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!