Back in the autumn Maria, our elderly neighbour, came to see me. She looked uncharacteristically sheepish as she said she had something to ask me, on behalf of her son-in-law Fred, who’s a conseiller du maire, like a town councillor.
I wondered what on earth it could be; Maria is such an outspoken sort of woman, so full of life that it’s hard to believe she’s 80.
Eventually she asked; how old are Nick and I? Not the question I’d ever have expected. I told her we’re 65, but why did she (or Fred) need to know?
It’s because the elderly of the village are given a present every new year, from the commune, and yes, we are now sufficiently elderly to qualify!
It arrived this week; a hamper containing 2 bottles of wine, foie gras, confit de canard, cassoulet, a box of hand made chocolates and 2 packets of luxury biscuits. Perhaps it’s not so bad, being old, after all!