Alan Goes to France Ch. 01

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Alan goes to France.

“It’s a marvellous offer, but I just can’t take it.”

“Why-ever not? You’re not bothered about moving South, are you? Or is her indoors anti the idea?”

Fred was in his local pub, drinking with his brother, Brian. He was bemoaning the fact that he had been offered a really good job, but which would mean moving a long way South from his current home.

“No. I’d be more than happy to move, and as the wife’s family lives in the area, she’s all for it.”

“So, what’s your problem?”

“Alan’s the problem. He’s well on his way to getting good A-level exam results, and you know he’s got a firm offer of a sandwich apprenticeship so he can train as an engineer at the shipyard and get a degree at the same time. If we move South, he’ll have to start again, and I can’t do that to him.”

“You daft bugger, that’s no problem. He can come and live with us. You know the sun shines out of his arse for Bridget, and she’d love to mother him, even if he is a bit big for that.”

“Hell, Brian, that’s a great offer, but are you sure you want that commitment? Mind you, I suppose that, if you could put up with him till after his exams, then he’ll be eighteen and he could always go and live in digs if it got too much for you. But are you sure Bridget will fall in with this — after all, she’ll be the one having to look after him?”

“Let me talk to her before you say anything to Alan, but I’m willing to bet she’d love the idea. You know how much she’s always wanted a kid, so at least she’d have a ready made one for a few years. He’s a bit big for her to breast feed him, but at least she’ll find out what a pain teenagers can be. I’ll get back to you in a couple of hours.”

The two men went home to talk over the idea with their wives, and they all met up later that day. As Brian had predicted, Bridget was all in favour, and so it was agreed that they should go ahead with the idea, assuming Alan agreed. Alan was quite taken with the idea as he had always got on well with his aunt and uncle, and he was delighted that a solution had been found to allow his father to take the job with its excellent prospects, especially as his present employers were in a slightly dodgy condition, and there was every chance he could be out of work. A few weeks later, Fred and the family moved house, and Alan moved in with Brian and Bridget.

The move could not have gone better. Alan had been close to his uncle and aunt from birth, and they treated him as the son they had never had. In fact, they had tried to have children from the time they were married, but without success. They had never tried to find out the exact reason, but Brian rightly suspected that it was he who was lacking in the fertility department. He and Bridget had a reasonably active sex life, and as neither had ever had another relationship they had no means of judging whether there was room for improvement — which, indeed there was. Their couplings were always short, and she sometimes wondered whether she was missing out on the possibilities of a more satisfying physical experience. However, they were still deeply in love, so she just accepted that it was not her lot to be a mother.

Brian proved to be a very satisfactory filial substitute, and he had certainly fallen on his feet. Life could not have gone smoother. He was doing well at school academically, and also in the sporting field. He was captain of the school cricket team as a talented batsman and wicket keeper, and was the leading points scorer from his position at fly half in the rugby team. He was always very fit and became school captain in his final year. Standing well over six feet tall, good looking and well muscled he was the sort of boy of whom lesser lights looked up to with envy, but as he was also of a very friendly disposition it was rare for anyone to dislike him.

Near the end of the summer term, before the final exams, Brian took him for a drink at the local pub – a first for Alan, who had only just passed his eighteenth birthday, the legal age for drinking in Britain – and settled him down in a corner. This unnerved Alan a little, as it wasn’t normal for Brian to speak to him seriously, but he need not have worried.

“Alan, I need your help. As you well know, Bridget has had a hell of a time the last few years, working all hours on the business, but now she’s sold it there’s a chance for her to take a real break.”

The business he referred to was a Private Nursing Agency that Bridget had established with a colleague, after they had found that, after completing their nursing training, their hospital made life very difficult for them when they both married. At that era most nurses were unmarried, and the hospitals, if not totally opposed to the employment of married nurses, made no effort to accommodate their new status, and many husbands weren’t willing to accept the difficult hours their wives had to work. Thus, the pair struck out on their own and, after a difficult start, they built a reputation for bursa eskort bayan their ability to supply nurses for all sorts of jobs, both in home nursing and within industry for the manning of works’ surgeries. The business grew over the years and finally, after they both felt they had had enough — especially as Bridget’s partner became pregnant — they received an excellent offer from a major national agency, and they sold out.

