Jude's 2019 travel blog

Wildflowers on my walk

Wildflowers on my walk

A peach kir royale with my name on it

Birthday girl Helen and Dick

Dick, Phil, Jill and me

Garry and Glenda

Celebrating with Helen

Sherlock Holmes cap for Keating

Sherlock Holmes cape for Keating

Claudine, Glenda, Garry, Bernard and me

Choral recital in the Refectoire

Bernard's handwork

Bonjour mes amis,

I hope you are well and enjoying life. I am.

Village life here has been like a dance, you know, quick, quick, slow,.... quick, quick, slow. Those of my age might recognise that dance rhythm. And the weather has been the same with cool, windy days followed by warm and now hot days which will change again next week. Still, I'm not complaining. I've been getting out for walks some days and it is all looking up. The wild flowers are blooming and the crops are growing.

So the quick, quick part of my socialising has been night after night of celebrating birthdays (someone else has a birthday too?), aperos at Claudine and Bernard's with Garry and Glenda, dinner with the Gs, drinks with Paul and Shaun and meeting some new people. I actually backed out of more than one night as I felt I needed to pace myself. It is a long stay this time.

I'm so glad that I've met Claudine and Bernard because they are so lovely, hospitable and funny Frenchies. Bernard has taking to teasing me and now laughs a lot around me. I think it's all meant well but sometimes we need Claudine to translate the odd expression for both of us. Bernard has been helping Garry to make some pineau which will be a delicious, alcohol aperitif soon. Bernard likes to make things and frequently carves wood. He made me two spatulas (one straight and one curved) and some wooden, spring loaded pinchers for removing cornichons from the jar. Very handy.

I've also had a couple of sewing tasks to do recently. I remodelled part of a dress for Glenda as she loved it but it didn't fit well. Then I accepted the challenge of making a Sherlock Holmes cape and hat for Keating for next year's calendar. That involved going to many places in Le Blanc and Poitiers to find the right material to be able to design and complete it before I go away. It's done now so the pressure I put on myself is now over. However, knowing me, I'll probably keep at the cap until I feel its perfect. I'm also inclined to make another one because I think I could do better next time. Stop now!

The slow part of my life has been waiting for things to happen. For example, I'm still waiting to hear from French Immigration about the next part of my Visa process. It's been more than a month now and they don't encourage you to contact them. You pay your money and just wait. I've also been trying to get a new hot water heater installed but that has all stalled at the moment. The French plumber gave me a quote that was very expensive. The English plumber gave me a much better verbal quote that he was supposed to give me in writing by the end of last week with the view to installing it this week. Didn't happen. I'll have to harass him now because I want it all settled before I go up to Paris to meet Lorri in two weeks. Then we are off on an adventure for several weeks to celebrate my birthday. Yes, it just keeps going!

On Sunday afternoon I went to a choral recital at the Abbaye of Saint Savin with Betty. This region really gives us a lot of free (or donation only) cultural events. They had 150 choristers from four choirs, singing in three places around the Abbaye between 2:30 and 7pm. Two were in the forecourt under some trees and the other was inside the Refectoire (monks' refectory). Since it was about 31 degrees we opted for chairs in the cool room with great acoustics. We met some of Betty's French friends there and later we retired to Le Saint Savin for a kir royale on the terrace. It was a lovely afternoon.

David and Virginnie who run the bar will be returning to a life in Paris with their children soon. The new proprietors will take over on 23 June, while I'm away. It's a new era for us as they have become part of our social lives. They'll be missed. I wonder how the bar will change?

Garry and Glenda have been away for 10 days and will return tomorrow. In the meantime, I've been taking advantage of their washing line (I don't have outdoors,) and warm days. I go over there to water their garden and pick their lettuce and radishes for my dinner, on their instruction. I find it quite relaxing to have a garden from time to time. It's another aspect of the slower pace of life for me here.

Take care all.



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