Tuesday, July 29, 2014

An Oeuf is Enough - excerpt from Stumbling Along (c) Eiona Roberts 2005

This is an excerpt from my book Stumbling Along  - a Journey with the Master of Surprses (c) Eiona Roberts 2005. The setting is Lille  in France. Please do not reproduce in any form without prior permission from myself, the Author.
......there was a moment that week when I thought that an oeuf is enough!  I’d lost a lot of weight in the preceding year and none of my rings fitted me.  I hadn’t worn my wedding ring for nine months.  Huw was none  too happy about this and wanted to buy me a new ring; not to replace the old one, but simply as a gesture or symbol that we are actually married (Ref 1st Chapter about the Marriage Certificate) 
Because I need many power naps during the day, he’d left me asleep in Room 101 (ref: previous chapter) for a few hours and when he got back, he declared he’d found a department store  which had a fab jewellery counter.  Lille has many jewellers and shoe shops, far too many in fact for a shopa-a-phobic, but he decided on this one and dragged me there kicking and screaming - not!

I saw one I liked immediately, but the assistant had to try to find someone with enough command of the English language to serve us.  I was wearing trainers on my feet because I’d been exercising my legs a bit too much for my liking earlier in the day so due to the heat in the store my ankles had swollen  up quite spectacularly and looked like two small cauliflowers.  I had no intention in being there a long time.

Huw tried to pay with one of his pieces of plastic and that’s when the bother started.  It wouldn’t swipe.  The chic French lady started getting bothered and kept on swiping the card back and fore on the side of her bum, I assume in an attempt to clean the magnetic strip.  Then another chic lady appeared and did the same.  Then a supervisor was called for; she also swiped it on her bum too, but also very sexily put a bit of spit and polish on the hologram, all to no avail.
I offered to pay with my Flexible Friend but no, there was a matter of principle at stake here.  We waited and waited, not very patiently in my case, because I had been half way through eating a salad baguette and the lettuce in it was wilting - and so was I.

I had asked if I could wear the ring and was told at first that I could but then I found myself being asked to take it off and place it on the counter, whereupon two red nail-varnished French fingers delicately and daintily picked it up and replaced it in its box and put it behind the counter out of reach and out of sight.

The next thing we noticed, much to our astonishment, was a security man appearing but I was so hot and tired that I was literally propping myself up with my chin on the counter and couldn’t have given a flying  FGS if he’d strip-searched me; at least I would have cooled down, though I doubt if I would have been able to get my cauliflower-ed feet back into my trainers.  I felt like telling them to stick their ring where the sun don’t shine but I was so tired I couldn’t have said it clearly in English, let alone in French.

An hour and two phone calls later, the card was accepted.  Then the original lady needed Huw to write his full name and address down on paper so she could type out a proper receipt and Certificate of Value.  I hope you’re not losing the plot yet, because I was losing the will to live very rapidly by then.

After every ‘i’ had been crossed and every ‘t’ dotted, or something like that anyway, she asked which country we came from (Huw had already written UK on the paper).  He said, “Aux Payes de Galles,” and was given a very smug look and gallic shrug which hinted, “That explains a lot.”  It’s a very beautiful ring; I wear it to death.......................