Making Hay When the Sun Shines…

(Wildflowers… or maybe you can’t call them wild when they are purposefully planted?)

It’s lashing rain with grey clouds today which makes me so glad I took yesterday off to enjoy a beautiful day in a beautiful place. We have moved from the pretty town surrounded by the Champagne vineyards to a aire in the countryside. It is bright green underfoot and overhead and the only sounds (besides other motorhome people) are birds.

(Look at those healthy nettles!)

I didn’t take yesterday off completely – I washed the windows! I was delighted with my work until wasps started visiting us, I suppose we did smell good. Luckily I bring night lights and citronella essence on every trip so I lit the candles and put a few drops into the melted wax. The wasps left. So I can definitely recommend it.

(Can you see the cow?)

This aire is very like one we visited in the Netherlands last year, in that it has everything we might need and is very well maintained and beautifully kept. There’s a toilet and shower, electricity and water – in and out, rubbish and recycle bins, a communal seating area under cover, where I’m now sitting writing, a washing machine and a dryer. It is privately owned and monsieur comes around in the evening to collect €7.00 for parking and €2.50 for electricity (use of the washing machine and dryer cost extra.)

(The church, the covered market and the mayor’s house in town)

The town is 1km away along a grassy path. Where there’s a Boulanger, two cafes, a hairdressers (I am building the courage to have my hair cut at a french hairdressers… communication is very important but never more so than when a misunderstanding can mean too much of your hair has landed on the floor…)  an old church, a covered market (open on Wednesdays) a tourist office and the mayor’s house. On the other side of town a further 1km there’s a supermarket with car wash which we definitely need as we were very good about not washing the van during the hose pipe ban but that has ensured we are possibly the grubbiest van in France. Maybe the rain will help.

(The path to town)

There’s a stream running through the aire and the owners have planted small groves of wildflowers on the banks between the trees while nature has planted a grove of nettles. You know in someone else’s garden nettles are very appealing. They look like they are bursting with green health and you just can’t ignore them… because of the whole stinging issue. You have to be hyper aware near nettles – not a bad complaint. Plus, they make great tea… if you can pick them. Anyway, I was contemplating the nettles when I noticed something moving on the other side of the stream, a huge (really, huge!) cow, rusty-red coloured with enormous horns (really, enormous!) and long hair. Yes, he (or she) had long hair. I took a photo but was too far away to get a clear picture. Maybe there’ll be an opportunity for a better shot when the rain stops this afternoon.

From our green and wet field in France, Mairead.