Our country’s birthday and the last day of my 5th decade! It seems odd not to see any flags or fireworks stands….I wonder what Bastille Day will bring.
The day started early with a walk down the canal and the most beautiful sunrise I remember seeing. I must return tomorrow with a camera.
Today’s laundry day, so we sat down with (1) the instructions for the washer and (2) our Berlitz French/English dictionary and tried to sort it all out. There are separate compartments to add Pre-Wash, Detergent and Softener. The wash cycle is controlled by 3 dials and 3 buttons …one dial sets the type of fabric and determines the number of pre-washes, washes and rinses, another dial determines the spin speed, the last dial adjusts the water temperature. One button is used to start & stop the machine, the other two buttons allow you to select the type of wash cycle….which we thought was already determined by the previous three dials….so, all in all, we’re not too sure how the thing works but in went the laundry and about an hour later, out it came, nice and clean. Four hours and four loads later, the week’s laundry was done.
We had visitors in the late afternoon. Caryl’s mom, Sue, and her neighbor, Hannah, walked in from town to say “hello” and see how we’re getting along. It’s about a 45 minute walk from town to the cottage, so they were hot and tired. We shared a bottle of gazeuse (bubbly mineral water) and got to know each other a little better. Sue is recovering from surgery. She had a cardiac stent put in place last month, but she’s back to walking again (she’s the secretary of the local walking club). Hannah is German, and married to a Frenchman. She hasn’t joined the walking club because they start their walks too early in the morning. While chatting, we spied the world’s second largest lizard! This one, also green, is about 1 foot long and just as shy as his bigger brother. Perhaps someday we’ll be able to snap a picture of him, too.
After Sue and Hannah left, we brought in the laundry and started dinner. Tonight’s repast is a green salad with those delicious French radishes topped off with a mustard vinegarette, cheese omelettes and Vermentino (a white wine from a local vintner).
With omelettes made and Vermentino in hand, we headed down the stairs to the patio. Craig was setting the table and I was close behind with the wine when the sound of bicycles on the bridge distracted me; I mis-stepped and fell down the remaining stairs.
I’ve had a number of tumbles in my life and, other than skinned knees and wounded pride, have been none the worse for wear, so I thought nothing of this latest fall. Craig helped me back upstairs and we elevated and iced my leg figuring that, at worst, it was a bad sprain. Around 10 pm, I needed to use the toilet. When I tried to stand, I found I couldn’t put any weight on my leg and, when gently pushed, my calf yielded a “crunch, crunch” sound. So, ok, this isn’t good. Do we go to the hospital now or tomorrow morning? In hopes of preventing more damage, we decided on now….but how? The French have their own “911” number but we couldn’t remember what it was and, even if we did, how would we be able to communicate our problem? Craig called Caryl and asked her to call for an ambulance. While we waited, I realized that I was going to meet Pompiers (firemen) up close and personal! For those of you who haven’t been to France….Pompiers are among the most handsome, hunkiest men on earth. I asked Craig for my brush and perfume and readied myself for them.
They arrived within the hour; spoke no English, but our passports seemed to provide all the information needed for their paperwork. My leg was placed in a compression bag and I was carried out on a sitting stretcher. No easy task given the narrow entryway, lack of lighting and steep stairway but we made it downstairs and I was moved into the ambulance for the ride into Narbonne.
After all my preening, I must say my favorite Pompier was a young woman who stayed by my side trying to make conversation and ensuring that Craig was following behind. And, for those of you of the male persuasion, she, too, was a most attractive Pompier.
We arrived at the PolyClinique (an urgent care center) after midnight. Craig worked with the admissions office while I was taken up to Xray. The Xray Technician spoke some English and told me my leg was broken in two places: mid-calf on the fibula and near the ankle on the tibia. Here it is, my 60th birthday, and I’ve got the first broken bone in my life! The doctor on duty (who also spoke English) said he wanted to turn my case over to an orthopedic specialist, so I was checked in for the night. A very nice, very handsome young male nurse (who spoke English) took care of me that night….including introducing me to my first bedpan experience! What a way to start a new decade!