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.

30 Responses to “France, Day 2: Chateaux And Gateaux”

  1. vivinfrance November 16, 2011 at 13:37 #

    where the should be ‘were there’ or maybe ‘are there’ cockroaches in France. Eat this comment after reading.


    • Tilly Bud November 17, 2011 at 10:31 #

      I spent ages on that and kept changing it and I finally made up my mind, only to discover that you are right! I will change it now.


  2. gigihawaii November 16, 2011 at 14:08 #

    Cockroaches are ubiquitous — I saw them in New York City during the 1970s and, of course, here in Hawaii.

    Great food, great fellowship!


    • Tilly Bud November 17, 2011 at 10:33 #

      They are everywhere, I know; but some are braver than others and bully the occupants of the houses they live in.


  3. earlybird November 16, 2011 at 14:16 #

    I’d just like to say that I don’t have cockroaches in my house. It’s spotless too. However, when it rains the occasional scorpion does get in sometimes. (I did stand on a HUGE cockroach in India; I didn’t realise at the time, it was only when I got up in the morning that I saw it splattered on the loo floor…)

    Coffee/walnut cake AND raspberry cake all in one day?!!!!!!!! What a hostess!


    • Tilly Bud November 17, 2011 at 10:34 #

      SCORPIONS?? I’ll take the cockraches, thanks.

      Amazing hostess indeed!


  4. Pseu November 16, 2011 at 14:58 #

    I’ve gone green. With envy. (much better word than ‘jealous’- don’t you think?)


  5. Yulia November 16, 2011 at 15:42 #

    You must had a wonderful trip, Tilly. Hmm about cockroach, I thought that all countries have cockroach :p
    So I am wrong…


    • Tilly Bud November 17, 2011 at 10:36 #

      No, you are right; it’s just that some cockroaches don’t stay hidden.


  6. SchmidleysScribbling November 16, 2011 at 17:02 #

    Lovely description of your time in France. I got hungry looking at the cake on Sarosm’s site. We have a black walnut tree. I should get inspired and bake something but the squirrels grab all the nuts. Then sit on the branches overhead eating the nutmeat and looking down at us. Then they begin laughing and throwing the empty shells at our heads. Damn Squirrels

    Looking forward to your book review. Dianne


    • earlybird November 16, 2011 at 18:21 #

      nonono! that was my cake! I’m sure Sarsm makes absolutely DELICIOUS cakes but that particular pic was definitely of a cake made by me! 🙂


  7. nrhatch November 16, 2011 at 17:20 #

    Sounds awesome, Tilly! 😀


  8. Katherine Gordy Levine November 16, 2011 at 18:47 #

    So can I use you as a Be With Beauty Photographer?. I use.mostly nature scenes, but some I call Uncommon Beauty–like you and Viv in bed together. All BWB pholographers can pick how they want to be identified. No Maltzer’s awarded however, just the personal satisfaction of spreading Beauty.


    • Tilly Bud November 17, 2011 at 10:38 #

      Yes, of course. Anyone who connects me with the word ‘beauty’ is all right in my book 😉 It’s a very short book 😀


  9. Jezibelle November 16, 2011 at 18:47 #

    Please explain to me why I am not there right now…


    • Tilly Bud November 17, 2011 at 10:39 #

      You are not married to me.

      See: a silver lining 🙂


      • Jessica November 18, 2011 at 16:03 #

        LOL!!! Thanks, Pollyanna!


  10. barb19 November 16, 2011 at 21:06 #

    Sounds like a fab holiday Tilly – and I love the photo of you and Viv enjoying a good giggle in bed!


  11. sufilight November 16, 2011 at 21:32 #

    I have not been to France but I am enjoying a peek into France through your sharings. 🙂


    • Tilly Bud November 17, 2011 at 10:50 #

      I’m glad. But we had only five days in a huge country, so you must discover it for yourself 🙂


  12. Lorna's Voice November 16, 2011 at 22:55 #

    I love to hear a story about friends laughing and talking and just being together. That picture of the both of you in bed is so sweet. It’s the picture of friendship. 🙂


  13. Cindy November 17, 2011 at 05:57 #

    Love the pics, especially the bed-in of the two of you 🙂


    • Tilly Bud November 17, 2011 at 10:51 #

      It was my favourite part of the holiday 🙂


  14. Perfecting Motherhood November 18, 2011 at 03:20 #

    I lived in France for 23 years and we never had cockroaches! But just a few months living in an apartment in Connecticut and I was hosting a whole family of cockroaches and even mice.

    If you want to see the biggest cockroaches ever, you just have to visit Florida. OK, there are bigger cockroaches in South America, but Florida comes close second.

    Nice castle, I love it!


    • Tilly Bud November 18, 2011 at 10:56 #

      We had them in Joburg; they were known as ‘Parktown Prawns’. Shudder.


  15. eof737 November 21, 2011 at 14:16 #

    Such sumptuous meals you had Tilly! … I love that you did add some outdoor activity too… and humor is always a great thing! 🙂


I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

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