Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Last week ended on a bit of a do. I’ve had really bad sciatica recently – so that I could hardly walk – and I finally heaved myself to the doctor after my kiné (physiotherapist) said he wanted me to have an MRI scan. She was a little mystified as to why I’d struggled around in huge amounts of pain, self medicating on paracetemol and codeine for a week. Put like that, I kind-of wondered myself. Anyway, she gave me two really strong painkillers (each one a slow release over 12 hours relief) and a prescription for a scan. I dutifully took my painkillers – hey! they worked! – and the next day drove into Clermont for a meeting about the work situation(for those who don’t know, I work in Clermont Ferrand, some 80 km from home). I had lunch and afterwards, started to feel really dopey – my head was full of cotton wool – and so I put my head on the desk and dozed for half an hour.


Then we went to the meeting, and I was feeling odder and odder – my head was whirling, I was getting waves of hot sweat, and I couldn’ t concentrate. Finally, it just seemed easier not to bother trying, and I let go – my head went bam onto the table in front of me and panic ensued. I could hear what was going on, apparently  from a great distance away, as everyone rushed round wondering what to do,  and I was vaguely feeling guilty about it all, but again, couldn’t be bothered lifting my head up. It all seemed like too much effort! The emergency doctor was called – he wanted to speak to me before he came out. Yeah, right, as though I was in any state to be talking French! – and he gave me an ECG and said that one of the painkillers was probably the cause, and yes, it affects many people this way. Poor Mr D had to rush round trying to find someone with a car to drive him down so he could pick up me and the car – even I admitted that I couldn’t really drive back in this state!

So on Friday evening I certainly didn’t feel like cooking. I had a slice of bread and went to bed. I slept for 12 hours, and yesterday still felt a bit out-of-it. I’m better today, but I can’t look at computer screens or TV for very long without feeling a bit wierd. (Though I managed the marathon 3 hour Coronation Street omnibus yesterday afternoon!

Yesterday evening we were invited to go to clients of Mr D for aperos. In this part of the world, we’re never quite sure whether aperos is just drinks or more. In fact, on thinking about it, Mr D agreed that possibly Alicia had said “aperos-diner” so we went prepared to eat – so I took my painkillers to have mid meal, as instructed (these are the “good painkillers” not the nasty evil make-you-fall-over painkillers, which I had taken back to the Pharmacy)(where they also said, “Yes, they affect a lot of people that way” – so why the heck are they still being prescribed?!)

I was also relieved that Mr D had brought a pack of creme de marrons back from Shopi-soon-to-be-Carrefour-Contact.

Why? Because I don’t like it…which meant I decided to make a cake to take with us, full of creme de marrons. And I discovered that everyone else who had been invited (another 5 couples) all brought something along -a savoury cake of ham and olives/sliced sausage/little madeleines/apero goats’ cheeses etc. I don’t think this is obligatory…but I was sure glad that I had something to offer as well! We had drinks, and nibbles and then a guided tour around the house that they are restoring to become a very upmarket Chambres d’Hotes. After, Cedric produced some little verrines with a mixture of smoked salmon, cucumber and creme fraiche, then sausages, andouillettes and pancakes full of vegetables. I’ve never been a fan of andouillettes but with a good spoonful of mustard, I managed to swallow them, much to the admiration of other French people who refused them!

Finally, there were two more little verrines, a chocolate mousse in one and a layered dessert of speculoos biscuit, apple and creme fraiche in the other. Very nice. Coffee, and marron cake, and peach-and-almond cake (that someone else brought) . And then out came the liquers …this is where I don’t do very well. I don’t like the strong eau-de-vie type liquers that are very popular after dinner drinks here – mostly homemade! So they were drinking some fairly noxious mix of eau de vie/banana/cinnamon/cumin and then the Poire Willem came out…

It was almost midnight and I was dropping. I could make the excuse of my medicine causing me to drop off – next time I won’t be so lucky! Around here, I’m afraid folk love a late night, chewing the fat over liquers until two, or even three in the morning. I remember a friend’s birthday party that went on until 6.00 am the next day (we’d left a good 5 hours before that, and had missed the cutting of the birthday cake which happened at about 2 am!) We plead the “we’re English light-weights” card, but I always feel it’s rude!

Today, I’m just relaxing and not doing much. We did a bit of cleaning between us (Mr D did the heavier stuff. I just dusted, weilded the vacuum cleaner and then sat down moaning that my leg hurts.

So that’s been my weekend. How’s yours been?



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6 Responses to “Friday, Saturday, Sunday.”

  1. Nancy Says:

    Sounded like a scary few days, but you seemed to have taken it all in stride. Hope you are feeling better and you can get that scan soon.

    Fun to read your posts because I always have to look up lots of things, like creme de marrons.


  2. Pom Pom Says:

    Hi Mouse!
    Yikes! I’m glad you are off those terrible painkillers! I hope you find the answer to your pain problem very soon.
    The meal and party sounded wonderful! Thank you for all the details.
    I will pray you feel better soon!

  3. Tractorgirl Says:

    That doesn’t sound good. Hope you are feeling alot better and recovered soon.

  4. Trish Says:

    Poor you, what a week! I do hope that you are soon back to full health.
    My weekend? Worked Saturday. Busy and not enough staff. Missed Meeting today to recover.
    A bientot.

  5. MissLisa Says:

    being in the middle of having real issues with my lower back I, literally, feel your pain! HOpe they get an answer for you soon 🙂

  6. Pauleen Says:

    Hi Alison, sorry to have heard about this -I read your post last week but didn’t comment as I was on the ipad which always garbles my letters. You must have given yourself and Mr Dormouse rather a fright over the turn. I can’t begin to imagine the “joy” of communicating in a second language under those circumstances. It doesn’t sound like this week has treated you a great deal better. Hugs from afar