One of my FB friends, who lives in the States, recently posted “summertime has started at 00.04 past midnight” and wanted to know what the 4 minutes was for? I think it’s the amount of sunshine we will get in Europe this year! Normally by this stage we have lovely bronzed bodies from using the pool (lovely bronze, not lovely body in my case, you understand!) but so far this year we haven’t actually been in it! However, I am delighted to report that the long range forecast is looking promising. A typical Brit, I am naturally obsessed by the weather. It starts many a conversation and I often find myself apologising to our b&b guests when the weather is bad, as tho’ I have divine control over it. As if…!
We managed to get away in Winifred (our very small, very English but perfectly formed, caravan) for two nights last weekend as I had been weather watching and there was a window, as they say. No guests, so off we went. I have always detested caravans and I tend to stereotype the people who own them. However, I am now a convert. It’s rather like being given permission to have a dolls house when you are 61! Everything is in miniature and has a little cupboard or drawer for storage. However, we do have a full size oven and four gas rings so can buy wonderful ingredients at regional markets. Full sized loo (which I need for my full sized bum!) and shower and if we use a camp site (usually excellent in France with every facility you might need) we notice there is “meal envy” as everybody tries to peek at what they are eating on neighbouring pitches. I was tempted to do crepe suzette and appear at the caravan door in full evening dress but thought, as I emerged with my flaming pan, there was a possibility that the small breeze might catch the flames and set fire to the awning, which would not have been the image of the sophisticated camper I was trying to be!
As we are towing novices we tend not to venture too far yet but realise that this incredible country of France has so many varied departments, visiting them on our terms was more preferable. Our last trip was to St.Antonin-noble-Val, a beautiful medieval town on the gorge and River Aveyron, two and half hours south of us. After a meandering drive (with only a small queue of irate drivers behind us) we parked Winifred by the edge of the river, sat and watched darting kingfishers, John fished for supper (no luck), listened to the call of mating frogs (not our countrymen but the amphibian type), loved the sound of the rustling leaves in the poplars from the gentle, warm breeze and just chilled, while drinking Pernod…
John is now in the process of servicing our bicycles, as we intend to take them with us next time. I am rather short in the leg and can only just touch the ground when astride my traditional French bike (yes, lovely wicker basket on the front for market shopping and baguettes) so need to build up my confidence a bit there. I also need to get a slightly larger saddle too, to aid my lower ample assets for comforts sake, and cushion my personal saddle bags. I am also learning the words to “Fat Bottom Girls”, the song by Queen, which I intend to sing loudly as I cycle erratically around the tow paths, which at the moment are bedecked with wild orchids, poppies, honeysuckle, meadow claret, campion, meadowsweet and other delicate spring flowers. Ooooh look, gotta dash, the sun’s coming out! A bientot!