France, Day 4: Sunrise, Shopping, Sightseeing, Strange Pancakes

18 Nov

The day started with a giggle on Viv’s bed before I ran out onto the patio in my polka dot pyjamas and bare feet to enjoy the sunrise.  There was a nip in the air, different birds singing in competition, and what sounded like a motorbike hovering in the distance.  Jock had classical music on in the background.  There was a slight haze over the fields and some cloud; the château bell tower next door peeped through the shedding trees, a neighbour’s fledgling orchard below them.  The sun came slowly up and there was a brief period of stillness. 

Did you ever have a perfect moment?  I did. 

Breakfast was a real French croissant, fresh from the village (thank you, Jock) with Viv’s home made plum and apple jam.  Sumptuous.

Jock had done nothing but drive since we arrived, and before; we gave him the day off and Viv took us to the pretty town of Coutances.  I don’t need the adjective because all of Normandy is pretty – and no litter!  The Hub kept on about that because it was wonderful to not see litter.

I enjoyed looking in the expensive shops, each one smelling better than the one before.  Viv bought me a French notebook and I posted some French letters (postcards really, but you know I had to work that joke in).

We walked around the thousand-year old cathedral – no charge!  Are you reading this, St Paul’s? – and the Hub cursed the airline weight limit the whole time, because he needed the good flash he had to leave at home to truly capture its beauty.  He suggested I light a candle for my deceased Catholic Mum, and that was a lovely moment for me. 

We had lunch at Le Crêperie.  When Viv told us where we were going, I got the giggles because I heard ‘Le Crapperie’.  Le Crêperie sells pancakes, but like no pancakes I’ve ever known: I had a buckwheat pancake with fried egg, cheese, ham and lettuce – all on top.  Delicious and filling, and delicious. 

After lunch we had a walk in the Botanical Gardens.  You must be tired of hearing me say this but, beautiful!  The gardens were beautiful; Normandy is beautiful; France is beautiful.  I’m in love with France.

Finally, it was on to a French supermarket, Le Clerc. We had popped in the previous day, when I bought toys for the dogs. Then I remembered my children so we had to go back to buy something for them.

In the afternoon, Viv and I spent some time in her much coveted by me workroom; she made some Christmas decorations for us to take home and I critiqued a lovely novella she has written. 

Dinner was even more delicious than lunch: meatballs and pasta in a home-made pepper sauce…yum, yum, YUMMY!  With champagne to celebrate our departure the following morning.  We had eaten Jock and Viv out of house and well-stocked larder: of course they were celebrating.  [I’m going to get a telling off for this one; check the comments later].

You may be wondering what we did with Spud while we were away, given that he is only fifteen.  Tory Boy came to stay and look after him.  It ended up being the other way around, as Tory Boy was struck down with something nasty and Spud had to minister to his brother.  I emailed the boys each day with our doings; here’s a sample:


Me: Miss you both but I bet you don’t miss us at all!  That’s okay; it’s as it should be.  [Lying on both counts: we didn’t miss them but I didn’t want them to feel bad.  It’s not okay for my children not to miss me]

Spud: Nice to hear you’re having a good time. Yes not missing you at all I’m afraid.


Me: We went to a supermarket where we might have bought you a little present, but only if you missed us.

Spud: I DEFINITELY MISS YOU…not sure about TB, I think only I should get the present.

As it happened, that’s what happened: we bought shirts for the boys but Tory Boy’s was too small, so Spud got it.  The French must be skinnier than Brits, despite all that good food.  Never mind, TB had French chocolates and French biscuits to compensate.  I wonder why the shirt didn’t fit?

46 Responses to “France, Day 4: Sunrise, Shopping, Sightseeing, Strange Pancakes”

  1. vivinfrance November 18, 2011 at 13:37 #

    You didn’t eat us out of house and home: we’re still eating up leftovers. I just found the “amuse Bouches” in the fridge and that’s my lunch sorted.


    • Tilly Bud November 18, 2011 at 13:38 #

      I forgot those! I’ll have to do a bits ‘n’ pieces post.


  2. laurieanichols November 18, 2011 at 13:55 #

    The slideshow is fantastic, my cousin Francoise on our first night with her in Franqueville made us those exact same buckwheat crepes with the fried egg and lettuce, it is a delicious specialty of the region. Don’t get me started on the apple desserts with the cream and the butter. Apple pie, apple tarte, Tarte tatin and more and more. Yum!


    • Tilly Bud November 18, 2011 at 13:59 #

      Delicious!! And so filling – it was the only meal I didn’t finish.


  3. Janie Jones November 18, 2011 at 14:17 #

    Sounds like you had a fabulous time. I wouldn’t fit into French tee-shirts either with all that delicious sounding food.


  4. Lorna's Voice November 18, 2011 at 14:49 #

    The picture of the sunrise is magnificent. Thank you for sharing it. Nature is generous and so are you. That bed seems to be getting its fair share of giggling. As it should be. As it should be.


    • Tilly Bud November 18, 2011 at 14:56 #

      The Hub took the photo. The giggling was all me 🙂


  5. klrs09 November 18, 2011 at 15:02 #

    Hi Tilly — it’s been a while since I’ve caught up with you — wow! sounds like you had a fantastic trip. That picture of the sun is stunning. Someday, I’ll get to Europe I just hope it’s before I’m in a walker so that I can get about and do all the things you described so beautifully. Have a great weekend back home.


