The last two weeks have been so fraught that I have been unable to think straight never-mind being able to write on my blog. The ten days spent in our little bit of France, a maison du village close to the super-cute town of Uzes in southern France ended on a sour note. The market in Uzes is an amazing experience- this is how people shopped before department stores. Stalls selling everything, clothes, shoes,table clothes, cooking utensils and of course food. At this time of year the cherries are in season. They are a speciality of the region, dark red burlat cherries, not too sweet but not too sour. We bought a large punnet of them along with other fruit and vegetables.
After we got home, we made coffee and went to sit in our small garden, which is across a narrow lane. As I drank my coffee, I struggled to read Le Figaro, while my husband read the Times on his Kindle. A few minutes later, two men walked into the garden. At first I thought they were kids acting the fool, and I said to them, in my best French, that the garden was private. The two men kept on coming towards us, and I then realised the one leading had a knife pointing at me. Before I could move, he was stood next to me with the knife at my throat. Without thinking, I pushed my chair back. This must have suprised the man because he let go and I was free to run from the garden screaming ‘Help, Help’ (my French had totally escaped), into the square, and then along the narrow street to the door of one neighbour, where I banged on the gate and rang the bell, and then to another where I knocked frantically on the window, making the dog bark, but no one came out. At some stage whilst I was doing this, I saw one of the men come out of our house carrying my handbag. He must have gone onto the kitchen door and run through the house to the front door, where he emerged into the same street. I continued to run towards the gite at the end of the street where I knew about six young men were staying, with visions of my husband being attacked by two men, when I realised the man with my handbag was running towards a blue Renault parked around the corner. I followed him and saw the registratioin number of the car, which I kept on repeating aloud (it was CC 108 LT, if you want to know) To my relief as I turned back into our street I saw my husband on his feet, I was afraid I would find him in a pool of blood, and on a neighbours telphone to the police. More of the locals arrived on the scene as we tried to deal with the police and make calls to cancel credit cards and have my mobile barred.
I have had my handbag snatched before, but being in real danger of harm was a very unnerving experience and I am still very shaken. Sometimes life is not a bowl of cherries.