Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Vive l'Entente Cordiale!

Twenty years ago I spent a very happy summer as an au pair in Paris. My young charge was four years old and easy as pie, and my employees were a charming couple who made me feel very much at home. I left promising to stay in touch and intending to go back and see them one day...

Somehow that day never came. I left university, got a job, got married and life rolled on without a return trip to my favourite city. I did manage (just) the keeping in touch part, and heard all about how the little girl I looked after was growing up and what the sister who joined her after my departure was like. But, helas opportunities to meet came there none.

Until now.

I heard from my French friends at Christmas. They were planning a trip to London. Great, I emailed back, we must meet up.

So meet up we did. Spouse, the offspring and I drove up to London and took a trip around Tate Modern with them, and spent a wonderful afternoon in their company doing a blipvert catch up of the last twenty years. It was something of a shock to realise that the little girl I remember so fondly is now 25 and getting married next year (how old does that make me feel?), but other then that they were exactly the same as before.

The children were entranced both by Tate Modern and by my friends. They were particularly taken with an exhibit which looked like sugar cubes, and provided a fine maze for them to get lost in. Spouse and I spent the first part of our visit losing and finding children - as my mother says, keeping control of several children is like getting jelly to set.

Our meeting passed all too quickly, but by about 6.30 the natives were getting restless, and quit while you're behind always being my motto when out with the offspring, it was time to leave.

But this time I've promised we won't wait twenty years to see one another again....

Pour mes chers amis, Jean-Luc et Dominique, au memoire de notre petit piece de chance! xxxx

1 comment:

jean-luc & dominique said...

And let that Entente Cordiale go on and on , through us, and through our children and grand children ...
20 years later, I confirm that the charming aupair girl has'nt changed, she has just grown a whole family, after taking care of ours.
We heartily "wish many happy returns of that day" , and we will not wait for 20 more years !
plenty of kisses
jean-luc & dominique