Thursday, September 20
France is closed on a Sunday apart from an early morning boulangerie, and cafes to while away the afternoon, there is no shopping to be done anywhere. that's OK, I'm not a big fan of that particular leisure activity, so we went on a gentle drive around the area. The weather was bright, the sky clear, a perfect day for exploring.
We got to Perros Guirec just after lunch time and it was simply a perfect day in a perfect seaside town. The sea dazzled blue with the sunshine, the sky cloudless and the air clean. We parked the car and decided to do a faire du promenade, ie take a stroll along the prom. It looks to me as if the whole front area has been done recently as it looked new and crisp. The seafront being a combination of boardwalk and paving. My son took one look at the beach and decided he needed to go on it straight away. I think it must be his first time on a beach, so with the tide out, he and my husband ran down and explored for half an our. I stayed and waved and looked after Isak. Personally I don't feel a great loss for beaches. They never were my favourite thing, and while I miss the opportunity I cant say I would ever have been very likely to spend much time on them.
So there I was, female......in a wheelchair.... on my own... with a baby... in France. Well let me tell you, I would have had less attention than if Id been streaking up and down, stark naked shouting 'We won the war'. You see the French like to stare. In Britain we try hard not to stare even though we do, but the french have no worries about being blatant. They will stare and stare and stare. After a few days I got used to it, but initially it was very odd. I think I was stared at all the more for being female and having a baby.
Anyway I was getting a bit bored when an old lady came up to me and started chatting. Remember this all took place in french
"Ah you have a lovely baby, its a he isn't it?"
"Yes hes 4 months old. I'm English so my french isn't that good im afraid."
"Ohhh Eye lurve zee eengleesh." (She said in English)
Continued in French.........
"so whats his name then?"
"oh that's very nice. Hes a handsome little boy. So what happened to you then, did you have an accident? Was it before you had the baby?"
"Yes that's right I had an accident in my back a few years ago"
"Well you are very courageous I must say"
"Thank you. You are very kind."
I was amazed at how my French held up to the conversation really. She was trying to be nice. I was tyring so hard to make a conversation that I didn't really have time to think about what she was saying, but I suspect that her comment sums up the attitude to disability in France. We are all very brave Im sure.