TRAVEL BLOG: French Dressing (27/08/23)

Zut alors, when will this rain stop?

After several days of unbearable heat, we wake up to the sound of rain on the roof. Not any old rain, but tropical,  ney, biblical rain! Which is actually a pleasant relief. Apparently it hasn’t rained for two months and the locals are worried about fires. But it is still humid and not unpleasant.

As I stand surveying our plot I notice we have grapes and apples growing in our garden. I contemplate the various drinks we could make from them, given a little patience.

We get an early message from Tracey: she wants to decorate our patio with birthday bunting for the Fantastic Mr Fox. Of course,  the answer is yes!

Before we know it, we are getting spare chairs out for the clan that has gathered for our liquid birthday breakfast.

“Jean-marie,  would you like a coffee?” Madam Loveless asks. He replies something in French which we don’t understand,  but it includes the word ‘beer’, so we get his drift. The bottle opener comes out.

Kev turns up with a new tattoo on his head, which was apparently done by some Mexicans up at Wayne’s.  They had a tattoo party with half the family getting tattoos.

Struth turns up with a story that has officially been cleared for publication.

Four of the gang drove up into the mountains to find a party. They eventually found an amphitheatre in the middle of nowhere,  with an amazing musician blasting out phenomenal guitar riffs, but with no crowd. The gang get down onto the ‘dancefloor’, in front of this musician,  to encourage him. A woman comes up and asks them to calm down, which they found a bit odd.

Eventually they decide to go and sit down at the back of the amphitheatre and chill. It was then they realise that they had not been on the dancefloor,  they had been on the stage, and there was quite a large crowd trying to watch the artist, but being distracted by four Welsh nutters dancing like loons.

As the rain eases,  we decide to go out for a drive – with Jon the Birthday in the driving seat. We head up to Chateaudouble, not expecting anything to be open, just to admire the views. But damn it, the bloody pub was open, so we have a pint or two.

We are eventually joined by another car load and decide to have Le Sunday Lunch, if we can find anywhere open. One local advises us, “it is not New York City, you will be lucky to find anywhere open”.  We must have been lucky, we find an empty restaurant that is more than happy to serve a party of ten.

The next half an hour involves ten Welsh people trying to order from a French menu with a waitress that speaks no English.  It was interesting.

The food eventually arrives and is delicious,  with only a small amount of meat on my veggie meal!

Discussions are then had about driving up to Wayne’s for more partying with Mexicans.  I have no idea how these Mexicans come to be in France, or how many of them there are, but they sound like sociable chaps. However, we are not inclined to be running all over the valley and return for a siesta and cider. I must be getting old.

It’s not long before the big fella opens the tap again and we sit watching a bloke with a beard rounding up animals two by two.

Then, as if by magic, fromage and cidre appear on the table. Again. Be rude not to!

Later on Jon calls back to pick up his birthday cards. Turns out the Mexicans have had their guns out again and half the gang came back with new tattoos.

We decide to have an early night, turn off the music and switch off the lights. I go for one last visit to le trap un and look out into le darkness.  It is eerie.  With no street lights anywhere in the valley and no moon, it is pitch black out there. Presumably the dark will be interupted by the occasional light from other cottages,  but they are shielded from our eyes by trees.  And with our music off all that can be heard is the distant sound of the river. I’ve been trapped in worse places with less agreeable company.

#livingthedream #contentedcat