Anyone familiar with a French scholastic Wednesday will know, probably through experience, that you need to be pretty resourceful, particularly if you work. School's out at 11.30am and even though most places offer the possibility to stay on, have lunch and basically play on site until the parents come to collect their children, some places do not. There are solutions there, too, but generally parents drag their angels off to music lessons, pony club, gymnastics or the like. With Mrs. Fingers still translating and interpreting for her cementoid Mexicans it was up to me to organise the Fingernails' afternoon. Fingernail II was picked up by another mother from school and I picked up Fingernail I and walked her off to her violin lesson. The weather was fabulous, the conversation flowed; it's a moment I look forward to all week: just the two of us, out of the house, walking through the parks to the music school, chatting easily about whatever comes to mind. I was to drop her off at a friend's flat at 1.30pm where she would have lunch. I'd wanted to feed her before leaving but our host insisted she ate with her son, even if it would be a little later than he was used to. We met up at the appointed hour, I left my elder daughter and trotted further on down the road to work.
I picked her up later, only to discover later she'd had no lunch. Her host had expressed surprise that I hadn't fed her and - get this - instead of actually cooking her something, just gave her sweets. We went to get Fingernail II from her friend's house and by the time we got home Fingernail I was ravenous. I only found out she hadn't eaten when we were nearly home. I love this friend dearly but must make sure this type of misunderstanding doesn't happen again.
Dinner was vegetables, vegetables and more vegetables. Wonderful, you can't beat that food. Round it off with a couple of glasses of Château Coutinel and a Manchester United victory on TV and the evening is your personal plaything.
Lunch issue update: Mrs. Fingers spoke to said Mum about this phantom lunch, only to get the following response: "Yes, we'd agreed that Fingernail I would have lunch with my son, but when she said she hadn't eaten, I didn't believe her. Still, she had a lot for tea". No, I don't f****** understand it, either. I'm sorry, some people are just plain certifiable. End of story.