Weekend with my French family
Sim’s family are big on, well, family. Few of them have strayed far from St Sym, and there’s always something family-oriented going on. Last weekend, for example, was the annual country weekend with Sim’s mum’s side. Yes yes, St Sym is in the country, but I’m talking village of 200 inhabitants – Chissey lès Mâcon, to be exact, an hour and a quarter north of Lyon. That put us in the departement of Saône et Loire, in the Bourgogne region, and in some of the prettiest countryside I’ve seen in France.
Sim had to work all day Saturday, so I headed up early with his uncle Christian and auntie Sylvia (who is German). The drive was nice once we’d left Lyon – we drove through Cluny, stopped in a cute village to pick up the keys to the gite we’d booked, and I saw two TGVs plus a squirrel playing in a paddock ! We arrived around 11 and welcomed the rest of the family as they trickled in over the next hour or so. After a typical French picnic lunch (and a toast to the pregnancy announcement from one of the ladies!), we spent the afternoon having siestas, catching butterflies, exploring the village, trying to kick the soccer ball into the wheelie bin, playing pétanque and sneakily changing sleeping arrangements ! Apéro started outside around 7, moved inside at sunset and carried merrily on until around 9, whilst we waited for the last person (Sim!) to arrive so we could start tea. There were quite a few red cheeks around the table by the time the entrée was served – half because of the long apéro and half because of the hand clap game we played whilst waiting ! Lively games of Cranium and Belote followed, until the whole group crashed around 1:30am – grandparents included !
Gosh I had a good sleep !
Sunday morning started with a wakeup call from Sim’s cheeky three year old nephew, who was put up to it by Sim’s equally cheeky dad ! We stumbled down to breakfast which, thanks to Sylvia and her German-ness, included stras and cheese – I’m not a fan of nutella or jam on sweet bread ! The day was spent much like the previous one, with some badminton and cleaning thrown in. We explored the village again, plus the neighbouring one, Lys, and dreamed about buying one of the abandoned-but- still-beautiful stone houses.
I still find it tiring, interacting with a big group of Frenchies for an extended period of time. This particular group understand and accept though, especially Sylvia, who’s been-there-done-that and is always there with a quick squeeze of the hand and some English conversation ! I’m so lucky. If it wasn’t for these people, I wouldn’t be half as happy as I am here !
I’ll introduce you to as many as I can when you come to visit !