Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Day 14 - French Nostalgia

One day to halfway...not that I am counting.

I get nostalgic a lot, especially when I am alone (which is pretty much all the time), about my childhood and days gone past. 
 When I was younger me and my family would go to France every year on holiday, we would stay in a caravan and rent bikes, learn to swim, go on adventures. My earliest memory of France is being quite young, maybe 7/8 and my Mum and Dad teaching me how to ask at the bakery for 2 baguettes please....and the only reason I remember this so well is because
I repeated the phrase in my head over and over again "deux baguettes s'il vous plait, deux baguattes s'il vous plait, deux baguettes s'il vous plait" until I reached the little bakery, which was probably on the resort, but I felt older and responsible for getting lunch in a foreign country. Well I spent so much time memorising the phrase that I managed to forget how to get back to the caravan! I remember panicking and worrying, not knowing where to go. I found it...eventually, having achieved my goal.

There was also one time...."this one time at band camp" (everytime...thanks American Pie) there was a little lake to go fishing, and this was the manly thing to do. So my brother, younger than me, got himself a little fishing rod, think it was made out of bamboo, to be part of the fishing crew and he was so excited, got himself all set up and ready. He must have got distracted...or bored......it was definitely boredom....the fish bit and he was pulled into the water! My Dad just dipped his hand in the water and pulled him out by the ankles....it makes me laugh every time I think about it. Poor Boy.....never really took to fishing after that!

Then there was the water slides, it felt like we actually looked forward to seeing what they would be like, bigger and faster than the year before, how many people could go down them all at one time. I also learned to swim in France, and so did my brother. Time would just fly by some days by the pool, we would make friends, challenge each other to go down the slide a bit faster, jump in a little farther or higher. One day, we were a little older by this point, we were out on our bikes and discovered a resort with even bigger slides. I think there was six of us and we hid our bikes across the road and sneaked into the bigger better pool and had so much fun even though we were all terrified of getting thrown out!

We could be in France for up to three weeks at a time and every time it just got better and better, the last time we went it was with two other families, six kids....a holiday romance, injury by bike, barbecues, jenga, late nights in and out of caravans and tents, live music, long ferry journeys, getting lost on the wrong side of the road, hair braids and friendship bracelets exchanged with promises of never taking them off!

I could keep going and going with stories, but I better actually wash my dishes, like a good Mother.

I often wonder if nostalgia is our mind making our memories better so that we believe life is not as good now but when it comes to thinking about France I truly believe that those days were the best, truly the best of my childhood.

Rachel Rose.x

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