“How does that affect me — you don’t want me to leave, do you?”

“No, don’t be daft. You’re no trouble, I reckon you are more of a help to her than a bother, especially since you’ve learnt to cook, that’s made life a lot easier for her. No, it’s a very different thing that I’m asking. She wants to go on a long holiday in France, and I can’t take time off to go with her. Would you be prepared to go with her? The idea would be to drive down to the Mediterranean and stay in a hotel for a bout six weeks, then drive back slowly, doing a bit of sightseeing on the way — maybe Paris, who knows. I know she’s a lot older than you, but you get on so well together, and I’m sure you’d have a good time.”

“It sounds like a good opportunity to try out my French on the unsuspecting natives, but the only trouble I’d have to ask Dad to give me the money to pay my share and….”

“No question of you paying. Her business sale and some of my cash will easily pay for both of you, and you’ll be doing us an enormous favour. If you leave immediately after your final exams, you could spend a couple of months and still be back in time to start work on the planned date. What do you say?”

Alan only needed a few moments to make up his mind. He had only made vague plans for the summer before his starting work, and the idea of spending time touring France was most attractive. He had taken French as an extra subject on top of his engineering based subjects, and he found he had a natural aptitude for the language, so he really fancied the chance to try it out. At this era soon after the Second War, before the explosion of package holidays and cheap travel to Spain and France, it was unusual for ‘ordinary’ people to go abroad for holidays, so this was an opportunity not to be missed.

“I’d love to do it. As you say, Bridget and I get on well together, and she’s always treated me as an adult rather than an overgrown child, so I’m sure we’ll have a good time. She’ll be able to show off her French to me, she’ll love that.”

“Right, I’ll tell her its on, and we can sort out the details. Let’s have another drink to celebrate it!”.

The next few weeks were a blur of preparations for the forthcoming holiday. Alan was working hard to ensure his exam results were good as well as playing cricket for his school. Passports had to be obtained, currency arranged, and tickets for the Channel crossing to be bought. Bridget spent a lot of time and cash on buying beachwear and summer dresses, while Alan lashed out on a new swimming costume and some light clothing.

The night before they left, Brian took Alan aside and said something that Alan didn’t understand. “Alan, all the time you are with Bridget in France, don’t forget to do just what she asks you, and give her anything she wants.” He replied that, of course he would, but he really had no idea what the point of the request was, as though he wouldn’t have done what she wanted.

Then the great day arrived. Bridget had treated herself to a new(ish) car, a low mileage Triumph TR2, painted in British Racing Green. This two seater British sports car with its 2 litre engine was not the world’s most sophisticated machine, but with its light weight and relatively powerful engine it would just about exceed 100 mph, which was quite quick by the standards of the day. It didn’t have a lot of luggage room, but by using soft bags they managed to cram in a more than adequate amount.

The weather was not the best on the great day, so they left home with the hood erect and the windscreen wipers flapping, and were on their way to Dover. There they were boarded on one of the new car ferries, which now avoided the lengthy process of lifting cars aboard by crane by the simple method of driving on via the ramps. During the crossing to Calais they enjoyed a late breakfast and watched as the clouds gave way to clear blue skies and bright sunshine. While they were waiting to be off loaded they folded the hood down and donned their headgear — a cap for Alan and a headscarf for Bridget, then they were called forward and drove off onto French soil. They were soon cleared through passport control and Customs, and drove out of the docks for what felt like the real start to their holiday adventure.

Alan had passed his driving test only recently, but he had already driven quite often illegally in the battered old car of a friend, and driving a modern car with reliable steering and brakes was a real pleasure. They took turns at driving, constantly reminding each other to drive on the right. (Some readers bursa otele gelen eskort bayan might not realise that Britain drives on the left, the logical side — or, at least, it was when fighting horsemen kept left so that it was easier to attack another horseman with the sword in the right hand.) The French roads at that time were quite rough compared with the billiard table smooth British roads — how times change! – but the TR2 coped well with the occasional pothole, not to mention the even rougher surfaces in some of the many villages that the Routes Nationals of the day passed through, by-passes being an idea for the future in most cases.

