Surprise Holiday

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This story is set in France, but happily for non French speakers, every one spoke perfect English

There is no under 18 sex, in fact no under fifty sex.


“That’s it, I’ve finished that bloody book and I’m off on holiday tomorrow.”

“Take me with you, I’m absolutely knackered after sorting out Dave’s affairs.”

This exchange of pleasantries was among a group of walkers, members of All Ensemble, a group of English speakers living in Western France. By definition, the majority of the membership was predominantly composed of British ex-pats, with a smattering of French and Dutch, and was a friendship group that organised various social events, the most popular of which were the regular walks through the French countryside. The group had just stopped for a breather and to take the group photograph, and there was some good natured chatter going on.

The man who had just finished the book was Mark West, who was in his early fifties, and had come to live in France after the death of his wife five years before. The book he had finished was an extremely boring philosophical tome by an overpaid and underworked academic at one of the great universities. Mark hadn’t written it, but had translated it into French as part of his job as a professional translator. He was multilingual and renowned for his translation of all sorts of works into French, Spanish or German. He usually enjoyed his work, but had formed the opinion that the writer of this epic was a pretentious prat, and was mightily relieved to have finished his efforts, though he was convinced it would be crap in any language..

The knackered woman was Kate, also just turned fifty. She was living in what had been a holiday home, bought some years previously to try and bring some interest to a failing marriage, without much success. A divorce was becoming more imminent, when her husband contracted pancreatic cancer, and she nursed him through his illness and early death. She had spent the best part of a year sorting out his convoluted business affairs, which involved protracted meetings with lawyers and accountants who she suspected — rightly — of trying to rip her off. She had finally emerged rich, but, to use her own words, absolutely knackered. She had moved into the holiday home for a long rest and to get away from her ex’s family, who were less than happy that she didn’t share out with them any largesse from the estate.

“All right, you may come with me if you want to.”

“Seriously? I’d love to get away relax for a week or two. I’m willing and able to pay my share, now I’ve got all this money from Dave’s estate.”

“Kate, you must be mad. You don’t know where he’s going or what he’s going to do. He may be a mad rapist for all you know, you’ve hardly met him.” This from another of her fellow walkers.

“I’ll take a chance on getting raped, and as long as the holiday doesn’t involve anything too acrobatic, like climbing mountains, it’s bound to be a relief after what I’ve been through recently. I haven’t had a holiday for about four years. What do I need to bring, and what time do we leave?”

“You needn’t bring a lot, we shan’t be going anywhere cold, so just an anorak or so and something tidy for eating out. You know where I live, if you drive round you can park your car in my drive and I’m planning to leave at about 11 o’clock. Bring your passport, I’ll make all the travel arrangements. Oh, no mountain climbing.”

And so, with no further discussion, the holiday was agreed. Kate packed what seemed sensible for an unknown holiday, and next morning she arrived at Mark’s house at about 1030. He had got a big old farmhouse, and parked in the drive was his Range Rover, coupled to a large caravan. She parked her car alongside the house, and he appeared as she got out. She was more than a little surprised.

“Are we going in this?”

“That’s the general idea, and in case you’re worried, it has two separate bedrooms and all modern facilities, so you’re not going to be slumming. By the way, can you cook? If not you will just have to put up with my cooking, which is a bit rudimentary. Anyway, there are some ready meals stowed away somewhere, so we shouldn’t starve.”

“God, I haven’t been in a caravan since the ghastly holidays we had in Wales on a caravan site when I was a kid. I hope your van is a bit more civilised than the ramshackle mobile homes we used to stay in.”

“Well, I think you’ll find this reasonably civilised. It will be the first time I’ve used it since my wife died, but I’ve checked everything out and it all seems to work properly. If you like to get your bags out of your car you can stow everything away in the lockers, there’s plenty of room.”

