I was lying on a sun lounger, my top rolled up to reveal my blinding white tummy and feeling my skin begin to bake. Beside me, FP was topless and reading a car magazine while his mum was sitting at the garden table painting quietly in the shade.
After being at a loss of what to do this weekend, FP and I decided to go on a wee weekend trip to his parent's house (who live only half an hour away from us) so that we could make the most of the stunning weather and top up our tans. So we packed our overnight bags, grabbed the cat and off we went, off to the best (unofficial) B&B in France where we would spend all day sunbathing, eating well and drinking well and, most importantly, relaxing.
So there we were, baking in the heat and loving every moment of it. The birds were singing and every so often I could hear FP flicking the pages of his magazine but apart from that, it was silent. It made a huge difference to sitting out on our wee balcony in the centre of Versailles, hearing ambulance sirens and cars tooting all day. The silence was greatly appreciated. That was until FP's dad joined us on the terrace and almost immediately fell asleep, snoring loudly with his mouth wide open, catching flies.
"Pssst!" Mrs FP whispered to us. I opened my eyes to find her grinning, waving her paintbrush in the air mischeiviously. "I'm going to give him a moustache," she declared, and quietly made her way over to her husband who was still snoring away. Very gently, Mrs FP drew one half of a curly French moustache in red paint onto Mr FP's upper lip. We all held our breath as we waited to see if he woke up. He didn't, he continued to snore. So again, FP's mum began to draw the other half of the curly, eccentric moustache and again we held our breath, tense and unwilling to wake him - but this time Mr FP had felt something, and he lifted his hand and scratched his upper lip, smudging the paint everywhere, all over his lips and on his hands. Instantly, he began snoring again, and the three of us laughed as silently as we could.
FP then took the paintbrush from his mum and drew a large circle of red on the tip of Mr FP's nose. A clown nose. Mr FP didn't react. Our shoulders shook up and down as we tried our hardest to keep our laughter in. FP added a few red, squiggly worry lines to his dad's forehead, making him look like a disgruntled clown. When Mr FP still didn't react, we couldn't hold it in anymore and the laughter escaped, waking my father-in-law with a start.
"What's funny?" He asked us, completely baffled.
"Oh, nothing," Mrs FP said. "We were just laughing at a drunk cyclist who passed by the house." Kudos for the quick thinking, I thought.
"Hmm." Mr FP said and began to settle back down for another snooze.
Half an hour later, I was just beginning to turn pink in the sun when some eejit with a tractor decided to drive at high speed (as speedy as a tractor can go) up the residential street, past the house. The noise was immense and it woke Mr FP once and for all. He stood up, disgruntled, and walked to the very front of the terrace, where he stood with his hands on his hips, sending the tractor driver threatening looks of fury. He stared at the driver with narrowed eyes and didn't break eye contact. His red nose and his painted worry lines made him look like the funniest angry clown that you ever did see.
Just to make things even more hilarious, Mr FP decided to shake his fist at the passing tractor driver, to demonstrate his anger. The three of us had already collapsed in stitches and the eejit tractor driver couldn't stop staring at Mr FP in bemusement.
"Connard," FP's dad said as the driver turned and disappeared out of sight. "Why are you all laughing?" He asked, none the wiser.
"You should see yourself in the mirror," Mrs FP said through her laughter and wiped away a tear that had escaped and was streaming down her cheek.
Mr FP felt his face, and then his hair, wondering what bêtise we had committed. And it was then that he spotted his hands, smudged with red paint. "Oh no you haven't..." he said, shaking his head in disbelief. "You are not going to sleep tonight," he threatened FP's mum as we all collapsed into a fit of giggles. He marched into the house and found a mirror.
"LA SALOPE!" He cried from the bathroom. "Say goodbye to your eyebrows Mrs FP!"
Luckily, Mr FP is totally able to take a joke...I haven't yet heard from Mrs FP to report on whether her eyebrows are still present or not.