Monday, April 30, 2012

So Nice To Be Back

Saturday: Awakening at 2:30 am was to be expected as the body tries to reset its clock. The view from our upstairs window across the fields revealed the twinkling lights across the river Gironde through the crystal clear rain washed night. As much as I wanted to get up and read for awhile, my experience with jet lag has taught me to stick it out, go back to sleep, and force myself to stay flat until at least 6. I managed to even do better, and slept until 8! I actually felt normal until about 3:30 when the warm fire and quiet browsing thru photo albums brought on the most irresistible urge for a nap.

Visiting with old friends is like finding buried treasure. We have been friends with Len and Sylvia since the early 1980's when we met them while living in England. They have since retired in France, and although we only talk a couple of times each year on the phone and exchange Christmas letters, the ties that bind us are strong.

Dinner took us to a nearby village where the Brassiere filled our gastronomic needs. Owned and operated by another British ex-pat couple, the food was amazing and wonderful. My grilled jumbo prawn appetizer and salmon in lobster sauce main course was beyond compare.
View from the upstairs window
 Len and Sylvia have totally refurbished an early 19th century Charentais farmhouse, about 40 miles from Bordeaux, France. It is the most interesting and comfortable house I have ever slept in. They are part of a large British ex-pat community who have found life in the French countryside to be suitable to their personalities and outlooks on life.

Sunday: A stormy day spent inside just visiting and catching up on families, children, our changing lifestyle as we age, but mostly just enjoying each others company. The weather broke about sunset, so a walk outside for a breath of fresh air and a look at the the garden seemed appropriate.
The tallest rosemary I have ever seen

This area is not as far south as the Provence, but the chalky soils are well suited to growing grapes, so lots of Mediterranean plants do well here.  The rosemary plant pictured above is as tall as I am! Nestled at the corner of the front door is a sempervivum as big as a dinner plate! Although the weather has been cool and rainier than usual, the vegetable garden is getting a good start, and the roses are beginning to bloom.

Today brought clearer weather, and now that our minds are clear of the jet-lagged fog that had overtaken them, we were ready to go pick up our reserved car. It's a little diesel 4 door Ford Fiesta, stick shift which is common here, and Paul says it drives well. While in the larger town of Jonsac, we stopped at the super market to pick up some groceries and needed supplies. We found the most beautiful fresh crisp lettuces, for less than we would have to spend at home for lesser quality. Butter costs about the same, meat is more expensive, and cheese - OH! the Cheese! Who cares how much it costs, it is all so delicious. Our lunches here at home usually consist of a selection of 3 or 4 cheeses, a bit of pate (yesterday rabbit, today pork), some salad, a fresh baguette of course,  and a glass of wine. Vive la France! 

We last visited here the end of September 2007. Returning to this magnificent house and visiting with these old friends is such a privilege. The relaxed pace of the French country side is refreshing in this hustle-bustle world. Another friend commented in an email that this slower pace seemed to be agreeing with me. I think I would have to agree.  It's just so nice to be back!

1 comment:

  1. It makes you want to be there.