We finally managed, after a brief flirtation with Axabanque and and even briefer one with La Banque Postale, to not only open an account in the local village branch of Crédit Agricole, but also, within a week, to secure a loan for a car with the very nice chap who works there. No more language corrections, and a good deal of ‘respec’ after the snobby ‘Societé Generale’.
The question ‘What Car?’ is a big one. Despite my being ethically against being a two-car-two-person-two-cat family, it has become apparent that Julian’s taxi service to and from Avignon TGV station comes at an increasingly high price, so we agreed that we needed a second. Our Mégane estate hums as much, and not as musically, as its owner and is primarily used as a cello ferrying dumping mobile. Were we to exchange it for a better model and treat it the same way or were we to buy a fun car in which neither the cello nor bags of ‘chaux’ would fit?
Julian had carved a slice out of a social schedule fit only for August in Provence. He, sensibly, had begged an evening à deux in which to cook for me - and me alone - amidst the welcome commotion of dear friends. Last night, we devoured the Queen of beans – the ‘coco’ – with pan friend pigeon breasts and ratte pots, followed by spicy rice pudding with flat white peaches, and we got to talking about what it was we really wanted….
We are three hours from the Costa Brava, three from the Ligurian coast, three from the Pyrennées…..we have no children and we want loud music, sun and fun. However we want to be comfy and to feel safe. Impossible, we thought last week, it would have to be the new clio….
B – O – R – I – N - G
…which led to me trying to ram an empty cello case in a Mini Cooper this afternoon. It slid smoothly into the back of the normal model but when it came to the cabriolet, it was quite a manoeuvre. After twenty minutes, however, and with a great deal of will, we got there, with the back seats down, the boot shelf off, and even the roof half reclined.
“Quelle couleur?” asked the jolly salesman.
“Crème?” I replied, not knowing the right way to say that creamy sexy white with the black hood.
“Oui Paper White” I agreed thinking how sweet his accent was, and that vellum was just the colour.
i managed to get the 'carte grise' and the €600 Harman Kardon speakers thrown in.
When we fed the order in to the computer for the ‘pepper white’ cabriolet and the letters MAD came up I beamed.
“Mise à disposition” he explained, but I knew that we were indeed deliriously mad and that, with no kids and a cello, one has certain advantages and with them we were going to have lots and lots of fun!
Here I come, Mum!