Monday, March 9, 2020

Out and about searching for spring

French Village Diaries searching for spring #KTTinyTourer #BromptoninFrance
A spring bike ride past a water tower

With the current weather forecast showing non-stop rain, day after day, it was a fantastic surprise to wake up to a dry morning, with more than a hint of the promise of sunshine.

I was giddy with excitement and rushed through my morning chores, so once my washing was out it was time to unfold Katie the Tiny Tourer, check there was air in her tyres and get going, before the weather had a chance to change its mind.

French Village Diaries searching for spring #KTTinyTourer #BromptoninFrance
By a lavoir in France

I set off with a couple of friends, without much of a plan except to follow the quiet lanes from village to village, past chateau and lakes (flooded fields) while enjoying the warmth of the sun, until we ran out of energy.

French Village Diaries searching for spring #KTTinyTourer #BromptoninFrance
Blossom and blue sky

We saw deer, hare and birds of prey. We cycled past fields of daisies, dandelions and the bright green new shoots of grass and wheat. There were splashes of cheering colour everywhere. The first spring flowers have appeared in the verges and there are blossoms in the hedgerows, as well as in our orchard, looking splendid and raising my spirits.

French Village Diaries searching for spring #KTTinyTourer #BromptoninFrance
Lavoir in the sun

The old lavoir wash houses, that spend most of the year dry, are full of water and the sound of running water as it drains from fields into ditches, cutting its own paths in the sodden soil, shows just how powerful the force of nature can be.

It might not have been a cruel, cold winter, but the rains and winds have dragged me down. It has sometimes felt that we have lurched from one tumultuous storm to another. Some have brought with them crazy winds and others more rain than I thought possible. Then there have been the political storms and with the local elections looming here in France it seems our village is determined to rip itself apart and self-destruct, and it’s not been nice to witness.

French Village Diaries searching for spring #KTTinyTourer #BromptoninFrance
Spring bulbs in our orchard

I was so pleased today was a day to forget my woes, get outdoors and breathe in fresh air with no worries of the risk of coronavirus. In fact, I’d say it was a triple tick day for me. One for drying the washing outside, two for a 30 km bike ride and three for getting the mower out this afternoon. There is nothing quite like cut grass for a fragrance and whatever the weather tomorrow, at least when I open the shutters in the morning, the garden will look lovely.

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