It might be time for another visit from Uncle Ricard. He had, by now been to visit several times but in terms of this blog I haven’t documented them all (it has been noted, quote “yeah I’ve read the blog but there isn’t nearly enough about ME!” Unquote.)
But I’m doing him a disservice because, he’s right, so much of the stories we are building up around this French home have involved him. Not, you understand in a manual labour sort of way, but in terms of building a lifelong experience for us all to remember in our dotage. When we’re all sitting in wipe clean chairs in a retirement home for magazine journalists we’ll talk about the time we drove back from the Marciac jazz festival with uncle Ricard in the back of our estate car like your parents used to do with kids in the 1970s when there were no laws about seatbelts. One friend happily recalls car journeys to Wales as a child lying in sleeping bags in the back of an estate car while both parents smoked with the windows tightly wound up. Ah – the 70s!
Anyway, I digress. Uncle Richard had come to stay yet again – once we had dried his guest suite out. He is, in fact, the best person to visit in times of crisis because he always arrives and loudly declares ‘oh love, you’ve done SO much here,’ even when we haven’t. And his visit this time involved skiing (us, not him. Never seen Richard on skis – cant imagine it) and various trips to the local tabac to buy Pokemon stuff for the kids. Evenings of Ricard drinking, and a day trip for him and the kids to Pau. Pau is a really pretty French town with a large castle, some upmarket fashion shops and evidently a branch of Quick Burger where the children persuaded Uncle Richard to take them.
It was on this trip that thanks to Paul and Sarah our friends who own the local Camel farm (see earlier blog post if you’ve missed their arrival on the scene ) that we discovered the joy of the cubivin. Bought from any of the local vineyards this is an 11litre box of wine that you fill yourself from the vats of wine like a petrol pump. Our favourite two are Chateau Barrajat where you can get amazing Madiran red for just 2€ a litre or Sarragachies which does lovely Rose for just 1€ a litre. Mon dieu. Sarragachies has the added bonus of a very attractive man selling the wine who has that Gallic Eric Cantona thing going on. He may in fact make it onto frenchtotty.com a website my friend Lorraine and I decided we should set up despite it being sexist and objectifying. Trouble is we have so far in rural France only found the man at Saragacchies and Roman the builder to go on it. We may need to work on the business model a bit more.
So, uncle Richard helped us fill our cubivins. And then he helped us drink them.
And then we took photos of ourselves blowing raspberries so that if you catch the pic mid raspberry your lips look like Angelina Jolie’s. Try it…..