A Weekend in the beautiful French countryside. Free wine, great food and fantastic surroundings. Oh yeah, and the wedding between Chris and Muriel.
I soon met all the English Section of the Wedding guests. They have all received an invitation. I didn't.
Why Chris? Why? You just wanted my brilliant film service, didn't you? Didn't you?
Oh well, because all the bottles of free wine I drank, I forgive you.
Everyone seemed excited probably because like many of us they all visited France as tourists, and they never could get an inside view of the rural villages in the countryside the way they should.
Only two hours later Chris got married. Yeah, ok, the big wedding in the church was yet to come the day after, but the civil wedding was good enough for me to test the camera that Chris forgot to bring. I had to use my backup handheld camera to get some stuff. Luckily the ceremony was brief and after a fast photo-shoot (I managed to sneak my happy face inside one of the official pictures) I was transferred to a farmhouse where I was supposed to stay.
The family that gave me a place to stay (Nick, Patricia and their daughters Nastassia and Marika) was wonderful.
They could easily switch from French to English so I was able to talk with them.
Even if for the first hour or so it all sounded like Parseltongue, after I while I realized I probably understood more that I should have.
It's always nice to see a family so close together, at least on holidays. It reminded me of the happy times. Now, with my sister in South America, me in London and the rest of my family scattered around Milan this is something definitely missing.
I was invited to come to the small family-and-close-friends-only party, at Muriel's massive countryside house, l'Allamandiere, and I even helped the girls make some salad. I opened the cans with the tuna and the sweet corn. Not bad at all.
For a moment I felt a bit like a wedding crasher. The guy who nobody knows and who will film the wedding and make a nice DVD that anyway nobody will ever see (let's face it, would you?) chatting and eating and drinking for free. Drinking family's wine, eating family's recipes, and smiling to everybody.
But wasn't like that at all. Even if for someone probably had an issue having me there, sitting at the family table, I didn't feel it at all.
Everyone was wonderful, and the food (ehi, we're in France, I was expecting great food) was fantastic. I met many interesting guys and girls, and I didn't fake a single smile. The company was superb. And the wine helped a lot.
Seeing so many children running freely around in this great environment made me realize what I already knew: if I'll ever have a son (married or not) I would never raise him up in London. Kids need open spaces, good food, great families, big dogs and other kids to fight with.
After the dessert we moved back to the place where I was staying.
The moment I closed my eyes the incredible darkness and the calm surroundings helped me reach dreamland.