After a brief stop for lunch — they bought a baguette and some pate, which they washed down with a bottle of fizzy water — they continued till they reached their planned stop for the night. This was at a provincial hotel, where Bridget went in and booked the room. It had been agreed that they would share a room during their discussions before leaving. As Brian had pointed out, the French charged a price per room, not per person, so it would keep the expenses down, and with twin beds there would not be a problem as they could prepare for sleep in the bathroom. After they had booked in, they went up to the bedroom and found that it was just what they needed, twin beds, well separated, and a bathroom built into the room so they could preserve their modesty.

They went down to the dining room and, for the first time, Alan was presented with a menu written in French. Alan’s French was nearly all of the sort taught in English schools, designed to pass examinations and with a heavy bias to correct grammar rather than spoken French. Bridget had lived in France for several years as a child when her father’s job in the Foreign Office had involved several postings to Francophone countries, both in France and in Africa, and as a result of spending many hours playing with French speaking children, her spoken French was fluent and idiomatic. She had passed some of this on to Alan when she had helped him with his homework, but menus had not been part of his curriculum, and he was more than a little baffled.

“It’s easy” she said. “just have a guess, and try anything — well, anything except andouilette, that is simply untranslatable and disgusting. It’s made from bits of a cow that should have been fed to the dog, so don’t go near it.”

“I’ll remember that. So what’s gesiers in a salad.”

“It’s chicken gizzards, and it’s excellent.”

“I’ll believe you, so I’ll try it.”

The rest of the menu was fairly obvious, and they had a very pleasant meal with a carafe of red wine of an unknown vintage, after which they wandered off to their room. As Brian had predicted, all went smoothly. They took it in turns to use the bathroom to change into pyjamas, and were soon asleep in their comfortable beds. After a good night’s sleep, they reversed the procedure, and were soon dressed and eating their breakfast. Alan mumbled a bit at being presented with half a baguette and a basket of croissants, with coffee served in large bowls. He was used to a fry up of eggs, bacon, fried bread and all the trimmings, and Bridget had to explain to him that this was what he’d have to get used to for the next few weeks.

After breakfast they packed their bags and set off again, still with the hood down on the TR2, and the little sports car was soon rumbling happily along the sunny French roads. They took their time as they went, stopping occasionally when they saw an interesting building or a good view as they passed through the Alpes Maritime before descending to the Mediterranean coast. It was late afternoon when they reached their destination, and they followed the street map they had been given by the travel agent till they arrived at the hotel they had booked. Only problem was — it wasn’t a hotel, it was a smouldering ruin. It had been subject to a major fire, and was clearly not likely to be a usable hotel again for years, rather than months — if ever.

They were obviously more than a bit shaken by this turn of events, but while the sat looking at the ruin, a man approached and asked if they had booked at the hotel, and when they replied in the affirmative, he handed them a sheet of paper which told them that, as a result of the fire, their booking had been transferred to another hotel which would be expecting them. Then he told them that he was also in the same situation, and he knew where the new hotel was situated and suggested that they follow him. He got into his car, a Citroen 2CV, and led them to the sea front and parked in front of a very up-market looking hotel.

“Bloody hell, we can’t afford this place.” said Alan.

“Let’s go in and see what sort of deal they are offering, they might give us a decent discount — though the French don’t really understand the meaning of the word discount.”

“We shan’t know till we try.”

They followed the couple bursa eve gelen escort from the 2CV into the reception of the hotel, where they were met by the receptionist. He explained that both hotels were owned by the same man, and that he had instructed that all the people moved from the burnt hotel should only pay exactly the same as they would have done in the first place. He also explained that the bookings should not have been accepted in the first place as the building was due for refurbishment. As a result, the two couples were the only customers affected, so it wasn’t really a big deal to give them the same rate, which was less than half they would have paid if they had booked here in the first place.

