Agen

After a 2.5 hour drive in the car with the kids behaving for the most part we arrive at a nice little village just outside of Agen.

We’ve come to see Tom Murday who I played with at the Reds and his girlfriend Summer. They live in a beautiful converted barn, that’s actually been turned into 4 apartments.

He suggests we go into town to grab a baguette and a coffee and see some other boys who I was at the Reds.

10 minutes later and we’re in the main part of Agen and having a coffee with Marco Kotze and his wife and little boy and Jakey McIntyre.

Marco is a South African who was at the Reds for the 2015 season. Jakey McIntyre has been with the Reds since 2014 and only left this year to move to France.

Great to catch up with them and see them doing well as we have a coffee in the sun as the kids run around in all directions as they do.

That afternoon Ewelina and Summer take the kids and Franco their dog for a walk. Tommy and I go for a walk up to a local shop that sells fresh local produce as well as meats, cheeses and wines.

We are joined by Jakey for dinner and good to further catch up with the boys, with Tommy about how he’s finding Agen and Jakey about the Reds and how that was after I left in 2015.

I also interview them for a podcast on why they left Oz rugby and how they are finding the French lifestyle which you can listen to here:

Saturday morning and it’s Tommy’s game day. Pretty low key day as we try to keep the kids quiet and out of his way as he gets prepared for the big game that night V Toulon, arguably the biggest club in France at the moment. He’s a pretty laid back kind of guy though.

We take the kids to the playground again which burns up a couple of hours and when we get back Tommy has gone and Summer has to go out.

When Summer gets back it’s 8:30 and I’ve had a 20 minute kip on the couch. She offers to babysit if we want to go to the game.  I’m not even that keen for the game after the kip but Ewelina jumps at the offer. The game starts at 8:45 and I also realise that I have to go, it’s too good an opportunity to go and see some mates play at the highest level in France.

Luckily only Tanami is up and he seems to behave for strangers better than us,

Thankfully we did go to the game and it was awesome! Such a great atmosphere. The boys pulled off a huge upset win and the crowd went wild and ran onto the field when the final whistle went.

Tom and Summer actually took off to Venice on Sunday morning, so we decided to go back into Agen town centre and grab another coffee with Jakey McIntyre who was going back to Oz later that day. The town centre was dead. Most business and shops don’t open in Sundays in France and the big supermarket generally open only for a few hours from 9-12. I remember growing up with this in Dubbo before Sunday trading came in. It was great it forced people to spend more time with their families and simply relax, now many people in retail are required to go to work. You’ve got to admire the French, I think they’ve got the lifestyle part worked out a lot better than the Aussies.

After seeing the big man we head off and we have planned to take the kids to the park again but unfortunately it’s now raining so no going to the park or packing and we decide to spend a lazy Sunday arvo being exactly that, lazy, well as much as you can with 2 active kids….

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