Back To Reality

So I’ve returned from my weekend in France. And I really, really don’t want to be here. I’ve done literally diddly squat all day. This is not good!

After hopping on the Eurostar and changing metro lines in Paris like a pro, I jumped on the TGV to head south to Marseille. It was six and a half hours in total before I finally got to Marseille St Charles and saw the smiling face of The Frenchman as he waited for me on the platform. It was so good to see him again. It had only been 3 weeks but it felt like forever. My train had actually arrived a little late, which he was thankful for because he was late himself. The reason, he told me, was because he’d been busy making a pie. He’d never made one before but he wanted to have dinner waiting for me since I was arriving so late in the evening. I have to say, I was mighty impressed. His pie was delish and went well with his salad and home-made dressing, chocolates and ridiculous amount of wine. We spent the evening eating, catching up, having obscene amounts of sex and generally chilling out. It was so nice to be back there with him (and his cat, of course), it almost felt like I’d never left.

On Saturday, he woke me up quite early. “Have you finished sleeping?” he asked. I hadn’t but being kissed awake put an end to my laziness. What a wake up call indeed and let’s face it, sex is a perfect alarm clock. He fell asleep afterwards and because I’d brought my laptop to keep me occupied on the train, I decided to get some writing done. When he woke up, he asked to read some. My writing was a major bone of contention with my ex and he never once showed an interest in it, until I left. He ended up reading some on the Sunday and while I was embarrassed, he seemed genuinely interested in the story, asking about this and that and for translations around English expressions he’d never heard of. It was nice for him to show an interest in something that means so much to me. It was a really nice, chilled out day. We went for a drive into the mountains to see a Calanque (kind of like a bay) and even though I got a bit chicken at the idea of going all the way to the top, it was simply stunning. He goes running up there all the time and it made me feel pea green with envy. I’m not sporty at all compared to him (he runs, plays squash, tennis, golf and football on a regular basis) but just the fact that he was able to go running with that kind of scenery around him…it made me realise just how different our lives actually are. By the time we got back to his apartment, I had a headache from the freezing cold, windy weather, so we both lay on the sofa, him to watch football and me to nap. I knew he was a massive fan of Olympique Marseille but, actually, I think he’s just a football addict all over. This is a new one on me. My ex didn’t really watch it at all, but I’m thinking a football addiction is better than a drug one? No?

Anyway, that evening, we went for Pastis (a popular pre-dinner beverage. Bit aniseed-ish. Not that keen), then dinner and to a club. I had been curious as to whether he’d told his friends about me, not least because there’s this one girl on his Facebook who is just always there. There’s always one, isn’t there. In any case, I’m not bothered about her now, but still, I didn’t know if I was this dirty little English secret, so I asked him. He said he’s told his friends about me “sure, I have” he said. They think it’s great, apparently. Definitely and experience, if a little crazy. That said, he has friends who’ve ended up marrying their partners after long distance relationships, so it’s hardly out of this world. The main thing, he said, is that he’s happy and they can see it. When he talks about me, he has a smile. Aww. That was enough for me. It was a great, great night. Fabulous food, where we ended up staying in the restaurant until way past midnight, then onto a bar with live music and then onto a club. I really didn’t want the night to end but I was conscious of the fact that it was 3am and I only had one day left. I didn’t want to spend it all hungover, so we left.

We ended up having a long conversation about relationships, and trust. I’d made a friend in the club waiting in the overly long queue for the toilet and obviously, being English, I was more interesting than the run of the mill French women there. It was all super friendly and when I was back on the dance floor with The Frenchman, my new friend saw us and said hello. The Frenchman knows my last relationship was a bit…restrictive…and he seemed to struggle with understanding why. Sure, everyone says ‘oh yeah, I’m really trusting’ at the beginning of a relationship but with him, I believe it 100%. Just the fact we’re in this long distance set up means we have to trust one another and I still can’t get over the self-assurance which seems to ooze from his pores. I know he’s not sleeping with anyone else (I asked the question last week) and the reply I got was ‘there’s only one girl and that’s you.’ That’s more than enough for me.

I wish the weekend didn’t go so quickly. It felt like my feet hardly touched the ground. After getting in at 3am, speaking for another hour and half and then having a marathon sesh, we didn’t actually get to sleep til around 6am, which of course meant we woke up around midday on Sunday. By the time we’d dragged ourselves away form each other and out of bed, half the day had gone. Again, he slaved away in the kitchen (roast chicken this time) and we were both so knackered we decided to forego a drive to Le Vieux Port (The Old Harbour) and settled on the sofa with another bottle of wine and his cat to watch a film. The next thing I knew, it was time to go home. Almost. But the filler for this bit will go in a separate post – this one is long enough already.

Waking up on Monday morning was hard. Not only was I exhausted, I just didn’t want to go. His cat was meowing and kneading his paws on my face after having accompanied me everywhere the night before (even to the bathroom) and I was so comfortable with The Frenchman spooned around me. I couldn’t believe it was time to go already. The good news is, I didn’t cry this time. I don’t know if it’s because I was going on a train and not a plane, but the goodbye didn’t seem so gut wrenching this time. It felt more like I was going away on a trip rather than all the way back to London. It was hard, of course, but I managed to hold it in. Until this morning. I have no idea why I was so emotional. Maybe it was hearing Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds on the radio which now reminds me of him. Maybe it was waking up without him having gotten so used to it, so quickly.

Obviously, this is all reaaaaaalllyy condensed. I don’t want to bore anyone with minute details. Suffice it to say, it was easily one of the best weekends of my life. And now, I feel a bit lost. Which sucks arse. Because I really doubt I’ll see him before the end of the year, and it could be 6-7 weeks before I see him again. And that is a really, really long way away.

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