“And, as a sign of our regret that you have been messed about, all drinks will be on the house for the duration of your stay — I’m sure we can trust you not to abuse that offer. There is one other detail. All the accommodation we have available is a suite of rooms, two big bedrooms with a connecting reception room. The doors from one to the other will be locked on each side, unless of course you decide to unlock them. The other problem is that Mr and Mrs Bryant had asked for twin beds, but I’m afraid both bedrooms have large double beds, I trust that won’t be a problem?”

Before Alan could think of a reply, Bridget replied “No problem, he doesn’t snore too much.”

The hall porter showed them the way to their rooms, and Alan and Bridget found that they had been allocated the part of the suite that also included the reception room that separated the two bedrooms. Bridget checked that the door into the second bedroom was indeed locked, and they took in the very pleasant surroundings. The bedroom contained a king size bed, and a door opened into a big bathroom with a bath, WC, large walk in shower and a bidet — which Bridget had to explain to Alan! They learned later that the suite had been installed for a wealthy part owner of the hotel who had an invalid wife who needed to access the facilities in her wheel chair, which explained why the bathroom was so spacious.

They had a quick wash and change of clothing before they went down to enjoy an excellent dinner, followed by a pleasant drink at the bar. Alan had not drunk very much before, just the occasional beer or a glass of wine, so he was very cautious, as he had no wish to make a fool of himself in front of Bridget. As it had been quite a hard day, they were not to sorry to get to bed in good time, but now the realisation began to creep in on Alan that he was about to spend the night sharing a bed with a woman, and he was a bit nervous. How could he be sure that he wouldn’t turn over in the night and accidentally touch her intimately? What would she think if he rolled against her? He need not have worried. They took it in turns to use the bathroom to prepare for bed. He was first into bed but she followed him shortly, and as he lay beside him with a worried expression on his face, she leaned over and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek.

“You didn’t snore last night as far as I know, so hopefully you’re a quiet sleeper — not like Brian. Try not to roll over and squash me, there’s a good boy. Night night.”

“Good night Aunty Bridget.”

“Oh, just one thing. The hotel thinks we are man and wife — I mean, we are Mr and Mrs Bryant, they aren’t to know you are my nephew, and it might cause a problem, as it certainly would in England. So let’s forget the Aunty bit, please.”

“OK. Good night Bridget”.

With that, they rolled over and both were asleep in short order, and didn’t stir till nearly eight o’clock the next morning. When they awoke, after taking turns to use the bathroom, they went down for breakfast — a bit more choice, but still not what Alan was used to — then decided it was time to investigate the beach. They had both dressed in summer clothes over their bathing costumes, and they loaded a bag with all the requirements such as towels, sun screen, dark glasses, some water and, of course their underwear to put on after their swim.

They wandered along the sea front, then walked down onto the sandy beach and strolled along the water’s edge for quite some distance. Then they rounded a small headland and had a bit of a surprise.

“Bloody hell, he’s naked!”. Alan squeaked in surprise, at the sight of a man standing in the surf, very obviously unclothed.

“Not just him, so’s everybody else” replied Bridget, having taken her eyes off the proudly displayed manhood and looked around the rest of the beach. “I think we’ve come to a nudist beach.”

“Yeah, well, we’d better move on a bit smartly. I’m feeling distinctly overdressed.”

“Not likely. I’ve always wanted to go skinny dipping, I’m not going to miss the chance.”

“You’re not serious. You can’t just take your clothes off, I mean, what would people think?”

“In case you hadn’t noticed, the people on this beach would think we are just normal, and nobody else can see us”

“Oh really, Bridget, we’d better move on.”

For reply, Bridget reached behind her and undid the zip on her sun dress and shrugged it off her shoulders and gave a quick wriggle so that it fell round her ankles. Under it she was wearing a very modest two piece costume, and now she undid the hooks securing the top and slid it off, freeing her ample breasts.

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