Friday, 13 August 2010

Normality strikes

Home again, and it is so good to be back.
We had almost five weeks away, and enjoyed all of it, even though the journey back was tedious in the extreme, mostly because I'd forgotten the ferry left St Malo at the very civisilised time of 10.30am on Tuesday morning. Now I wish we'd opted to travel overnight.
We drove up through France with no hassle, dropped in on the Campanile in St Malo and secured a room, dinner and breakfast. I like Campaniles because you know what you'll get - nothing frilly and pretentious, but good food, crisp, clean sheets and thick towels. The showers are good, too, in spite of the fact that the two males in our party had been moaning about the inadequacies of the Bricolage as regards the tools of le plombier - you see, I have picked up some French while I've been away! Evidently French plumbers and electricians are totally illogical about how bits and pieces match up, but I have a sneaking suspicion that if our two handymen truly knew the trades inside out, as the French tradesmen do, then things would seem easier.
Anyway, back to our civilised start. It meant that we spent a long time at sea; from 10.30 until 6.30pm to be precise. The day was murky, to say the least, and there were no views to be seen as the coastlines of both France and England were shrouded in mist and cloud. So no views of white cliffs heralding England this time around. The Bretagne plodded across the calm sea and lots of people slept, but I'm not one of those who can sleep all night and sleep all day as well.
We drove off the ferry at seven o' clock, sped north up the motorway and arrived home at 1am on Wednesday morning. We had one stop for petrol and a loo break, ten minutes at the most. And we think the UK is such a little country.
Now I am surrounded by dirty clothes that need washing, and clothes that have been washed and need ironing. We also needed food....so I am only slowly getting back to my interests
But it was fun. My tan is fading already. In fact it faded while we were there, because we had a ten or twelve grey days with no sunshine. The temperature stayed around a steady 24-26, but the sun disappeared. So did my sun tan.
Once the kitchen was torn apart we saw no mice, though I did see some little giveaway pellets that indicated they were around. And we heard them. Pitterpattering away at four in the morning among the pipes and wiring we think, judging by the noise they made, and the mice scat the men found when they opened up the trunking. Sounds dreadful, doesn't it? But then the house is three hundred years old, and its in the middle of farm land, with forests all around. What can you expect? The owner of the house is threatening to kill off the little buggers, but I think another mouse famiy would move in pretty soon. I think they're an inescapable part of living in the country. We simply bought another toaster and put the old one outside. Or rather, we put the old one outside when we saw what had happened and then bought a new one several days later when we realised how much we missed our breakfast toast and we'd forgotten what might have happen ed inside it... Would you believe that toaster was the first thing Sam the labrador sniffed at when he jumped out of the car? The little tail that hung out of it was pretty pathetic, I can tell you.
I've included a couple of pics of modern Bergerac. It's an elegant town, though some parts have been tarted up with posters and road signs, and the pavements off the main roads are somewhat wavy-davey and resemble a miniature roller-coaster.The flames remind me of one of my favourite times of day; dusk - when we're about to eat and the sun is sliding down the sky, the wind is whispering through the treetops and a glass of red wine stands ready to hand while we wait for the barbie to get to the right heat for the steaks and sausages. This pic was taken after we'd eaten, when I piled fallen wood on what was left of the barbie because I love to watch the flames and smell the woodsmoke and it has the other distinct advantage of keeping the biting insects away....

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