    • Tilly Bud November 18, 2011 at 15:05 #

      I hope that you do! Flights are cheap, comparatively speaking, so why not make it a goal and start making it happen?


  6. SchmidleysScribbling November 18, 2011 at 15:51 #

    Every time I have traveled to France I have gained 10 pounds. I don’t know how the women look so good. It has to be genes that keep the French thin.

    Love the fact i could take my dogs with me. Normandy is the part I have never seen. Trying to figure out a way to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary next year (with dogs). I think I found it. Thanks, Dianne


  7. nrhatch November 18, 2011 at 16:08 #

    Glad that you enjoyed such a marvelous trip.


  8. countingducks November 18, 2011 at 17:08 #

    I’m glad you had a great trip, and I really enjoyed the photographs. Those stain glass windows are fantastic


    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 09:32 #

      The Hub has loads more but I didn’t want to overdo it.


  9. gigihawaii November 18, 2011 at 17:41 #

    I remember my 2 weeks in Paris in November 1969. Cold and rainy. But, what beautiful sights! Since I was single and on a tight budget, I didn’t eat as well as you. Would love to return, but the flight to France from Hawaii would be too difficult for me.


    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 09:33 #

      You’ll have to take a slow world tour and do it in stages – that way, you could visit me 🙂


  10. Pseu November 18, 2011 at 18:20 #

    Did you make a sound track of all the giggles, to play back in low moments?


    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 09:37 #

      Oh no!! Why didn’t you suggest it earlier?


      • Pseu November 20, 2011 at 22:55 #

        C’est la vie


  11. colonialist November 18, 2011 at 19:20 #

    Vive la Francais! Those slides are stunning – the sunrise is simply awe-inspiring.
    I am so sorry we have never been able to get to froggieland. The visa is such a #@#*&!!! to get. Expensive, too.
    What a pleasure to breeze into the cathedral free – I bet whatever collection box they might have benefits from the pleased reaction. I know that money NOT demanded generally puts me in a generous mood.


    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 09:38 #

      What a shame you can’t get there. It is stunning. That took me by surprise.


  12. kateshrewsday November 18, 2011 at 20:55 #

    Tilly, this really was the perfect holiday, wasn’t it? Beautiful pictures too. I envy you the real croissant: in fact I envy you the whole trip 😀


    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 09:41 #

      Just be nice to Viv; she and Jock are the welcomingest people in the world 🙂


  13. Big Al November 18, 2011 at 22:40 #

    I am certain you had a great trip. How am I certain, you ask? OK, you didn’t ask, but I’ll tell you anyway. For four days, no mention of Maltesers. If something can take your mind away from Maltesers, it’s got to be good! Viv has done the impossible.

    Funny comments about the boys and the email.


    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 09:42 #

      lol! You are right – I didn’t miss them at all. Am I a changeling?


  14. barb19 November 18, 2011 at 23:55 #

    Your trip sounds wonderful Tilly, glad you enjoyed it so much – with great company and scrumptious food! France looks beautiful; will have to get there one day myself.


    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 09:43 #

      You must. Factor it in to a family trip – it’s an hour or so flight from Manchester; you could do it in a day 🙂


  15. Cindy November 19, 2011 at 05:24 #

    I don’t think it is possible to not love France. Viv is tinier than I had thought, and your hair is beautiful, Tilly!


    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 09:44 #

      Why, thank you, Cindy. Have a Malteser 🙂


  16. misswhiplash November 19, 2011 at 10:51 #

    I want a malteser! I feel deprived!

    Thoroughly enjoyed your French Adventure and thank you so much for sharing it with us.


  17. SidevieW November 19, 2011 at 12:24 #

    what a wonderful time you had, lovely people, lovely scenery and lovely food 😉


  18. artjen1971 November 20, 2011 at 02:07 #

    Sounds delightful! I love the description and photograph of dawn–that is the most precious time of day, but I would still sleep through it if allowed! 🙂


    • Tilly Bud November 20, 2011 at 18:02 #

      Me too! Luckily, it was after eight 🙂


  19. Perfecting Motherhood November 21, 2011 at 06:53 #

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures. I LOVE crepes au sarrazin. I can make them here too but there’s nothing better than having them served to you instead. Eat them with a side of hard apple cider and it’s a great meal!


  20. thehutts November 21, 2011 at 10:32 #

    My favourite Creperie no doubt! Must take Mum and Jock next time we visit as we have’t been for a while. Thanks for sharing the great time you had. Sally


  21. eof737 November 21, 2011 at 14:12 #

    Great pictures and finally catching up on your wonderful visit with Viv in France… I could go for some crepes right now. delicious! 🙂



  1. CoWAring « The Laughing Housewife - November 21, 2011

    […] Here is the photo which inspired her sincere but factually incorrect compliment on my post France, Day 4: […]


  2. Le Spam « The Laughing Housewife - November 26, 2011

    […] France, Day 4: Sunrise, Shopping, Sightseeing, Strange Pancakes ( Rate this: Share this:PrintEmailTwitterFacebookDiggLinkedInRedditStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]


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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