Archive | 12:50

France, Day 2: Chateaux And Gateaux

16 Nov

I include this photo for the simple reason that I absolutely love it. It is beautiful. The chateau is beautiful. France is beautiful. The Hub takes a good picture.

Waking up in France on the first morning was weird.  Not because there was anything odd about Viv’s beautiful home, or even about France; it was because we had closed the shutters the first night and they are light-tight.  I thought it was the middle of the night and assumed I was jet-lagged from the one hour and twenty minutes flight.  I got up to go to the loo and discovered it was seven-thirty.  Or eight-thirty.  Six-thirty?  There’s an hour’s time difference between France and the UK and I never quite grasped it.  Free of all my normal responsibilities, I had no need to.  I just did as I was told, and loved it.

Getting up was complicated that first morning.  We had closed the shutters tight because I was dive-bombed by a rogue fly as I was falling asleep.  The Hub managed to swat it with a newspaper but we thought we’d keep the rest out – there is never just one fly, is there?  The foul things club together like flies around – well, you get my drift.  I don’t blame Viv: her house is spotless.  It’s quite possible I brought the fly from home: my house is not spotless.

When I woke, however, I suddenly thought of something Earlybird had told me, about the cockroaches in Provence.  Provence is in France and Normandy is in France and now I was in France: where there cockroaches in Normandy as well as in Provence?  It was so dark I was scared to put a foot on the floor, just in case.  What should I do?  Wake the Hub in the middle of the night (as I thought), or leave the light off?  I put the light on.  No cockroaches.  This was Normandy, not Provence, and Viv’s house is spotless.  Glad to have that cleared up, I went downstairs calling, ‘Bonjour!  Bonjour!’  When in Rome, as they say…  I would say ‘Caio, bambinos,’ if I was in Rome but I was in Normandy so I said, ‘Bonjour!’

Jock pointed me in the direction of Viv’s room, and followed it up with a nice cup of tea.  Our hosts had thoughtfully provided us with a kettle, coffee, sugar, milk and selection of teas in our room, but the Hub was still recovering from a blast of light to the eyes, so I thought it best to make a quick getaway.

Viv and I sat chatting (giggling) on her bed, talking about poetry (giggling) and blogging (giggling).  I include this photo courtesy of Jock and Viv, and it was taken tomorrow in this time line, because I am dressed:

Some serious poetry discussion going on here.

Once the Hub was up, we were called to a beautifully laid breakfast table.  Jock had gone out for I forget what for breakfast and had to drive to the next village, though they didn’t have it either.  He came back with a genuine French baguette instead, so I had to have that for breakfast; as well as French fresh orange juice and Viv’s home made bread and Viv’s home made jam.  There were lots of other breakfast choices, including cereal; but once you’ve had the real thing why would you want food from a box?

We spent so long laughing and chatting over breakfast that we only had an hour to visit the nearby thousand-year-old  Chateau of Pirou.  An hour was sufficient, because it is not huge; but it is fascinating.  The very nice madame at the entrance gave us an extra dix minutes, and it was just enough.

Jock manning the battlements, like any good Scot
A French Chateau toilet; not a nice way to greet unwanted visitors, but effective:

'Flush' would have a whole new meaning.

 
We visited a derelict bridge.  It was bombed during the War to stop the Nazi supply line, and left that way as a memorial:
 
 
 
As Brits, we are constantly told that the French hate Le Rosbif, but the many memorials around Normandy tell quite a different story.  More on that tomorrow.
 
We then had a drive around the coast, made more interesting by Jock and Viv’s fund of stories and facts; then home for a tasty lunch.  Jock recited Burns’ poetry.  Sublime.  In the afternoon we had coffee and walnut cake.  I was too busy scoffing it to take a photo, but you can find a picture of it here, on Earlybird’s blog.  Dinner was roast turkey and all the trimmings, followed by raspberry cake.  It’s a miracle my clothes still fit me.
 
I wrote in my notebook, We talked and talked and talked 🙂  The trip was worth it for that alone.
 
 
 

Joke 237

16 Nov

A couple lived near the ocean and walked on the beach a lot. One summer they noticed a girl who was at the beach pretty much every day.

She wasn’t unusual, nor was the travel bag she carried, except for one thing. She would approach people who were sitting on the beach, glance around, then speak to them.

Generally, the people would respond negatively and she would wander off, but occasionally someone would nod and there would be a quick exchange of money for something she carried in her bag. The couple assumed she was selling drugs and debated calling the cops, but since they didn’t know for sure they just continued to watch her.

After a couple of weeks the wife asked, “Honey, have you ever noticed that she only goes up to people with boom boxes and other electronic devices?”

He hadn’t and said so. Then she said, “Tomorrow I want you to get a towel and our big radio and go lie out on the beach. Then we can find out what she’s really doing.”

Well, the plan went off without a hitch, and the wife was almost hopping up and down with anticipation when she saw the girl talk to her husband and then leave. The man walked up the beach and met his wife at the road. “Well, is she selling drugs?” she asked excitedly.

“No, she’s not.” he said.

“Well, what is it, then?” his wife fairly shrieked.

The man grinned and said. “Her name is Sally and she’s a battery salesperson.”

“Batteries?” cried the wife.

“Yes,” he replied. “Sally sells C cells by the seashore.”

 

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