Saturday 31 January 2009

My family and the von kissing trap

I am staying with the director of a huge yoghurt factory in a Northern suburb of Rouen called Maromme. He has an awesome house and wonderful family... two girls and two boys (14,12,10,8). And wife, of course.

I find it absolutely hysterical living with so many youngsters as I was the youngest growing up in my family. Watching them trying to get ready to go to school in the morning or seeing the little hierarchy when it comes to poking the fire is brilliant. The first night they all lined up to kiss me goodnight so it's a bit like living in a cross between The Sound of Music and Outnumbered.

All this French cheek to cheek stuff took a bit of getting used to and I still don't know exactly when you're meant to do it. When I was first introduced to the children a few of them feyly presented cheeks but I wasn't quite sure of Norman form so, with the advantage of height, I just shook hands. It's particularly awkward as the French don't put a hand on your shoulder so you have to crane your neck forward like a mooing cow. I still find it strange... last night Thomas's best friend came to stay. I was watching TV in the lounge when he pottered in and without saying a word appeared in my face. We did the 'bise' and then there was this awkward pause before I had to say, "Et tu t'appelles comment?"

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