Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Random views of the countryside. A winery - Chateau Reynardie

The church on the road to Bergerac

The church on the rock at Beynac.

This is me posing beside a hay bale with the mill in the background

20th I began a new story, tentatively called Daisy’s Story. I wanted a Victorian name, but shied away from Violet or Lily. I quite like Daisy, but it may well change midstream.

21st Stocked up at M. LeClerc. The weather is now so hot it was a relief to be in the air conditioned space of the mall. We drove to Lou Peyrol in St. Marcel de Perigord where we’d booked for dinner. Click Excellent auberge serving a limited menu of fresh, wonderful food. I drove home and a deer ran across the road a mere five yards in front of the car.

Tiny red squirrels, a lizard climbing up the front of my basket chair - I thought it was going to climb on my knee, but after surveying me doubtfully it reversed and disappeared. This closeness to nature is something we really like about this holiday.

24th Hottest day so far. 26C inside first thing in the morning, almost 27C when we went to bed. The heat doesn’t dissipate overnight like it does in England. I have no idea how hot it was outside, but it still felt cool to walk indoors! We slept with the duvet cover and no duvet inside.
Driving with the top down on the car is bliss in this sort of heat.

30th Heat continues but the air is so still, and the little black flies are a nuisance. So are the flies, wasps, hornets and the B52 bombers that crash about the place and stun themselves by flying into walls. I rescued a 2 inch long beetle with horns from the bottom of a bucket where it lay on its back, pathetically waving all its legs in the air. It walked half a yard and next time I looked it was on its back again. ‘It won’t last,’ grunted dh.

I got a grass stalk and flipped it over and off it plodded. A lizard ran out and bit it in the neck (if beetles can be said to have a neck) but the beetle just reared up and ignored it. The lizard, all of six inches long, eyeballed it for a minute and then watched it walk away. The beetle marched right up to the brushwood fence and proceeded to march vertically up to the top. Once there it found the edge to prickly, and to my surprise it opened a double pair of wings and flew off!

1st July Very hot again. 27.8C (82F) inside. So still, no wind at all. Getting stickier, suspect another storm on the way. Our last day, so we began final clean up, packing. No wine tonight.
2nd July Lightning storms overnight. I woke to see the flashes lighting the sky but no sign of thunder. Rain, grey skies in the morning, and a lot cooler. We were anticipating a lovely sunny drive north with the top down. Now we will be in shorts and skimpy tops (well, I will. Dh will avoid the skimpy top!) and no doubt freeze.
We left at 7.50am and drove back to St Malo, where we stayed in a Campanile overnight. I like Campaniles. I know what to expect, and they’re always good. This one had a really excellent tv and I discovered Wimbledon! Better still, it was men’s quarter final day and I got to see both Federer and Nadal

This pic is from the Daily Telgraph after Rafa's won the final.
3rd July Drove to Brittany Ferries, watched the lorries lumbering off and all sorts of odd fork-lift truck manouverings (they drive on and off backwards because they can’t see passed the big containers they carry) and watched un voiture classic arrive on a beavertail. The car, an MGB GT (I remember driving one in the sixties), was unceremoniously rolled off backwards on to the concrete and abandoned with two worried owners clutching lots of paperwork. ‘So much for classic cars,’ scoffed dh. ‘I wouldn’t have one if you paid me.’

The journey was uneventful. 10.30am to 6.30pm on a bright sunny day and we crept into Portsmouth and viewed all the old aircraft carriers – Invincible, Illustrious – and the old wooden ships Warrior (1860) and Victory (1805) and docked ten minutes late. On the car deck we couldn't get into our car. Not enough space to get either door open, so there we were, the only two people standing until the cars began to roll off the ferry. Dh managed to get in as the cars began to leave, moved the car forward a couple of feet which was all it took for me to get my door open, and I got in just in time to keep up with the line. Talk about a tight squeeze!

The MGB GT had been dumped in plain view. It would have been last on, and first off, both times by some kind of low loader. That classic car had all the rest of us waiting for over an hour…
Then we set off to drive home. We finally got to our door about 2am.

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