Note Number 84…La Belle France…

Despite, not because of, Covid, The Man and I have departed our home shores to spend the winter in warmer climes. I’m going to write and The Man is going to cycle. We’ve been here nearly a week and to begin with we experienced gale force winds, torrential rain, it was overcast, and not that pleasant but…on the 23rd October, which just happened to be my ‘big’ birthday, the blue skies showed up and I was able to have my breakfast of croissant and Crémant sitting in the garden.  Since then, it’s been pretty warm and sunny, with more sun promised for the end of October and November.

Our Village

The Café and The Patisserie

We’re on the outskirts of a village in the South of France, not far from the larger, better known town of Pézenas. On Saturday we drove to Pézenas to investigate the famous market but we could not find a parking space anywhere…the town was totally crammed. We needed to collect some birthday flowers sent to me by family, from the florist. I parked rather precariously — hazard warning lights on — while The Man ran across the road to collect. We then made a hasty retreat to our little town where we bought cakes and other delicious naughty things in the Patisserie, had a quick coffee and came on home.

flowers

Birthday Flowers

We decided to explore Pézenas on Sunday. The weather was lovely and it was time to get on the bikes. It’s pretty much flat all around here which suits me, even though I do have a battery. I cycled with head up and smiling — it was a great feeling to be out in the warm fresh air. I am not a cyclist but The Man is and he told me I kept up a very good pace and he could sit on my wheel —  just like they do in the peloton — and I would pull him along. So I was given full marks for my cycling. I did beat him up the final hill though!

Pézenas

We toured a little bit around the town which has a beautiful medieval centre and many small streets and alleyways, some cobbled and some not. We couldn’t find anywhere for coffee so pedaled home cutting through the  centre ville to reach home. Here, disaster struck as I tried to wait on the side of the road for The Man while he made a short detour to look for the bins to recyle the glass. I somehow missed my footing and gracefully (I hope) met the pavement with my head, shoulder, arm and knee. What an idiot I felt but it was also bloody painful! My knight appeared quickly to haul me (not so gracefully) up and get me back on the bike. I love my electric bike but it is heavy and if it starts to fall over I cannot hold it. I have a bit of a bruise on my cheek and shoulder but the real pain was the feeling of embarrassment.

smiles

Smiles before the Crash

I’m sure you’re all wondering about Jpeg the dog. Well, she’s just loving it here. Only a few minutes walk from the house and we’re amongst the vineyards. They are beautiful laid out with many tracks or small roads running through them. I’m not sure what the rules are about the public walking on all these tracks but there’s nobody about and they go for miles. I will be able to explore different routes all the time. Jpeg is and Italian dog and has lived in England for five years so she is already bi-lingual dog. By the time we leave here, she should have mastered a bit of French too. Probably better than me!