However, on my return to England, there is never this 'culture shock' but rather a 'transition period' where my mind gets accustomed to Not responding in French out of shock when passers-by wish you good day like you knew each other! Not zoning in on every English accent heard whilst wandering the streets, as I am habitual to do in Paris. Not  pointing at each hill, sheep, cow, bird that is not a pigeon that passes and saying 'OOOOH' in a touristy fashion.

After all of these delights progressively re-become normal day-to-day eventualities I find myself reverting back to my 'green roots', so much so that; as soon as someone offers me a pair of wellies and some overalls I get this childish gurgle in my stomach to go mad, get muddy and jump in as many puddles as possible ! The transformation from Parisian foreign student to country girl is inevitable...

I spent yesterday with one of those friends who doesn't need you to qualify your friendship with photos or presents, simply a cup of tea and a shared laugh can make it feel like old times: when you were both living in the same country and undeniably struggling through unbearable Chemistry lectures together.

Watching the rain drive diagonally into the side of Louise's cosy farm style bungalow from our comfortable position, wrapped up in fleece blankets and cradling cups of tea the average size of a french woman's handbag on her sofa, one could of mistaken us for a pair of oldies chin waggin' about the good old days (and the reoccurring conversation topic: Food, of course...)

Though at her parent's suggestion of 'getting some fresh air' we left our nest on the sofa and ventured out onto the farm where the next several hours were passed.

I found all my questions answered to how farmers move their new-born calves: You herd them (...obviously...) but, suprisingly into the front dig-bucket of a JCB where like on a skate-rink the long legged animals find it impossible to stand up and so just lay-down and wait for the ride to be over!

I met a farrier, who kept in his spare change in a crisp packet and spoke with such a broad Devonian accent that I felt the same feeling I felt shortly after I moved to Paris and was having to make a huge mental effort in order to decipher each word in a sentence... English as a foreign language!

I discovered there were 5 gears on a quad bike! So, we succeeded in getting our dose of fresh air by speeding down the road on a quad bike at 70+ mph and I gained some of my own 'Devon freckles' as Aubrey, Louise's Dad had put it. (Or basically, mud splats on my face in plain English)

 Thank you Louise Hosegood and your family!