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Friday, July 14, 2006

Molly Malone

Thursday morning, 8 a.m., Gill was down on the beach at low tide with father, girl, boy, with big buckets. While the family turned over rocks and gathered crabs, Gill - not wanting to touch these little sea creatures - danced and sang Molly Malone. "They don't get my sense of humour," Gill said. "Theirs is such a serious culture. Not a lot of time for fun and laughter.

After crabbing, the father became frantic about some work project and Gill took charge of the children. Lunch, back to the beach, tennis, military (a marching follow-the-leader from what I could grasp), back to the beach, dinner, and at nine at night, when the children were still screaming, Gill had had it. "When the boy and girl fight, I try to listen carefully to both. I take myself back to when I was a little girl fighting with my brothers and remember how hurt I was at times so I try to be fair, sympathize but these two exaggerate, embellish, twist all out of proportion..."

The next morning the mother arrived "funny and wonderful": she has just started a new and better job. [It's happy and sad but true that children bear the brunt of their parent's moods.] Friday was a national holiday, Bastille day, and Gill only realized half way through the day that this meant she was off-duty: "So difficult when you don't know the rules. But it was a good day. I felt I was on vacation, like one of the kids. The parents drove us to a large sandy beach, took us out for lunch, bought us ice-cream (I had my first tast of caramel) and then onto MacDonald's for dinner [ah yes, the culture that is supposed to have a refined palate has succumbed to American fast food.]

I have asked Gill to write a blog and put it in the mail - so difficult to fill this young woman's shoes - no, she has her own distinct voice - so I don't try to write in a similar style. One reader asked for photographs and alas without a computer and internet connection there isn't a way for Gill to transport her photos to me. I am sure there will be a deluge when she arrives down south at the end of the month. But here's one of Gill and me taken in 1991 at Newcastle that Gill says is similar to Ambleteuse.

Newcastle, 1991

5 Comments:

Anonymous Joy said...

Thanks again for the blog entry in Gill's absence. It is evident that you both have a wonderful writing gift. Also, thank you for the photo. I sneaked a peek before reading all of your entry and guessed that it might be Gill and one of the children but to my surprise that cute little girl in the photo is Gill !!

8:03 AM  
Blogger Wenda said...

I love the photo and that you are standing in for Gill while she travels. Alive, Alive Oh! Is that the right tune?

1:57 PM  
Blogger Sky said...

Hi Yvonne,

Great to see you here! Read your account of your time in the south of France recently and hope you are letting some of the pressure go, trusting that the answer will come in its own time and place. Do enjoy the vacation. It is such a treat to lounge and read and just BE, isn't it? :)

Great to see you standing in for Gill. Here's hoping the last few weeks of her stay in France will be delightful and that she will leave with a delicious taste in her mouth. It has been such a delight to read her blog during her adventures in Paris. She is a talented writer and has such a fresh outlook. Can't wait to see her photo journey. Hello to her and good wishes for her safe return.

:) Sky

7:59 PM  
Blogger NWO said...

I'm still enjoying the story. Thanks for keeping this going.

6:15 AM  
Blogger Julia said...

Thanks so much for stepping into Gill's shoes - you're doing such a marvelous job and it's so nice to 'read the voice' of a beautiful lady we've heard (and seen) gushed about so many times. Love the photo, adorable!

11:10 PM  

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