Leaving Parthenay I changed the coordinates in the sat nag three times, couldn’t make up my mind where I wanted to go. Two weeks to fill and I was right out of ideas. Eventually we arrived at Périgueux. I perked up immediately as we drove through the town and I spotted the cathedral and another, definitely medieval looking building. The aire is by the river and the walk alongside it into the historic centre very pleasant.
LWD was subjected to yet another march around but she was bursting with pride when a group of Americans decided to photograph her. She posed to perfection preferring being the subject of the lens rather than just hanging round waiting for me to train my lens elsewhere, I think she may even have forgiven me.
I’ve done some research (looked at the travel guide!) and it’s off to Sarlat tomorrow and more old buildings and then to Cahors. My regular reader may have become aware of my penchant for a bit of a gorge and the upcoming little drive around another gorge or two as recommended by my guide, may not come as a surprise. The Célé and the Lot (again) being the starring rivers.
Périgueux is a definite hit, glad I didn’t miss it …
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With a view like this to wake up to, who wouldn’t stay another night?
I frog-marched LWD around the medieval citadel of Parthenay this morning. The weather was warm and bright and with the antibiotics kicking in I’m feeling better and brighter. The old walled citadel sadly has seen much better days; I estimate at least 70% of the businesses were permanently closed, however there was some evidence of restoration and rejuvenation. This place has quite a history and the locals seem keen to preserve it.
We walked down to the river so I could photograph the rickety bridge from below the ramparts, LWD was on point as we trip-trapped along but failed to alert me to the possibility of an ambush – the photographs below may be used in evidence at the upcoming trials against The Billy Goats Gruff for attempted extortion and against the Troll for conspiracy, aiding and abetting.
This afternoon whilst pumping Vitamin D to help my immune system and serotonin levels I contemplated whether I travel to blog or blog to travel but came to no particular conclusion. I’m sure it doesn’t matter …
Okay Regular Reader, you got me – I sunbathed.
I’ve no idea what the temp was but LWD wilted and it felt hot to me …
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I’m a bit shocked at the fuel prices in France, with the pound at virtual parity, €1.36 is a lot to pay for a litre of diesel (unleaded is over €1.45) though by shopping around so far I’ve done ok finding diesel at €1.22 at some supermarkets. At one of which I decided to check my tyre pressures. Unfortunately I don’t have 8 ft long arms. It was almost a stretch too far putting air in on the side closest to the machine; as for the other side … There was an engineer working on one of the petrol pumps. After politely asking (in French) for his help, he pressed the air button whilst I held the delivery end on the valve. Effusive thanks to the helpful engineer and sorted.
LWD enjoyed an early morning runaround in the lovely park at Cloyes-sur-Loir, the overnight stop for our 3rd night in France.
During a brief stop for lunch and to look around at the outside of the Chateau in Blois, I was delighted when a shop owner on seeing me looking through the window opened up for me even knowing I only wanted a fridge magnet. It was a fun visit, we nattered away for quite a while, she practiced her English and I my French! She accused me of being fluent … maybe one day.
Turquant was the day’s main destination and overnight stop. A pretty village with troglodyte dwellings most still lived in, and quite a few as businesses, restaurant, disco, art gallery and my personal favourite the winery!
I woke this morning to the certain knowledge that I had to find a doctor and/or a pharmacy. In part due to the recent procedures in the nether regions of my body, the wee infection I had 10 days ago has returned. I found a pharmacy and explained my problem (proud of my French language skills these days) the pharmacist was unable to supply me without prescription BUT he then went above and beyond. He phoned the doctor and made me an appointment and told me that afterwards although he would be shut I was to come back and knock on the door and he would fill the script. Doc examined me thoroughly took the history (in French) and agreed with both me and the pharmacist that the prescription I’d been given at home was neither the correct amount nor for long enough and I started the antibiotics 30 mins later.
I honestly don’t know why the French have such a bad reputation – I’ve always found them, as today and yesterday very helpful and kind.
Tonight finds me at Parthenay, parked up safely with a river view and on the edge of a beautiful park with excellent LWD facilities. We’ll probably stay for a couple of nights.
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My regular reader will be totally unsurprised that there has already been a change of plan. This CoP took place halfway across the somewhat choppy channel and was in addition to the CoP that occurred before main engine start, so I’ll deal with them in order.
I’m not headed for Spain straight away and the Picos will be left for spring as I’m already a month behind schedule and am now delaying my arrival in Spain by a further week. Along with thousands of others K & L had their holiday plans snafued when Monarch went into receivership last week. They will get all their money back (eventually) but both were so disappointed not to be going on holiday in a couple of weeks. I felt for them especially as I was about to swan off again. So I threw a suggestion at them – and return flight only for two was booked within minutes! The only flights that were left at a halfway decent price, well it will be half term that week of course as both are teachers, were flights to Nice or Toulouse. I nixed Nice as it’s too far out of my way so I’m picking them up at Toulouse and they will have a few days in the van with me. Depending on temperatures we can either Atlantic or Mediterranean coast it and see some sights along the way.
