Hi, Mum and Dad,
It is all over! When I took E and M to school this morning, I could still smell bonfire smoke everywhere. Lots of parents came up to me to tell me how much their family had enjoyed it.
It was such fun last night. It started with some of the children processing to the playing field with candle lanterns, then the little village band (mainly drums and pipes) got things going. The bonfire was huge! Apparently a parent who had loads of old wood to get rid of. And the guy was enormous and very smart.
Alain whispered to me that it was supposed to be the mayor, but fortunately he did not seem to recognise himself.
The toffee apples and hot-dog stalls did a roaring trade, helped by gallons of cheap plonk to wash it all down (pop for the kids). The fireworks were really good (not too loud, because of the little ones), and guess who was asked to light the bonfire! Yes, me!
People are already talking about making it an annual event, and Monsieur Henri, the mayor, was floating the idea of our two villages twinning. It is usually only towns and cities that do it, of course, but he thinks it might be arranged, which would be great. I will be really sad to lose touch with everyone here.
Bruno and Orlane are delighted that it all went so well, and as a thank you for my efforts they have insisted on treating me to dinner on Saturday at a swish restaurant round here. Alain is taking me and we will both have to wear our very posh outfits.
Talking of Alain, I think I told you that he is coming to England next year to do a Masters degree. He has settled on Bristol, which is miles away from my university, but we can meet up occasionally, despite the distance.
The way time is flying it will be next summer before I know it and I will be back home with you, getting ready to go back to university, catching up with what Josie and all my other mates have been up to. We keep in touch via e-mails, but it is not the same.
Hugs and kisses, Hayley.
P.S. Tell poor old Buster to keep away from that boxer in Lime Crescent. He is bad news.
I am back! How are things in medical school? As you must have gathered from my e-mails, I had a really great time in France. I was so lucky with my family – they were lovely. I even stayed on through the summer holidays to help out with the children. They took us to Sanary, a super little place on the coast.
But now I am feeling really down. Poor Mum and Dad were so looking forward to me coming home, getting all my favourite food in, doing up my bedroom as a surprise, but ever since I got here I have been a real misery guts, moping around.
Do you medics have anything for a broken heart? It is Alain. I just did not realise till now that I had fallen for him in a big way. He is coming to England to do that course, but it is at the other end of the country so it is hardly likely for me to bump into him.
I should have read the signs. He was supposed to come to Sanary, then changed his mind, and on the day I left he did not even come to say goodbye, sending just a one line e-mail wishing me bon voyage.
It is obvious he is not interested. I think he must have seen me as the equivalent of a holiday fling. He probably had a girlfriend hidden away in Marseille all the time.
Ah, well, plenty more fish, as they say.
Oh, no, an e-mail’s just popped into my inbox and it is from Alain. Wiping the slate clean for both of us before our terms start, no doubt. I will not bother reading it. Maybe I will just have a quick look though and see what he has to say for himself.
See you Monday.
My dear Hayley,
I hope you like my very first selfie and that you recognize the clock tower behind me. I smile to imagine you running past it, looking at the time. I remember you told me you are always late for your lectures! And I remember everything else you have ever told me.
I am so ashamed if I hurt you, but, please, forgive me. I did not come to Sanary because I was in England! I was attending an interview, hoping that I could change my course to the same university as you. As I was going to have to wait several weeks before I knew, I was afraid I would not be able to stop myself telling youmy plan and then have it all go wrong.
You see, dearest Hayley, I knew before you left that even being only 200 miles away would be 200 miles too many away from you. So here I am, standing in the very spot you know so well, waiting for you – if you really can forgive me.
Please e-mail, Cherie, and tell me that you will be as happy to see me as I shall be to see you.
P.S. I would love to meet your parents (and Buster). You have told me so much about them.
It will be November quite soon, so perhaps this year I can experience a real English Bonfire Night!
Source: The People’s Friend
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