Snippets Of 4 Nights In France 

We have made a routine
In another country 
With morning pains au chocolat and
walks up the river 
with the promise of an ice cream at the end.
Adventures to neighbouring coastal towns void of humans.
Navigating driving around roundabouts 
on the right
in a campervan
while juggling your endless questions
about where other people might be going
and the sudden explosion of noise
when you spot a UK sticker.
Never have I had so many conversations about 
UK stickers and number plates. 
Foreign words tried out on repeat
un, deux, trois
s’il vous plaît
Snakes and ladders 
found in a draw 
of the air bnb 
I wish I’d never opened -
it’s all you want to play 
but if I win the noise can probably be heard 
from the galette cafe down the road. 
So I let the battle be lost by me 
and stuff another piece of croissant into my mouth
and slurp my tea
Counting steps up to a view of the sea 
ending on a different number each day 
despite the same amount of steps.
Sand castles made on a windy beach 
in the evening sun 
that’s still chilly in the early spring evenings.
The excitement and fear your little hand communicates 
as we navigate crossing a stream as it meets the sea. 
So many emotions packed into a few metres and minutes 
and your celebrations as we reach the other side 
punctuates the end of another day 
of routines that are already familiar.
Meeting disappointment head on 
as we find out the Boulangerie is shut 
on Jeudi’s which jars our morning routine.
Pure joy on your face at finding 
that the village shop sells baguettes on a Jeudi.
More joy on your face 
at eating the baguette from the paper bag
while walking by the river on the way home
saying Bonjour and Aurevoir to the water 
as it hides and reappears between bricks.
The excitement at seeing the same duck each day
And the laughter when it turns upside down.
Thought you'd stick your head in the water
and look for some food
did ya Duck
You shout
like a football fan might shout at Lionel Messi.
Trips to the village shop 
hoping to find inspiration for dinner
where the same food sits on the same shelves.
Finding out the wooden sliding blind in your room 
has a handy hole in the middle 
to slide it back and forth with 
but the person who designed it 
failed to think of the sunlight 
that could waft in and wake a sleeping child 
at an unhelpful time in the morning.
And so the adventures go on 
And so we sing the same song
And so Tim Minchin has a lot to answer for
As Revolting Children has been the theme tune 
to our time away
and it’s impossible to get it out of my head
even after considering to learn the words in French
in the middle of the nuit.
Routines in a different country
Figuring things out as we go
Your sadness as we say goodbye
But we will be back, we know.