Main engine start had me with a vague plan to go to Bilbao for a few days before heading back over the Pyrenees to pick up the girls. That was before I met Jo. I spotted her whilst we were queuing to go through passport control and clocked her as a fellow lone traveller. Then we met in the cafe on the ferry and decided to sit together for a while; well actually the whole journey, so busy nattering we hardly noticed the Rough. As you do, we exchanged views of the world (similar), frustration at people who think we’re “sooo brave” and others who think we must be lacking something as we don’t have men – you get the picture. Amongst other topics covered were overnight stops and Jo told me that there is a motorhome stopover at Giverny. I pass by the sign for Giverny every time I come over and return but’ve never got round to stopping. Jo was right to reassure me that the gardens are still very colourful at this time of year, but only a couple of Monet’s waterlilies to be considered. (I really have watched far too much Python!)
So first night in France since June, in the car park at Monet’s Gaff and Garden …
Off to a great start.
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I went to the theatre yesterday afternoon and …
Three nice things happened;
My ankles measure as slim so that’s two parts of my body sorted!! I’m sure however, that my beautiful slim ankles did not look sexy in the pair of black compression knee-hi’s I was measured for!
My admitting nurse having suddenly disappeared came back to announce that she’d gone back to the computer to check my date of birth because, to her, I look and act well younger. Knew there was a good reason to love the Portuguese! No reason to love my son who sent me this card 10 days ago which I’d suggested as a good buy for his Uncle’s birthday and J forgot to send … J’s piss poor excuse was there was no point in wasting it and he deemed it just as appropriate for my birthday – well it might’ve been if it were pink.
My daughter came to collect and sign me out of the hospital – they wouldn’t discharge me without a “responsible” adult’s signature. As K walked in the ward the lady in the bed opposite exclaimed “That’s my son’s teacher!” – it’s a small world is about the truest cliché of them all. In view of the fact that K is indeed her son’s teacher, I refrained from doubting the validity of K’s claim to responsible adulthood in front of the child’s mother.
Three great things happened;
I finally got my treatment and all the slightly iffy cells are no more, they are removed, deceased, they are dead as parrots.
I woke up from the anaesthetic, I am none of the above.
The third time was a charm, I can leave for all points south on Saturday and don’t have to change the ferry booking for a fourth time.
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In the south of England this weekend has been an echo of summer, not necessarily this country’s summer, but t-shirt and sandals get-outside-while-you-can weather.
I’ve always thought of spring as being the colourful season, but maybe that’s just because after winter everything is fresh and bright, like youth. Breathing in all the fiery, flamboyant colours whilst walking LWD this afternoon, Nature gave me a different way of thinking. Autumn is not about resting back and taking it easy, it’s about fire and spirit and vibrance. Today’s spectacle of colour has shown me that my autumn is also about those things. Unconsciously I’ve been living in that manner since retiring, but now understanding I intend to glory in my autumn years and they are going to be even more have-a-go and feisty than ever.
I’m sure none of the above is original philosophical thinking, but it’s definitely my new credo …
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This summer has been an experience – inertia interspersed with activity, rationality and knowledge with anxiety, disappointment (being unable to meet up with P&M as arranged) but above all frustration at being static.
I’ve kept myself busy, sort of, by redecorating – as much as one can in a 7 x 2.32 metre home! It boils down to more light strings and new pictures! I got a bit bored of looking at prints of my own photos so decided some small “art” would replace them. Unfortunately couldn’t find any that I liked – so bought some fancy frames and artsy craft paper and made my own. The best bit being that when I get bored with the new pictures there’s loads more craft paper in the pack to work my way through.
Eat your heart out Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen!
I’ve re-jigged cupboard space and (once again) tidied and decluttered cupboards and the garage. I’ve sorted the route through Spain and re-thought future travel arrangements. Having moved all R0X1’s, Daisy’s and my necessary annual appointments with destiny to August, I shall henceforth depart these shore each September and return at the end of June. This will save on ferry fares and diesel, and avoid much lousy weather. K & JJ will be coming to join me for a week during the spring break.
So apart from a couple of short trips and some days out, my regular reader may well be wondering why I’ve been static for the past 8 weeks … and the short answer is … hospital investigations. Thankfully all the (3) oscopies and (4) biopsies have come back clear of anything nasty so after some minor treatment early next week and a birthday curry, main engine start will occur on Saturday.
… ❝ 🎼 Next week I’m off to sunny Spain, hey, viva Espagna …❞ …
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