As we wandered contentedly around, 'the font' and I were suddenly gripped with a sense of panic. The move has made us blissfully oblivious to the approach of the festive season which we realise is now just over three weeks away . Naturally, we have done nothing, and I mean nothing to prepare for it. It's not just that beds need to be made and the table set - we first need to find where the sheets have been stored and the glasses and cutlery put away.
Madame Bay is here to 'do the house' early this week. She arrived at seven thirty prompt in an eye catching multi-coloured number with the hallmark swag of chiffon wrapped luxuriantly around her shoulders. After the customary ' Oh Monsieur Ongoose' and the emotional embrace she sailed serenely off to find the vacuum cleaner followed by trailing strands of chiffon and a somewhat suspicious Digby.
It transpires that Madame Bay and her husband are going to New York for Christmas. Monsieur Bay is a retired Gendarme of gentle and retiring disposition (could he be otherwise married to Madame Bay?) and they are going as part of a tour organized by the Retired Gendarmes Association. This will be their first visit to America and their knowledge of New York, ( in common with the Gendarme septuagenarians travelling with them ), is largely derived from watching Jack McCoy in Law and Order. Regaled by a nighly feast of television mayhem their view of Manhattan is consequently somewhat imbalanced. This morning 'the font' has had to reassure Madame Bay that it is extremely unlikely that she will be caught in the cross fire of crack dealing mobsters on East 56th. I'm less convinced by 'the fonts' assertion that the water in NY is drinkable.