About a month ago, a chap appeared in our garden and said, “Claire? I’m Malcolm. I read your blog.”
Taking into account the fact we live in a tiny stone village in the rugged countryside of the Ardèche, which involves a 20 minute drive along a long, windy road seemingly going nowhere with just the odd wild boar snuffling along the roadside, a blog reader in our garden came as quite a shock. I wasn’t sure whether to run, offer him a cup of tea or pour boiling oil onto him from the balcony. How had he found me? What did he want? How much about my life did he know? Was he about to use all that information to extract money/underwear/promises of a flattering blog post devoted to him? And if he was nice and just wanted tea and a chat I had an even bigger dilemma – we were literally out the door, on our way to a huge Easter Egg Hunt which was being delayed for our tardy arrival. That meant our friends were holding off 30 children, all ravenous for chocolate. They were in a dangerous position and we were the only ones that could save them. It was already half past 4, we couldn’t make them wait any longer. I reached for the boiling oil.
But then Malcolm introduced himself and I realised we had already exchanged messages via my blog. He is English and has a holiday home about 40 minutes drive from us. He was very friendly and extremely apologetic for just turning up without any warning. He and his wife were driving back to their Ardèche house when they realised they weren’t far from our village. So on the off chance that we were home they swung by the village and found us. Except that we were on a mission to find eggs. I explained our situation and said they were welcome to hang out on our terrace and have a rest and enjoy the view, but that we had to fly. We exchanged email addresses and said we would get together the next time they came to the Ardèche. We leapt in the car, leaving Malcolm’s dog-loving wife massaging Baloo (who has arthritis and rarely gets a proper dog massage).
L’Homme was quite relieved, as being recognised by a complete stranger (who exclaimed, “And this must be L’Homme” when he appeared) made him wonder what exactly I had written about him on my blog. But I was a bit disappointed to have spent just a few fleeting seconds with them.
However, today they are coming round for tea! My readers! All the way out here! Quick, I must make a cake! I shall report back later! …