Ther’s something really lovely about being up before the crowds on a sunday morning, and if I don’t go to the sunday market, the next best place to be is on the quayside watching the boats coming up the river. My kids cannot be roused before midday, so today I left them all in bed and headed out to meet one of the boats moored up at Rouen and welcome a group of 30 American visitors for a morning tour of the city.
My boat wasn’t there but plenty of others were, and no sooner had one set sail than another came to take its place.
But Ile Lacroix, Rouen’s mid-river island was just visible under the bridge bathed in an early spring morning mist.
The American visitors had walked the gang-plank not knowing what lay in store for them but since the weather was beautiful, and the buildings magnificent, I think they had a nice suprise. Many are the days that the drizzle sets in and we find ourselves bedraggled with umbrellas blown inside out and trousers soaked up to the knees. But it’s the new season, the days are warming up and the cafés are spiling once more out onto the streets.
For me, it’s the opportunity to speak english again, and it makes me laugh when I struggle to find the words after a winter of unuse. By the autumn I will be fluent in my own language again, but for now i’m still tempted to use all those words in french which perfectly describe a object, an emotion or an action, where in english only a whole sentence will do!
All too soon the tour of the city is over and I describe to our visiors how to find their boat again, or give directions to interesting places so that they can stay on shore a while longer.