Tuesday 13th part 2

So, we went into our meeting feeling a little stressed due to the van situation.

The woman we met with was negative from the start. It seemed she was not an expert on Chambres d'hotes, but was meeting with us simply because we were British, despite the fact that Mrs H's french was better than her English (95% the meeting was conducted in French).

Her mission appeared to be to take any enthusiasm we may have had and bash it on an anvil of hopefulness with a hammer of smugness until it was a nice pointy thing she could stab us with until we left dejected, and miserable at the end of the meeting.

The upshot of what she told us was that there were new regulations which meant that our kitchen would not be suitable for preparing evening meals (even though the whole idea of chambres d'hotes is that it is not a hotel and it is like being invited into someones house, and you all eat together). Yes, this is the kitchen we have just spent weeks finishing, and I had just installed a sink the previous day which was not stainless bloody steel.

Could we have a copy of the regulations? Mrs H, asked. No. We could come to a meeting next Tuesday and ask any questions and then would be given a copy of the regulations.

Things became a little clearer as to why she may have been so negative towards the end of the meeting when she told us she had not been doing the job long, she had made the mistake of telling her boss she did not have enough to do and so was given this job.

To say we left the meeting feeling low is a far from accurate description. It seems our choices could be to a) rip out our kitchen and install a stainless steel one (which would destroy the ambiance of the place somewhat) or b) forget the whole deal and do something else.

We drove the 50 kilometers home at 60km an hour in 3rd gear the whole way, uncertain whether the van sounded better when accompanied by sobs or by wailing.

Cake, chips and wine helped block out the pain. For a while, anyway.

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