He opened the caravan door and they both climbed inside. It was indeed very luxurious, with a big kitchen diner area which converted into a bedroom and, behind a partition, there was a bedroom with quite a large double bed. There was a reasonably spacious combined shower and toilet, and he explained that there would be hot Sarıyer escort water when they connected to the electric supply on the caravan site. The cooker was a simple two burner affair, with a small oven and there was a substantial refrigerator. Mark pointed out that the dining table and benches folded down to make a bed at night, with the bedding stored underneath, while at head level there was extensive locker space.

“I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to sleep this end, as the bed is a bit short and I really need the full size bed. I think you’ll find it pretty comfortable, it just means we have to strip it and put everything away during the day so we can use the dining table. Anyway, once we are on site I shall put the awning up and we can eat and even cook outside, so we needn’t necessarily strip the bed.”

“Well, it’s definitely a whole lot more civilised than the memories I have, so I reckon I can survive with comfort.”

“Right, let’s get going. I suggest we stop for lunch at about 12.30, if that’s all right with you.”

“Yes, you’re in charge, I’m sure you’ll have everything organised.”

“I admire your optimism. Anyway, before we leave, I want to check that all the caravan lights are working properly, so if you go round the back you can shout when the appropriate lights come on, or not.”

She did as she was asked, and all the lights were working correctly, so she joined him in the Range Rover. It was soon apparent to her that he was a very competent driver; the way he handled the big outfit down the narrow country lanes until they joined the main road displayed a considerable degree of familiarity and she felt quite relaxed. After a while he slowed down and turned off the road into a parking area that was mainly occupied by heavy trucks. At the far end was a restaurant, and, to her surprise, he turned off the engine and told her it was time for lunch.

“You not planning to eat at a truck stop, are you?”

“I certainly am, do you have a problem with that?”

“Well, it’s not the sort of place I would have chosen. My late husband wouldn’t have dreamed of stopping here, he never did when we visited France.”

“Well, I guess I would have fallen out with your ex. If you want a good, quick meal at a sensible price, you can’t beat the Routiers restaurants. Come on, don’t look so suspicious, and you’ll see.”

They went inside and she found herself in a spacious dining room nearly full, mostly with men wearing working clothes of one sort or other, though she also saw a couple of tables filled with men and women wearing business suits. A waitress directed them to a large table which already was seating four men, who all greeted them with a polite “Bon Jour”. She looked for a printed menu, but Mark directed her to a chalk board with the choice of meals neatly written on it.

“I’m hopeless with French menus, please talk me through it ” she said to Mark”

“Well, for starters there is a choice of Andouillette or Salade de Gesiers. Andouillette is a sausage thing which I’ve never known a Brit to enjoy. I think the only thing worse than the taste is the smell, God knows why the French like it. Gesiers is chicken gizzards, which I love and would recommend. Main course is a stew of pork cheek and vegetables, or cod fillet with a creamy sauce. Pudding gets you ice cream or crème brulée. Me, I’m having the gesiers and the pork and crême brulée. What do you fancy?”

“I’ll trust your judgement and have the same as you.”

When the waitress returned she asked if they wanted red or rosé wine, and they both chose the rosé (Blush, as it’s known in less civilised countries, where it’s a mixture of red and white. In France it is all made from red grapes, only fermented for a short enough time to leave a wine of a pleasant pale pink colour, always drunk slightly chilled.) She soon returned with their starters and large carafes of wine and water, plus a tray of bread, baguettes sliced into large chunks. Kate was amazed at the quantity of wine they had been offered, which she noticed from the menu board was included in the very reasonable price.

“Are we expected to drink all of this wine? You’d have to carry me out if I drank half of that.”

“They are still pretty generous, but you’ll be pleased to know that, since they brought in breathalysers and fairly strict legislation, the truck drivers don’t drink very much these days. When I was a kid coming to France with my parents, my dad wouldn’t drive after lunch if he could avoid it, because he reckoned half of the drivers were pissed out of their minds. Happily, it’s a lot safer now, and you’ll be pleased to know that I shan’t have more than one glass with my lunch. If you want to drink more, feel free, but don’t get to the stage of me having to carry out, I’ve got a bad back.”

“Fair enough, I don’t like to drink too much anyway.”

