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The Secret Cevennes - articles by Samantha David


Will They, Won’t They? 

      First it was my sister.  She’d found a cheapie to Rodez and she was arriving on the 13th.  But then she wasn’t because that’s the night the village celebrates Bastille Day and she ought to come earlier, but any earlier and it can’t be Rodez because the flights are too expensive.

      So she was coming to Nimes.  But then that fell through because last year she got barked at by a vicious French dog in Nimes.  So she was coming to Montpellier.  But then if she was coming to Montpellier, she might as well avoid the Big R and fly BA because they are quite cheap.  Except they aren’t cheap on the dates she wanted, so she had to log back onto the Big R site but now their prices had gone up too.

      Then she thought she’d drive, but her husband filled the car with petrol instead of diesel, so perhaps they’d come by train.

      But wait a minute.  The In-laws are arriving on that date.  Yikes.  Re-plan.  Perhaps Rodez would do after all.  But then the In-laws shifted their dates so that they could still visit some cousins in Spain, and that meant that Rodez was off.

      In the meantime, my mate G had booked tickets via a last minute website which turned out to be fraudulent and anyway August would suit her better except... we were planning to nip off to Italy that week.

      But now we’re not.  Because the In-laws have changed their dates again, which means that everyone else has bounced out of those dates prontissimo and Italy has moved over to July, but then that won’t work because of the Junior Members going on their camping trip...

      Right.  Stop.  Would all prospective visitors please nominate their final, un-changeable dates? 

      Well, it’s tricky because of these Big R prices.  They keep changing and if we wait a bit, they might have another sale...  And also there’s the question of the In-laws.  Where are they going to be and when?

      Meanwhile, there are the invitations.  My brother is having a birthday party in Greece but doesn’t expect anyone to turn up because he’s chosen the very least accessible, most expensive, most remote Greece island in the whole Aegean, and doesn’t really want anyone to come anyway.

      Then there’s the cultural expedition to Paris which is timed for the first week of August as long as the train tickets are still cheap.  And of course as long as a suitable hotel can be booked through the dodgy last-minute website.

      Not forgetting of course, the Bastille Day celebrations in the village.  Which just happen to fall right slap bang in the middle of the Greek dates.  And naturally all Big R flights are at their cheapest on that date, but we’re not spending all day taxi-ing visitors to the airport.

      We were going to nip off to Italy, but that was before my sister’s eldest realised that she had a sixth form induction week.

      To hell with it.  Here’s the plan.  We’ll sit here on the sun-loungers sipping cool drinks, and you lot can ring us if and when you ever arrive in France, and at that point we’ll tell you if we’ve got room.

      And as for us?  The Greek birthday party?  The cultural trip to Paris?  The relaxing food-fest in Italy?  The camping trip into the mountains?  Will we?  Or won’t we?

      Well, it all depends... 


Next column will be uploaded around 15th July.


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