A rather perturbed Welshman...

I have given up the attempt in trying to get an emergency appointment with a french dentist, going on what Kim & Alan said yesterday when they dropped off the wooden posts, they’d collected for me from 3mmm for my aerial yoga set up.

“You won’t get an appointment in August, they’ll all be on holiday!” She laughed.

“Oh, thought as much.”

“There’s a good Polish dentist in Civray.”

“Do you have the phone number?”

“They won’t give you an appointment if you ring, you have to go.”

“I wouldn’t bother,” Alan added "It'll ease up."

But the tooth’s still cutting into my tongue!

So here I stand now staring at my twisted contortion of a reflection in the bathroom mirror whilst frantically trying to file down my jagged tooth, using a metal nail file from the retro nail kit I purchased 10 years previous, thinking it may come in handy for someone, someday.

Running my tongue over my now slightly smoother chipped tooth, I glance outside the window and I can’t believe I’m saying this but, this morning we are blessed with the gift of cloudy skies and a cooler start to the day. There's actually a light drizzling of rain in the air seeping through a very fine blanket of translucent mist.

It has been relentlessly hot, this continued heatwave making it a little uncomfortable to sleep at night. (I need to buy fans for the bedrooms.)

However, this is the perfect weather temperature for Roddy’s ride to the coast where we’ll meet in Royan later.

Yesterday’s little cycle adventure had had me in stitches.

He’d gone out on the bike accompanied by Sparky. He'd wanted to try the tracking thing - whatever that is - I think it’s where the drone is set up on some sort of auto-pilot to follow him on his bike, filming him along the road.

Fifteen minutes later, he’d returned to the house interrupting my peaceful morning’s reverie and nice strong cup of Assam.

“Tibb’s, I need you. NOW!”

Oh now what...

“I’ve lost Sparky!”


“Sparky is somewhere up in a tree.”

I almost chocked on my tea trying not to laugh. “How?!”

“It was on active track, following me and just flew straight into this tree.” He explained, loading the boot of the car with our longest extending ladder.


So quickly zipping up the Iggys in their mesh cage, I locked up and dashed out with him...

Somewhere between Moutardon and Lizant, we spot the tree-captured Sparky dangling precariously from a branch. Hung by one of its 4 propeller's, it involuntary jerks making weird R2D2 noises and flashing its lights as if having a frenzied psychedelic hallucination.

We pull over and set the ladder up.

I so desperately try not to laugh but can’t help a few sniggers slip out only to be ‘told off’ sternly by the husband.

“This is serious,” he holler's down “Stop filming me!”

“I’m sorry, but it’s just s..so f..f...funny!”

Reluctantly, I stop taking iphone shots to hold the ladder before he gets really cross with me.

With tentative manoeuvring Sparky finally fall's from the tree ending up with a soft landing - thank god, cushioned within a snug bed of grass-turned-straw by the side of the kerb and not in the middle of the bushes, where I fear, Sparky would have been lost forever, never to be found, seen or heard of again.

Result? One happy eccentric Welshman.

So this morning, he’s off cycling to the coast abandoning Sparky who is safely packed away in his black polystyrene box.

It’s about 130km by bike so I have a late start and I won’t need to leave by car until around lunchtime. I’m lazily gathering my bits together at leisure, dancing around the kitchen to Café del Mar, grabbing the odd bits I spot and need to pack like the Iggys’s leads, food, bowls, cage and treats.

I get a text. It’s Roddy. He’s cold and a strong head wind is against him. He’s in a café somewhere in Mansle and ‘Can you pick me up now? I’m freeezing! We can go straight onto the coast from here.’

He’s not one to give up easily... a return text let's him know I’m on my way. But shit! I’m not ready! In slight panic mode, I rush round cursing myself for enjoying my own private solitary disco, trying to remember everything else I need for our beach trip. I try and hurry knowing that cold equals grumpy and freezing cold means him being exceedingly disgruntled or even worse.

