Monday 6th September 2010
We’ve been staying in a small town called Montblanc (not the mountain!) in the Languedoc region of southern France, since we arrived from Nice on Friday. It’s another airbnb find, but with a difference. Here we’re getting breakfast and dinner and there’s a swimming pool! And every morning the weather is the same – sunny! When our wonderful hosts Tony and Carol realised that Denis was working and they knew there was no bus tour in the town (!), they offered to drive me to the nearest big town, Pezenas. And Tony took on the role, for me, of tour bus and audio guide!
He pointed out archways through open doors, thresholds I would never have crossed, but we went straight in! And he also took me through the market, giving me tips about how to get the best prices. And told me the history of the town and the area. The writer Moliere stayed a while in Pezenas and there’s a statue to him near the market.
It’s a beautiful town, lots of winding streets again that lead into a square where there was an organic market.
We have breakfast served to us each morning at 9.30, either out in the garden or in the dining room, depending on the heat of the sun. Our delicate skin tone must be protected…. And after that Denis goes to work and I have been reading or doing some needlework.
When we were packing the bike to leave on our trip there wasn’t a lot of room. We have two side panniers a top box and a tank bag. One of the panniers is for my stuff – clothes, shoes, books, vitamins and toiletries.
One is for Denis’ – clothes, shoes, lap top, iPad, backup disk, assorted connection wires and French power adaptor.
The top box is for daily incidentals – groceries, drinking water, my handbag, spare waterproof bag and bungie clips to tie it on if used, space for the protective clothing’s inner linings which are worn in cool weather and taken out in warm weather.
The tank bag is for the camera, the map, Denis’ sun hat (delicate skin tone, again!), note books, pens, a little flexible tripod that will grab on to a tree or such to take pictures by remote (never used!), spare ear plugs and spare glasses.
By the time we’d finished packing in Greystones I had already spread to the top box and needed to make a decision about bringing books versus putting in some last minute craft making. Since we had the iPad, (a small portable computer which has, among other things, software to allow you to read books), I decided to leave my books and bring two balls of wool and a crochet needle. But the book reading has not been that satisfactory, mainly because of the choice of books available to download to the iPad, but also because it’s not that easy to whip out your computer as you sit at a roadside cafe or by the pool! So here at Villa Roquette there are lots and lots of books to choose from and I found an Anne Fine that I’m enjoying.
The crochet is coming along nicely though and I may yet get the courage to try again for some felt from a French material shop! I saw one in Nice and realised that in Torino, I’d been in a Haute Couture material shop when what I needed was a “Guineys” type material shop! Still, it was an experience!