It’s Sunday as I write and this morning we went off for a drive, as you do. We were getting a feel for the surrounding area, checking out the nearest mini market, the restaurants, forest walks, pretty towns and villages. We found the nearest shop five minutes away and there was a restaurant right next door, so we’ll back to sample that. We found lots of forest walks about ten minutes away, we’ll be back to them also. And we found a really pretty town about fifteen minutes away. Its real name is Vouvant but it’s also called Village de Peintres, which I believe means village of the painters.
(My coffee and croissant this morning)
While I think of it I need to tell you something about how my French fluency is progressing… or not. There’s been a bit of a problem. Now I want you all to know I was not previously aware of a particular situation that pertains to this area of France. I had no idea until yesterday… the problem is, everyone speaks English here! Well, they also speak French but they don’t seem to recognise my particular version of French and move very quickly to a very fine version of English.
(Aren’t they cute little acorns?)
I became aware that this was serious when I tried to order “Moules et Frites” (Mussels and Fries) for lunch yesterday and the lady behind the counter told me in a lovely English accent that the chips were all gone. It’s possible I may return home without the expected increase in my French literacy. Also, with all my talk of getting fluent in a week I received a comment from my friend Ann who gives French classes, unfortunately the comment is in French… I will continue to search out French speakers and keep you posted on my progress and yes Ann you may be my last hope.
(The Mélusine Tower, there’s a story about a fairy called Mélusine, who’s half-woman, half-snake, don’t know the full story yet)
Anyway, Vouvant is very pretty. The brochure says it’s the only fortified town in the Vendee, we saw some of the fortification and it looked great. We didn’t stay long so we’ll be back here too. On the way home we decided to stop off in Decathlon, it’s a big sports shop. I needed runners (well, walkers….) and Denis wanted a small rucksack. We found the shop and we also learned something we had forgotten….. shops generally don’t open on Sundays in France… oh yea.
(A bit of the great looking fortification (or wall) of Vouvant)
We were the only car driving around the huge shopping complex, enormous car parks empty. Where was everyone? Could it be possible that they relax at home on Sundays? As we drove to our home pondering this we passed a full car park and saw one of the things the French do do on a Sunday afternoon – they go to football matches! Wasn’t that what we used to do too? Is this why we love France?
Right so I’m off to relax, Mairead.