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A huge, red, crayfish and I regard one another. It lies on a worn and scarred wooden board, its salty armour defying my initial taps with the mallet.

Next to me, with an expert strike and sharp CRACK a huge crab yeilds its juicy white meat to Edna. Wine is being poured, claws prised open, crustacea devoured. I'm somewhat dazed to find myself where I am, in a tiny Normandie seaside town with some of my favourite people in the world. Paris, with its recent dramas, is a safe three hours away. I'm out of its gravitational field, feeling like an escaped prisoner. Exhaustion, exhileration, relief.

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