Saturday, April 8, 2017

Saturday smiles

French village diaries cycling in Charente and Deux-Servres
Saturday cycling

As I write this I'm sitting on my sun lounger, the evening Angelus bells have just finished ringing out over the village, the temperature is still 25° and Mini the dog, who has been resting in the shade, is demanding Adrian plays ball with her. It's been a good day, which is surprising when we didn't get to bed until just before two this morning (Ed was performing in the Lycee annual show) and then had to be up for six to take Maik, Ed’s German exchange back to school and wave him off on his way back to Germany. By eight o'clock we were all back in bed, but the day was too nice to waste lying in bed, no matter how tempting.

French village diaries cycling in Charente and Deux-Servres
Patchwork fields in Spring

Two loads of washing have fluttered in a gentle breeze all afternoon, lunch was eaten in a shady spot outdoors and then while Ed revised for exams Adrian and I got out on the bikes.  Our 33 km local village circuit took us past chateaux, hedgerows alive with bees, thanks to the first elderflowers, bluebells and cowslips and my favourite, the patchwork of the fields in spring. The pale green pea crops against the warm brown of freshly ploughed fields contrasting with the vivid fresh green of wheat and the zingy yellow of the rape/colza/canola.

French village diaries cycling in Charente and Deux-Servres
Blossom

The orchards we passed were heavy with blossom, as are ours, the cherry blossom especially is exceptional this year. We also passed a round faced farmer on a tiny, narrow gauge tractor, just wide enough to fit between his rows of vines. His fromage-filled ample belly leading the way as his old, faded orange tractor ploughed away the weeds.


I'll get up in a while, bring the washing in and make dinner; a carb loaded chicken and freshly made wild garlic pesto pasta dish, the perfect recovery food. But for now, I'm enjoying the warmth of the sun on my face and legs, happy for it to feel like summer on an early April day. I wonder if there is anyone kind enough to pour me a chilled glass of fruity white wine and serve it with some shelled walnuts?