As they were eating their meal, Kate agreed with Mark that the food was excellent, and that she shouldn’t have been prejudiced just because it was a Escort Silivri truck stop. She had had experience of greasy spoon type establishments in Britain, and had assumed the French standard would be the same. To be fair, the standard in Britain has improved since her youth so she wasn’t really making valid comparisons. Anyway, they both enjoyed the meal, and afterwards they returned to the Range Rover and continued their journey.

Kate was very relaxed and comfortable in the leather seats, and was reflecting on her life. She was the only daughter of a prosperous middle class couple and had had a good education through a private school and university, finishing with degrees in Maths and Accountancy. She had joined a major company of Accountants, where she had worked for David Fox, who was three years her senior, and whom she had married when she was twenty five. They had a comfortable marriage, not over exciting, but they were able to live very well on their generous salaries, augmented by bonuses that they earned as a highly successful team. However, after about fifteen years it all became a bit stale. They had hoped for children, which just didn’t arrive, though they never tried to find out why; Kate suspected David was infertile but he refused to be tested. Eventually she was advised by a friend that he had been seen with another woman and she demanded of him if he was having an affair. This he vigorously denied, and it was during the aftermath of this that he had suggested buying a holiday home in France.

This hadn’t been entirely successful. As many owners of second homes find to their cost, any holiday time tended to be spent on maintaining the house and garden, which could be even more stressful than having carried on working. Nevertheless, they did have some pleasant times in their French retreat, particularly after they decided to pay someone to do the maintenance for them, and they used it as a base for touring the surrounding countryside. Even so, the marriage was only staggering along, and Kate was convinced that her husband was playing away, though she didn’t go to the lengths of finding a private detective to check. As she was near to talking about divorce, David became ill with what was eventually diagnosed as pancreatic cancer, and she then supported him through his illness to his eventual death just after his fifty third birthday.

After the trauma of his illness and death, followed by the pain of sorting out his financial affairs, which were far more complicated than they might have been, she had decided to come and live in the holiday home at least for a few months while she cleared her head and decided what her future life would be. She had been introduced to All Ensemble, a group of expatriates living in the area near her and had started joining in some of their activities, including the walk where she had met Mark the first time, and had rashly suggested joining him on holiday.

Now she was actually with him, in his car followed by the mobile holiday living arrangements, and she was beginning to wonder how stupid she’d been to recklessly go to an unknown destination with a man she barely knew. As they would obviously be living and sleeping in close proximity, would he expect that she would be willing to have sex with him? And would she? Her sexual experience was not particularly extensive. She had been quite shy as a young woman, and had lost her virginity to her uncle. He didn’t exactly rape her in a technical sense, as she never actually told him not to penetrate her, but neither had she encouraged or welcomed the activity, which she found not particularly pleasant. When he ripped through her hymen, her vagina was dry and consequently his passage was quite painful. This experience rather put her off the whole idea of sex, though she did partake in a couple of not exactly painful, but not desperately enjoyable sexual activities while she was in university.

She had been going out with David for quite some time before she finally allowed him to take her to bed, where, although he wasn’t the most adventurous of lovers, at least he had enough technique to ensure that, while sex with him wasn’t rapturous, it wasn’t too unpleasant either. The last few years of her marriage had been virtually sex free. He had shown little interest physically, and she really wasn’t very interested. She didn’t care enough to find another man, neither did she get much pleasure from masturbation. So now she had got herself into a situation where she would be sharing sleeping accommodation with a man who could well imagine that her willingness to go on holiday with him implied her willingness to share her body with him. She resigned herself to the probability that this might happen, and thought that, as long as he didn’t try anything very kinky, she could tolerate this as a payback for getting a surprise holiday.

At least, she thought, the body she could offer him was not too shabby for a woman of her age. She had always looked after herself, both in terms of diet Topkapı escort bayan and exercise, and consequently she certainly didn’t look older than fifty years, and in fact, she could easily have been mistaken for someone nearer forty than fifty. She was quite tall, a few inches short of six feet (about 175 cm for metricated readers), with a figure that was very easy on the eye, and a face that, while not beautiful, was certainly very pleasant, topped with a wavy head of chestnut coloured hair. So, she thought, if he wanted sex, at least she wouldn’t be ashamed to get her kit off in front of him. And on that happy thought, she leaned against the side window and gently nodded off.

