One Summer In France – Episode 07

They were sitting in the kitchen drinking tea and making plans to start on the unpacking and sorting things out when Agnes arrived.

“I thought I’d pop in to see how you were after the flood,” Agnes said. “And to offer to give you a hand on Saturday.”

“Saturday?” Libby asked, pouring a cup of tea and handing it to Agnes.

“The rally tea.”

Puzzled Libby looked at her.

“The local vintage car club. Bruno’s a member and we’ve always had the season’s opening rally start and finish from here. It is in the reservations book,” Agnes said.

“I haven’t opened that book,” Libby said. “I’m not even sure where it is. I’d assumed the booking for three people at the end of the month was the first date I had to worry about.” She looked at Agnes. “How many people come on this rally? What kind of food do they want?”

“It’s just sandwiches, cakes and tea. If it’s cold, a bowl of soup is welcome,” Agnes said. “I think last year there were thirty people.”

“Thirty! Who’s the organiser? I’ll ring tonight and cancel. I’m sure they can find somewhere else when I explain I’ve only just moved in.”

“Mais, Libby, it’s not a problem with me to help this year,” Agnes protested. She hesitated. “I have told Lucas earlier that it will be OK.”


“Lucas Berrien, he is the organiser. When he called to see me earlier I promised him there was no problem with you because I would help. He said he’d driven down here to see you but then he got an emergency call so he had to leave.”

“Who is he?”

“He’s the local vétérinaire,” Agnes replied.

“What kind of car does he have?” Chloe asked.

“He has a vintage Delage that is the envy of all, but for his work he drives –”

“A muddy blue estate,” Libby finished the sentence for her.

“Oui. You’ve met him?”

“Only in passing,” Libby said.

“So that’s why he said see you soon.” Chloe laughed. “Go on, Mum. Think of catering for the rally as your first challenge in France.”

“The rally will have to be stopped if you cancel the tea. It would be impossible to find somewhere else local at such short notice,” Agnes said. “I promise you it is not difficult.”

Libby sighed.

“I don’t suppose I have much choice, really.” She looked to Agnes. “OK. You’d better fill me in with all the details and we’ll work out a plan of action.”

Talk about being thrown in at the deep end, Libby thought, but at least she’d have Agnes and Chloe to help.

Margaret Scott

Margaret is a sub-editor within the Production Team on the "Friend". Her main job is to work on the stories and make sure the magazine leaves us in its best possible guise. When not doing that, however, she either has her head buried in the old “Friend” volumes or is out and about giving talks or going on Warner trips (fab!). She hates cheese.