Monday, September 6, 2010

A Quiet Day

We've had a quiet day at La Cascade today. I slept late (for me, when I'm back home, that usually means anything past 6 a.m. and today it meant just before eight) then strolled downstairs. I realized I had forgotten to move the car last night after parking in a spot that may or may not be illegal, although Gwen tells me no one tickets or tows here in this sleepy little village. But I didn't want to offend any of the locals who might have been trying to get close to the recycling bins nor did I want to be in the way of the recycling truck if it happened to come by, so I changed out of my pyjamas and strolled up the street to move the car. On the way, the church bell started ringing the hour and I actually got a good look at how the mechanism works (can you see the little hammer and spring on the right hand side of the bell?).

Around 9, Kate made a cheese omelet and french toast with a fruit sauce from a blood orange juice base when we realized there was no maple syrup in the house - mmm, it was so good. We've elected her as official breakfast maker for the rest of the week.

Then we all did our own thing for a couple of hours. I had time to look through the dozens of black and white photos I bought from this cute guy at the vide grenier in Port Leucate (on the Mediterranean coast) on Saturday. They are quite amazing. The oldest one with a date written on the back is one of two gentlemen in a car in June of 1915. Most of the pictures seem to be from the 30's, 40's and 50's and several are of one family, mostly showing the son and daughter at different ages. This one of the hunters in uniform with their dead wild boar is especially fascinating, don't you think?

About 1 p.m., we decided we needed a bit of an excursion so we headed to nearby Soreze to visit the post office to get boxes to mail our treasures home and have lunch at the Abbaye Ecole. This is a hotel located in a building which (according to the guidebook) "used to house a college founded in the 17th century by Benedictine monks, which then became a royal military school during the reign of Louis XVI but was eventually bought back by the Dominicans in 1854. The college closed down in 1991." The grounds are lovely with a fascinating collection of trees and interesting statues although everything looks a little parched and somewhat neglected today, no doubt due to the extremely warm weather they've had here this summer and because it's later in the season.

While we were sitting out on the terrace enjoying our meal, the wind suddenly picked up and started blowing strongly enough to topple the umbrellas overhead. It's been blowing wildly ever since, we have closed all the windows and a few drops of rain have just started to land on the skylight above my head up here in the 3rd floor studio. Gwen has given me a flashlight and told us how to flip the breakers in case the power goes out, wouldn't it be fun to have that sort of storm while we're tucked inside the solid stone walls of La Cascade??

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