"Nose, Granddad, Nose!" our Growing-up-Italian-Granddaughter prompted regularly as we hung out last week. Granddad was carrying the wipes and was expected to keep the space between nose and lips as dry as possible. A tough job requiring constant vigilance as Little Girl moved into the Actively Infectious stage of her cold, its causative virus clearly intent on replicating itself and getting out into the world. . .
Sure enough, a couple of days later as Pater and I marvelled at the beauty of Florence, we also marvelled at how quickly a Two-Year-Old's hugs can translate into a scratchy throat. And by Saturday's visit to Naples, my own nose was the one being wiped, although I managed to do that unaided. . . And by Monday, back here in Bordeaux, I was happy to be able to stay home with a book and a box of Kleenex, doing nothing much more than sleeping and reading, and, well, nose-wiping. . .
Then against my hopes that I'd be well enough for yoga, Tuesday turned out to be another sick day for me, while Pater headed off to class. He was back in time to make me lunch and chat a bit before I went back to bed for The Longest Nap Ever. Seriously, I put down Commissaire Maigret (the mystery case focuses on the murderer of a philandering husband whose wife apparently tolerated his wanderings fondly and with amusement) about 2, and at 4:30, as I groggily swam back up to the surface of consciousness from the deep, deep pool of sleep, Pater was leaning over to kiss me good-bye as he headed out for a haircut.
That haircut probably deserves its own post, unlikely to happen, but suffice it to say that over all our years visiting here, it's an eventuality he's contemplated and put off, wearied by the idea of finding the right words while sitting in the chair. After all, "Number 2 on the sides" isn't going to work so well here. So I was a bit surprised to find he'd made an appointment (apparently, he'd gone out to do that while I was setting the sleep record). Surprised and refreshed enough by the nap that I decided to make dinner for a change.
An hour or so later, my newly shorn man opens the door to the spicy warmth of dahl, his declared pleasure at the fragrance met by my delight at the posey he's holding out to me.
He tells me about the care with which the flowers were chosen, wrapped together, encircled with raffia, then enveloped in paper, then tied with more raffia. . . He unwraps them and we try several possible vases in our rented accommodation.
He tells me about the experience at the hairdresser's, the chatter around him, the other clients.
And then he chuckles, remembering the similarly aged fellow who was also getting a haircut, who then was also at the Carrefour when Paul popped in to pick up a jar of honey, and who asked my guy, when they met again at the florist's door a few minutes later, whether he was following him or not. Paul laughed, and said they must have a similar agenda, and then, nodding at the bouquet in the other gentleman's hand, asked if he, too, was picking up flowers for his wife. The other, chuckling, nodded and said, "Oui, ou peut-être pour la vôtre. . . . (yes, or perhaps for yours...)
So cheeky, some Frenchmen. . . ;-)
But I swear, only Maigret was in bed with me. Truly. . .