pleese edit for grammer and punktooashun. And speling. Thanks.
Well, our first trip is on the books. But our first blog post isn’t, so here it is. With the bar set high by cousin Kate I will attempt a guest post. This was our first time in Leran, and what a place…. Little Britain as we have called it has treated us well. The town itself is so small I’m not sure more than a handful of Reids should visit at any one time, or they might not all fit. It has everything you need, a bakery, a mayor, a castle, a river, an old lady (or two, or three) who watches you from the doorway and says a kind bonjour, and even an old man who rides his bike back and forth from the garden to his girlfriends house. Outfitted with the iconic beret on his head, he would ride by a few times a day looking like a postcard each time. Once with a bunch of carrots and lettuce in the basket, once with a loaf of bread, and once with a bottle of wine. ALWAYS smiling. This guy broke our hearts he looked so sweet. He also marked the passage of time for us as we sat around in the apartment doing absolutely nothing but reading and talking and staring out the window together.
We had ambitious plans when we arrived. A side trip of four days in Marseilles, a night in Arbois, lots of wine tasting, but we cancelled them all when we arrived in Leran. We decided to take it easy and get to know the Midi Pyrenee instead. The first day Kari caught up on three months worth of sleep and by the second day I was struck with a fever. A few days into it we had it diagnosed as swine flu then in a frightening moment (with a stiff neck and terrible headache) I figured it was maybe meningitis. We were discussing contingency plans on how to get me to a hospital, and when to make the decision when Sally stopped by. In that wonderful way the Brits have of reducing you with a smile she just laughed and said “Just like a man. You’ve only got a touch of what was floating around”. She then teased me every time we saw her by asking how my “Man Flu” was progressing. Proud to say, it wasn’t meningitis after all, nor was it swine flu. Most likely just a touch of Man flu I suppose.
So, it ended up being a week of sleeping, reading, navigating French pharmacies and laying low. Which in the end was exactly what we needed anyway. In spite of this we made it to dinner at the abbey in Camon, which was an absolutely lovely night. We also managed to drop the key down the grate in front of the door to the house. Something I had worried about the whole week. When it finally happened we could just see the glint of the key down the little shoot to who the hell knows where. We asked a neighbor for a coat hanger or something, and he came over to help. He arrived with an antique looking pair of fire tongs, and managed to grab the keys, get them right within reach and then drop them again, this time sliding away into oblivion. I figured the key (which had the front door key, as well as the rental car key) had slid all the way down into some sewer or storm drain runoff, and that we were screwed royally. The neighbor who was helping felt so bad about dropping it a second time that he rallied the whole street, which caused a wonderful neighborhood wide council on what to do. This culminated in a neighbor who is employed by working under old houses being remodeled. We climbed into the window (which was unlocked thankfully) and found a trap door in the kitchen. This nimble little kid scrambled down a set of rotten steps, past Fergie’s kennel, grabbed the key and hopped right back up. Everyone cheered when he emerged with the key.
I baked about ten tarts and gave them to some of the neighbors; we attended the Marche Gormande in Leran on our last night. We ate mussels, frites and snails, and watched a torrential rainstorm move through. Everyone was either safely inside the garage of city hall or across the street at Marek’s watching each other from across the street. All in all it was a wonderful week of relaxing and getting to know this beautiful little town. Thank you both for your generosity and kindness. We were amazed at what you’ve created and all the hard work it must have taken. We love you both.
Noah and Kari