The cat woke me up last night. It was jumping up and down on my bed. I didn’t get much sleep, so I stayed in bed until 11:30. Then, realising it’s Easter Sunday, I jumped out of bed with joy! I washed and dressed myself neatly, as I was expecting many chocky eggs.
“Bonjour,” said Mme. Chasseigne, “Comment vas tu?” “Bonjour!” I replied, “Trés bien merci.”
Then Mattieu came along and presented to me a tiny little Easter egg. I opened it from the silver foil and tasted it… it was delicious! So small yet delicious!
“Merci!” I said, and Mattieu scuttled off back to his room.
As I journeyed towards the kitchen, I noticed through the gap in the door, where it was ajar, a very big shadow coming from the table and across the floor. I slowly pushed the door open and walked in.
I wouldn’t say today was one of my better days. However, I did have a delicious breakfast of fried eggs, fried bacon and fried bread ~ a true fry-up. But I have to say, that was the only good thing about it.
Most of the family would be going on an outing today. Arnaud, myself, his younger of two brothers and both his parents.
We visited the centre of Bordeaux where for the most part we wandered the shopping centres and cafés. Pleasant as it may have seemed, but all was not good. Something about today was beginning to stir…
Today would be a sad day. It was my last day at a French school. All the friends I had made would become but a memory to me and unlikely to meet again.
I woke up at 7am this morning, but stayed in bed until 8am. Luckily school started later today. As I dozed I remembered all the good times I had had with my French school friends, like chatting in the school recreation grounds, the magnificent Handball match and oh, of course, those rare moments I got to be near Blondine and exchange smiles.
I woke this morning to find Arnaud already getting dressed. It was a quarter to eight! I was half an hour late! I quickly got out of my bed, ran down the stairs and got washed as quickly as I could. I didn’t have time for my Miel Pops this morning and so I just ate a Chocolatine.
When I had finished my breakfast, I collected my bag and coat and got into the car. Arnaud’s dad drove us to school.
Today, I thought, is going to be a brilliant day – a Wednesday.
I woke at 7am this morning feeling very tired. I slowly rose out of my bed, kicking the cat off it in the process. As long as I keep away from mad animals I won’t catch rabies, I thought. The cat had slept on my clothes! Only God knows what business it may have been up to in the middle of the night! Possibly passed water! Oh no! This didn’t help to calm my nerves about rabies.
Anyway, for breakfast I had ‘Kellogg’s Miel Pops’, a simply delicious cereal to start the day. This was shortly followed by a quick “down the hatch” drink of orange juice and then rushed quickly into the car so as to be driven to school.
School today started off very relaxing and calm. The first lesson being – Music! Fantastic! The greatest form of communication. The universal language. The subject I love and adore.
I had woken up at 8am this morning and I felt awful. I lifted my head and looked down the bed – Aaaaaagh! A ghost! I froze in my bed. Then, like the calm after a storm, I was relieved to find that it was in actual fact Arnaud’s white cat.
So, feeling more relaxed, I got out of bed, washed and dressed, ready and waiting for the big day ahead. Yes, today was the day when I’d walk back down the alley of wisdom – my first day at school, all over again.
To fill me up and get me perfectly ready for the day ahead, I had a delicious breakfast. To start with I had ‘Kellogg’s Smacks’. Hmm… beautiful. That delicious little snack was shortly followed by a ‘Chocolatine’, which is a bread roll filled with a stick of chocolate down the middle. Then, to finish it all off, I washed it all down with pure orange juice. Absolute bliss!
But, even though the delightful breakfast may have raised my spirits a little, I still felt nervous about today. It’s not every day you re-live your first day at school. I put on my coat and shoes, then collected my bag from the bedroom. Arnaud led me to the car where we got in and were driven to school.
Arnaud’s mother was driving. We continued along some dusty roads until eventually we arrived at a tall building with grey panels, which divided the floors and windows. This sixties styled building was Arnaud’s school.
As I got out of the car and said goodbye to Mme. Chasseigne, I looked at the side of the building which stood hideously before me. Nailed to the side of one wall were the words, ‘Max Linder’.
One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap For Mankind!
Sunday 4th April 1993
“Oh, and it’s a bitterly cold morning, this morning! But that’s OK because you can just lie there in bed, all snug and warm, listening to the best radio station in the world! Radio Two!” said the voice on the radio.
My alarm clock had woken me up at 5:30am this morning! The last thing I wanted to hear was some DJ talking about how I can lie in bed this morning all snug and warm, when in actual fact I had to get up to catch a plane at 7:00am!
Anyway I got out of bed, got washed and dressed and then went downstairs for breakfast.
After I had eaten my Kellogg’s Frosties, I gathered my suitcases up and put them in the boot of the car. Mum, dad, my sister and I then all got in the car and off we went, to Bristol airport.
Horrible thoughts went through my mind. My God! What am I doing? How am I supposed to cope living with a French family if I can’t speak a word of French? What do I say when I meet them? What do I do? Do I shake hands? Do I kiss? Do I suddenly burst out in laughter and start dancing in the street? What do I do?
When we got to the airport and had taken my boarding pass, we went to the waiting lounge for a drink. I had an airport Tango which tasted more like a Piranha’s vomit. But I drank it anyway. I mean, I needed something to calm my nerves. This was my first ever flight and everyone’s nervous on their first flight… aren’t they?
South West independence is not a pipe dream. Far from it.
In fact, whilst not mentioned or discussed in the media to any great detail, it is nevertheless talked about in the towns, the parks and indeed on the streets of this great region.
The region here highlighted on the map, is the entire South West and if you do some research, you will discover that this region like many other devolved regions, such as Scotland and Wales, has its own language, its own culture, is historically Celtic by nature, identifies entirely as a separate people from London and is completely unique in its own sovereignty.
YllwChlk has called it Cornissia because historically, the region of Cornwall was itself a truly sovereign state with its own autonomous infrastructure and so politically, it would be sensible to allow Cornwall administrative domain of the entire South West.
Pronounced “cor-nis-sha”, thus differentiating the Cornish as specifically the people of Cornwall and Cornissians as the greater population of Cornissia, its name sings a beauty like the sun upon the seas, a silhouette of a sail and the crushing waves upon a scone coloured coast, as the enchanting lights of Truro begin to dance upon the dusk brushed sky.
In fact once upon a time, Cornwall was its own country and has itself suffered the many pains of foreign rule. Just like Scotland. Just like Wales. Just like Ireland. Just like…. India… China… erm… well, you get the idea.
Today, the undying Celtic heart of the South West and indeed also of the rest of Britain, is beginning to raise its voice.