And then we were in France. First stop the big supermarket in St Jean de Luz. There’s a supermarket, cafe, restaurant, clothes shop and we only realised today – a beach! We didn’t go to the beach but we saw it because we took a different route out of the supermarket and passed it and the pretty town. Well, France does keep surprising us.
Also at the supermarket is a book shop. Is it necessary to say that neither of us could read a French book? No, ok I won’t say it. It’s so disappointing though when you see great books… in French. Denis saw a cookbook series called Simplissime with pictures of the ingredients but just enough French words to defeat him.
I was luckier, I found a simple drawing book that I believe I can use without reading the words. I also bought a map… Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (The Most Beautiful Villages of France!) A map does not rely on words to get its meaning across but fortunately there is some English. The bit in English is about how Charles Ceyrac who was mayor of a village called Collonges-la-Rouge (south east of Limoges) was reading a readers digest book and saw a list of the most beautiful villages in France. His own village was included in the list and it got him thinking…
He started an association in 1982 for these beautiful villages, to preserve them, to support the rural population and to share the beauty. In the beginning there were 67 villages, now there are 170. And new ones come on board each year. So now we have a new mission bringing us from one beautiful village to the next for 170 villages… we may not be coming home after all.