We had to go into Rennes to return the hired car today. Rennes is a large town with lots of higgeldy piggeldy roads like most towns in France. Doris the Garmin and the husband would get there just fine..problem was me..I had to drive one of the cars there so that we could get back. I weighed up the hired car (which you couldn’t see the bonnet at all when you sat in it) or this giant diesel jeep with the turning circle of an oil tanker and the deep throaty chug of a tractor. I opted for the hired car hoping I wouldn’t crash the invisible bonnet into anything.
The scenery was one of scerene beauty, shades of autumn ranging from brown to bronze to orange, red and yellow. The lake was still grey nestled in bright green grass and a cobwebby mist hung gently over it. I breathed deeply hoping the serenity would rub off, and climbed into the South African passenger seat. I could do this, how hard could it be? I turned the car on I gently eased the hand break off. A sharp smack on the back of my head and I nearly catapulted through the front window. Said hand break was not on the left hand side after all. No, that was the lever to adjust the back of the seat. There’s the hand break on the right of me! Brain in gear, car in gear, try again. Off I went following the jeep like a flying ant that had lost its wings and now needed a friend.
The gentle romantic mist turned to pea soup. Cars loomed up on the wrong side of the road…no, no that was me! France is just one turning circle after another and the main road towards Rennes went quite well even though I felt like closing my eyes every time I had to turn and indicator on to leave the slow lane (on the left) and overtake on the right. I learnt this by comfortably cruising slowly in the right hand lane thinking all’s right with the world when cars were looming fast out of the gloom behind me and after a few minutes, passing me on the right. I have to hand it to the French, I didn’t have one toot or any flashing of lights..just the odd dirty look. I made it to Rennes, stalled the car about twelve times and hiccuped into the station where I was to drop it off. Oh well, c’est la vie!
Then did some much needed shopping and got lost coming home. I had to stop and ask for directions a few times (Doris the whiny Garmin went off with the hired car) and one gentleman on learning that I could translate his broken English in to my broken french and I did actually know what a’ gauge and a’droit were (left and right) he gave me such a pat on the back ..and he was a big man. Clearly it was just that kind of day.
I’m now sitting in front of the fire with two weary mutts who travel patiently with us where ever we need to go. The man in my life has decided to spend some time fly fishing outside and in the distance, the low rumble of thunder is coming in from the sea. Neil Diamond is softly singing “Hello” in the background and I must say goodbye, time to put on dinner.
A la prochaine