My Mother in law Maureen, can seem to be quite forcefull lady. She is very much the Matriarch of the family. Protecting her charges with a mix of love and authority. When ever she talks about a member of her family, be they siblings, children, grand children or yes even great grand children, she always prefixes their name with our. Our Angela, or our Phillip. but with the flat Yorkshire volwels it comes out sounding like the letter r. R Vicky or R. Tom. When I first met here it used to annoy me a little but now I find it really endeering, as if adding the initial means you are under her protection and woe be tide anyone who may question anything to do with R. Niamh or R. Finn, or any of her charges. In the last few days I have found myself doing exactly the same with Dominique. I first met him at the Gite Kaskaleta at the end of day 4. Since then we have shared much of the journey and numerous funny moments. Like the time at Hotel Vignaeu in Gabas when he asked me what the WiFi password was. Amusingly the password was Dominique! You can guess the rest.
Dominique enjoying his lunch.
A few days ago I noticed in my Vidoe diary that I had been prefixing his name with “old” each time I refered to him. Even during the day on the trail when he may have gotten ahead I would say to myself ” come on lad, get after old Dominque” I realised I was not using it as a description of his age (72) but as a term of enderment. His journey is over today. He has returned to his home this morning having completed his 10 day walk from St Jean Pied de Port to Cauterets. I will miss his company even though he spoke little English and I speak little French we managed to get along and shared a wonderful journey. Au Revoir R. Dominique.