I think I have everything now, for our 4 nights on the coast. I can't wait! It will be so good for us to have a work break - god forbid I forget something though, like the disaster we had a few years ago...

It was a similar sort of ‘scene’ really, we decided to go to Ile de L’oleron, a lovely island off the french Atlantic coastline, for 2 nights and Roddy decides to cycle. We have discussed and selected a meeting point just before the bridge.

Molly and I are to meet him for lunch but on leaving Moutardon mid-morning we soon catch up with him, Molly shouting “look it’s Roddy!” We overtake him pulling into the kerb.

“There’s a small town coming up soon, shall we meet there for coffee and croissants?” He says.

Ten minutes later we spot him again and find somewhere to park. The temperature has really cooled down and Molly, bless her, is a bit cold. “Can I have my cardigan mum?”

“Course darling, can I have the roof box key Roddy?”

“What roof box key?”

“What do you mean ‘what roof box key?, the one that’s on your key ring?”

“Well didn’t you use my car keys then?”

“Why would I use your car keys when I have my own set? Didn’t you take the key off your key ring?”

“Why would I do that?”

“Because you loaded the roof box!”

“Are you telling me you haven’t got the key?”

“Are you telling me we can’t get into the roof box?”

By now, Molly is laughing uncontrollably in the back of the car and I didn’t quite catch what Roddy was saying under his breath. Shit! Everything is in the roof box! All our clothes and shoes, a pic-nic lunch and all the dog stuff including their food and bowls!

“We’re going to have to go back.” He says...

“No! I’ve been waiting for this beach trip for ages!”

“Well you should’ve brought the roof box key!”

“Well I didn’t know I had to! You didn’t say to! It wasn’t ME that loaded up and locked it!”

“I’m starving, I need food.” He folds his arms glaring at the clip-in cycle shoes on his feet. "And I can't wear this kit for next two days!"

I notice and rapidly dash into a nearby patisserie producing him with his favourite sweet pastry of freshly baked flaky pain-au-raisin in the vague hope of satisfying his taste buds and smoothing over any brewing sulks.

He says "You’ll just have to find a garage then, see if they have a key to open it. I’m carrying on - meet where we said.” With that comment he’s off, leaving me, Molly and two lurchers curled up in the boot space wondering what on earth we are going to do.

As we sit in the car contemplating for a bit, caught in that 12-2pm lunch trap where nothing opens in france I rack my brains, fidgeting with the keys on my fob conjuring up an imaginary tiny roof box key that will somehow, miraculously come to life and solve this predicament we appear to be in.

I thank a passer-by who tells me where the nearest garage is and at bang on 2pm I’m there. Unfortunately, they can’t open the box, well only if they damage the lock and I don’t think that will go down well with Roddy’s recently purchased Thule. It’s a Swedish make so they don’t have any sort of key that will fit the lock.

Think girl, think....

And that’s when I spot it. A charity shop. A charity shop in a small town in france. Shocked by this unexpected apparition, I realise not only is it REAL, but it is actually open. I wander over to investigate its wondrous delights whilst Molly stays in the car with the dogs.

Fantastic! We are sorted for a bit till we get to the coast, I can buy food provisions later.

We finally arrive about 50 minutes later at our meeting point just before the bridge at a roadside café linking mainland to island. Luckily Roddy’s in good spirits again after a good ride.

On return from the gent's loo to change his clothes, he sit’s silently waiting for his lunch looking positively uncomfortable, shifting in his seat. He doesn’t look too happy and he’s not very chatty either, being dressed in a nice ladies blue and white striped Breton t.shirt and a pair of teenagers grey baggy sweat pants which taper in at the ankle and well, sitting just above his ankles actually.

And after a desperate hunt through the shoe rack all I could find him by way of any remote pair of 'decent' shoes - as he has rather large size 11 feet - were a pair of khaki green flips-flops in size 9. I figured at least these would be more comfy allowing his heel to slip nicely over the edge at the back.

No, he’s certainly not amused but looking quite cute, if a tad camp.

I refrain from even the slightest snigger...

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