Thursday, 27 January 2011

You're either a joiner or you're not

Him Outdoors and I went for a walk with the local walking club yesterday. They meet up every Wednesday afternoon and walk for a couple of hours.

We all turned up at the prescribed time and were told that the walk was going to start in a village about 10 minutes' drive away. We all scurried back into our cars and set off. We had a vague idea where the village was but needed to follow someone. The race was on. A line of about 20 cars was racing across the french countryside at high speed. Gotta keep up, gotta keep up, don't lose them, don't lose them. No chance of losing the one that was driving up our arse.

The front cars started parking along a seemingly random road and we all stopped and started off. Some doubts about the route, very muddy, along a track where the wood had recently been cleared so huge tyre tracks, debris, clambering around puddles.

So far this is not being something that I want to repeat.

French walkers walk like they drive, right behind you. They talk all the time. And the ladies smell very, very perfumey.

Still not being something I want to repeat, the only thing it's got going for it is that I wouldn't particularly want to walk on my own and it's a new place to walk.

Stumbling along, being thwacked in the face by let go branches, I was eavesdropping on the conversation behind me. Maybe that person speaking french with an english accent will be interesting. And she was. She also provided Him Outdoors with a link to another walking group.

This morning we investigated the link which is a largely voluntary organisation that organises walks as well as all the other things you would expect from an expat group. French conversation, cinema, bridge, gardening, art............. and I can feel my insides shrinking away from my skin in a physical reaction to all this joining.

It doesn't matter how much I can hear my mother saying 'you'll like it when you get there' my instinct is noooooooooooooooooooooo please don't make me.

I can and do join stuff and go to stuff but every time I have to overcome that immediate reaction of not wanting to.

Oh yes, and I do like it when I get there and we did join for the walking bit at least!


  1. I used to go out with a French walking group when staying with friends who ran it. It was either a marathon, walking at Rifle Brigade pace, to get to the aperos at the end or walking at speed until it was realised that Madame X had fallen we all wait, getting chilly....and they would pick wild flowers and then drop them at the end!

    We're not joiners....but probably have a Groucho Marx attitude to groups anyway...

  2. Oh yes, I forgot the waiting around for the stragglers and I love the Groucho Marx comment.

    I hate people that pick wild flowers and then drop them. On the occasions when I have picked a single blossom to sniff and then don't want it anymore I always have to drop it secretly lol

  3. I'm exactly the same and so is my dad - neither of us are joiners. I loathe the thought of doing virtually anything in a big group of people. I think my (ex) dancing class might be the only exception!

    Well it gave you something to tell us about, anyway ;-)


  4. Another non-joiner here! I'm just an unsociable old misery ;-)

  5. It sounds interesting but I've never really been a joiner. It's just not in my makeup.

  6. Well hell, can I join y'all? I hate joining anything and you and your commenters sound like just my kinda group. Ha! Ha! Ha!

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  8. Going to watch my son play football, away games we would meet at Cornon outside the tabac, then someone would lead the way, why is it the person who knows where the ground is is the one that fancies himself as a bit of a rally driver, 10- 12 cars all racing through the French county side ignoring stop signs just trying to keep the car in front in sight. Once I ended up following a car, with others behind me that wasn't part of our group, we didn't realise till we pulled up into a supermarket.