As Mark was driving he reflected on the possibilities of the holiday ahead. He had been absolutely amazed when she agreed to come, having no knowledge of where or what he had in mind. He barely knew Kate, only having met her a couple of times at the All Ensemble events, and though she seemed very pleasant, goodness only knew what she would be like in close company for a while. He wondered what her expectations were, was she on the hunt for a new husband? Coming away with a strange man on holiday the thought that he might be expecting her to want sex must have crossed her mind. And did he want sex? It was five years since his wife Alice had died, killed in a particularly stupid road accident caused by a driver swerving to avoid a dog that had ran out into the road, causing his car to mount the pavement and to hit her, fatally injuring her. Prior to her death, in fact, even on the morning of her death, they had shared an active and enthusiastic sex life, but since then he had abstained, never having met a woman who attracted him sufficiently to overcome the guilt feelings he had at the thought of being unfaithful to Alice’s memory.

Nevertheless,in his early fifties he still had the normal sexual instincts of a man of his age, which he occasionally assuaged with the help of his right hand, and he had began to ask himself whether Alice would have wanted him to stay celibate for the rest of his life. He finally decided that he was undecided, and that he would just wait and see what happened. In any case, he fancied that when Kate found out exactly what sort of holiday he was proposing there could be ructions, never mind sex — so, fingers crossed.

The weather had been bright and sunny when they started, but as they continued the skies became overcast and it was obvious that it was going to get unpleasant. It was soon pouring with rain, and Mark had to slow down as visibility was restricted even with the windscreen wipers going at full speed. The noise of the wipers woke Kate from her slumbers, but she realised that, despite the atrocious conditions, Mark was well in control of the outfit and she didn’t get too excited. It was still raining hard when they pulled into a camp site, and she stayed in the car while Mark went into reception and booked them in. He obviously knew his way around the site and soon was dexterously parking the big outfit.

“Stay in the car, Kate while I unhitch the caravan. I’ve got a waterproof, so there’s no point you getting soaked.”

In very short order he had detached the caravan, wound down the supporting legs so that the van was level, then pulled out the extension lead and connected the electrical supply. The rain had eased off a little, but it was still most unpleasant and Kate was happy to climb inside the caravan. By now it was early evening, and with the overcast conditions it was quite gloomy, so the lights were needed.

“I had thought about going out for a meal tonight, but with this horrible weather we’re later arriving here than I expected. Anyway I got plenty of supplies in the van, so between us we should be able to produce a meal of some sort. I’ve got some charcuterie and salad and I picked up a loaf from the boulangerie this morning, so we shouldn’t go hungry. Oh, I’ve got a bottle of passable rosé in the fridge, so we can have a drink and watch the horrible weather. By the way, the girl in reception said the forecast for tomorrow is good, so with luck we shan’t be getting flooded.”

Kate stood back and let Mark show her where everything was packed away in the cupboards, and they quickly prepared a meal, then sat down with a glass of wine while they enjoyed the food. After the meal they sat savouring the rest of the wine, and chatting inconsequentially, gently probing each other’s backgrounds without getting too personal. Eventually Mark suggested that it was time for bed.

“As I said, the bed at this end of the caravan is a bit short for me, but it’s quite comfortable and I’m sure you’ll be okay. We have to fold the table down and rearrange cushions to make the bed, all the bedding is in the lockers underneath, so we’ll need to get that out first. Oh, I should have said that, although the toilet is very civilised and perfectly adequate, it does help if you can avoid using it for anything too serious when possible, if you see what I mean. The camp toilets here are very civilised, I’ll show you where everything is in the morning. Also there is a shower in the bathroom, but it’s very cramped and the water supply is limited, so again, if you can use the camp facilities you’ll find it much easier. Anyway, tomorrow everything will be more clear for you.”

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