Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Ardour in the Ardeche, the call I didn't want to receive

French Village Diaries Ardour in the Ardeche
Camping at the Ardechoise
There comes a time when we have to accept those around us need to step away and gain some independence. This letting go is often outside our comfort zone, but has to be done. This was how I was feeling letting Adrian head off to the Ardeche last week, with his bike and camping equipment, but without me. Having really enjoyed himself on the Ardechoise last year, when we were there together, it seemed mean to refuse to let him go this year, despite one of us needing to be at home to support Ed (and taxi him back and forth) through his first Baccalaureate exams.

French Village Diaries Ardour in the Ardeche
Ardechoise sportive
It’s not often Adrian immerses himself into an all French environment without Ed or I for (language) support and I thought it would be a good experience for him. I was also a tiny bit jealous that he was off to the Ardeche and I was stuck at home. A 130km sportive, taking in the hills and villages of the Ardeche, fully supported with food stops in villages decked out with bunting and an air of ‘fête’, what could possibly go wrong?

French Village Diaries Ardour in the Ardeche Ardechoise
Ardechoise cycle themed decorations 

Quite a bit as it happens!

French Village Diaries Ardour in the Ardeche Ardechoise
Food stop at the Ardechoise

My Saturday began with an early start to collect Ed from an over night party and take him to a pretty garden where the music school were putting on a small outdoor concert. Adrian phoned me at 8.00am to say he was off and then at 9.00am he texted me to show me his first re-fuel of saucisson and St Felicien cheese – yummy. I was then driving for about an hour and a half and then occupied with a slightly jaded teen, who was certainly tired and dehydrated, but putting on a brace face setting up his guitar and amp while the trumpets performed a sound test.

French Village Diaries Ecole de Musique Pays Mellois
Ed performing at the pigeonnier

It briefly crossed my mind about 11.00am that it was rather quiet from the Ardeche, but I wasn’t overly concerned. Halfway through Ed’s brilliant (I’m his Mum so would say that) performance of Apache my mobile rang, a UK mobile number that would have cost me a fortune to accept, so I declined it. Once Ed was done, my brain remembered the mobile number was quite possibly Adrian’s Mum’s number. A quick text, ‘did you just ring?’ was immediately answered with a ‘Yes, ring me NOW!’

This is how I found out that Adrian had fallen off his bike, injured his shoulder, was on his way to an unknown hospital and had lost his phone in the fall. All this 600km from home, alone with no back up and very little French.

It’s certainly been a busy few days, with multiple logistical problems and plenty of stress, but I’ll tell you more about that later. The important thing is that he is home, damaged and fed up, but home.

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