It is so beautiful here. I’m sitting on the sofa with my feet on a coffee table listening to the birds singing. The sun is shining in the window in front of me like a big flat screen tv (with smells and heat). There’s rosemary growing on the windowsill outside and there’s nothing I need in the world….
We went off this morning to get some breakfast in the nearest town. Anyone who’s been reading since last year will remember our attraction to McDonalds for breakfast because we couldn’t work out where else to get it. And last year Ann gave us some great advice which we followed this morning. Go to the bakery, buy your croissants, take them to the tabac/pub, order your cafe au lait and go eat it at the tables outside . Thank you Ann! While the French were inside drinking beer (really, at 10.30 am!) we were outside scoffing down yummy coffee, four croissants and a baguette. Is it possible this is the perfect life?
While I remember it, I want to mention my internal coffee journey. I gave up coffee and tea (black tea) about 5 years ago, without much problem. Then last year in Italy, I was tempted and succumbed to the smell and then the taste of Italian coffee. When we got home I stopped drinking coffee again, and felt the headache of that for a few days. Now we’re back in the land of wonderful smelling coffee I have sinned again. Only this time I’m up to three cups a day!
Then in La Rochelle I noticed a familiar, if long ago, feeling in my gut. A kind of anxious, jittery, adrenaline type feeling. “Ah, ha”, thinks I, “it is the coffee!”. So you’d imagine, wouldn’t you, that I would give up the coffee? And I did, for one day. Then it was morning again and I started to get all excited about my “cafe au lait, grand s’il vous plait”, (that means I wanted a big coffee with milk, please). This doesn’t even take into account that I don’t like milk and now I’m throwing it back at every opportunity. So two things occur to me, 1. I don’t think I want to give up the coffee, in spite of the jittery feeling (which I dislike a lot) and the potential headache (which I dislike even more). 2. I think I might understand the dilemma smokers find themselves in.
On our way home from breakfast, Denis decided to take the scenic route, we had the sat nav, we couldn’t get lost. Or could we? After an hour, of beautiful scenery, and having passed the same family three times we decided to stop and ask. (Oh I just realised, today we saw lots of people, farmers, grannies with small children and now this family, granny, mother and two small children…. maybe because it’s Monday?) Ok, we stopped to ask. Now stopping to ask has it’s dangers, 1.You have to have your question prepared. 2.They have to be able to understand your question. 3.You have to be able to hear their answer. 4.You have to be able to understand their answer. 5.They have to believe you’ll be able to understand their answer.
The odds were against us!
(Picture shows Grandmother wearing white jacket to the right of the slide)
The grandmother smiled at us and came closer (the daughter retreated with the small children…..). I had my question prepared, “Grandmont?”, while gesticulating palms up. She repeated “Grandmont” in a lovely accent. I had my helmet on, and my ear plugs, I could not hear her. I gesticulated to indicate “wait, please while I remove my helmut and my ear plugs”. She smiled. When I could hear she repeated. I could not understand…. She spoke more slowly and gesticulated to indicate turns and crossroads. And then she stopped and turned to her daughter and from the body language I think she probably said “I’ll never be able to explain all the details, they are very slow”. So the daughter said, in English, “where have you come from?”. And when we told her the name of the town she told us to go back and start from there! No wonder we like it here, it’s Ireland!
Now it’s nearly time to have lunch and today we’re going for a picnic on a log we met yesterday. We have some salmon we saved from dinner last night and a baguette from the boulangaire.
Be well, Mairead.