Wednesday, 8 February 2017
It was 1952 and I was an exchange student to a pen pal in France, Michel who with his twin brother Claude had come to stay in our house in England for four weeks so they could experience Great Britain.
As arranged I returned with them to France to stay a month with their parents and their two younger sisters Joelle and Silvie so I too could learn what it was like living with a French family in France.
It was different to say the least but as it was school holidays I had every day to explore the town of Meaux a few miles outside Paris and to ride our bikes all around the countryside seeing chateaux and quaint villages and even rowing across the River Marne to have fun on the island midstream where we could swim in the river and play volleyball with their friends.
On Sundays of course they went to church at the cathedral in Meaux and I went along too more of a spectator being an Anglican rather than a participant in the service as the boys like the majority of French citizens were Catholic.
On weekdays we would run errands for their mother and often we would have to stop by "La boulangerie" (baker) to collect the baguettes and patisseries their mother had ordered.
Even today so many years later I still eat that now common crusty French bread reliving the memory of me first discovering a wider world than I had ever known before.
Image found at www.boulangerie.devulder.free.fr