Four days in the relative calm and warmth of Biarritz. Four days of lying in, of smelling the sea, of eating good French pastry and... having my belly patted by my in-laws.... only 3 pats tho, one less than I was betting on.
I also got away with pair of knitted blue booties from my mother-in-law, apparently the same pattern she knitted for all her boys ('alors, c'est la meme que j'ai fait pour son Pere' she said, or something similar but more gramatically French) and incidentally all her grandchildren (Blob, should he make it, will be number 6).
I expect this may throw my own Mother into fits of chagrin at either her French counterpart having gotten there first or at the thought that there may now be further expectations in this area. Therefore it is probably worth saying now, here, and in public that I have no knitting, felting, weaving, sewing, embroidering or other home-manufacturing expectations.
The key thing I got away with in France was shopping. Here in the UK, finding maternity gear means either going somewhere expensive and frou frou, somewhere that specialises in polyester and plastic or Mothercare, which hovers somewhere uncomfortably nearer the latter than the former. Big department stores such 'do' maternity if you hunt but in general finding maternity gear seems ridiculously difficult.
In France, however, go into any large clothing shop and there it is, easy to find, well signposted and with rack upon rack of clothes for the expanding pod ('et, retourneras chaque semaine par-ce que les vetements change tout les temps' encouraged the sales dame or words to that effect. I could have hugged her.) Unbelievably cheap as well - amazing. The French, however, don't see it that way ('but of course' scoffs D 'what else do you expect from a country that used to give medals to women who had more than eight babies')
God bless 'em. And their pastries.
It is, however, nice to be home. Sometimes I think that may be the whole point of 'going away', to come back and appreciate the comforts of home just that little bit more - or to find that one is heartily sick of everything and ready to jack in the lot. 'Away' is more of a state of mind than a destination. 'Home' however, is where the cat is, currently curled in a ball with all four feet touching my side, pleasingly happy to see us back.
and so, to bed.