Sunday 20 July 2008

Bastille Day

I woke later than usual, Jess had taken it upon herself to close the shutters outside our bedroom window so my usual alarm clock, the light did not stand a chance. Malcolm and I started the day off energetically and went for a walk/run for an hour choosing a different route and discovering another village. I do not think that you can walk in any direction from our cottage for more than 2 km's without stumbling upon a village!
I had bought crepes on our first grocery trip and brought them out for breakfast on Bastille Day, the kids took great delight in eating them with all manner of sweet toppings...what the heck we are on holiday!
After breakfast I took advantage of the loungers on the patio and the sun and grabbed a book and got lazy. The kids went off on the boat again and after being a lizard for a little over an hour I got called up to the badminton court for another round of shuttlecock whacking.
At 13h00 we decided to head for Ruffec, a town 10 km's away to find a spot for lunch and to get a few things we had discovered were mosquito spray and water.
We discovered a ghost town upon arrival and drove around marvelling at the quietness of the place. There was only ONE open restaurant and so we decided to drive to a bigger town, Angouléme 30 km's away. Again we were greeted by deathly quiet streets, it was so bizarre. We did manage to find a small convenience store and bought some water and candles, the only things on our list we could get hold of but it was still progress! We also found a boulangerie that was open and bought a boulle and a baguette, the baguette we could not resist ripping pieces off of it as we walked down the eerily quiet streets.
We did not see any open restaurants and so we headed BACK to Ruffec where we knew at least one place had been open, only to discover that he was closing, and we thought the French were ruled by their gastranomic habits. We were also very quickly learning that it is very frustrating not being able to communicate and that French lessons would be a top priority if we ever plan another trip to France - or take along somebody else who CAN speak holiday anyone?
On our way home I remembered reading that there was a restaurant/pub called Dixieland in Verteuil with an English speaking owner so we dicided to make one last effort at actually eating out and headed in that direction.
Wow! There is a magnificent chateau there, which may date as far back as 1080 sitting atop the village its glinting turrets keeping a watchful eye over the town.
When we got to Dixieland they were closing...story of our day...but the friendly Englihman insisted that he would stay open and we could have a drink in the beer garden around the back. When we got to the beer garden at the back we were treated to a view of one of the turrets towering above us.
We had one drink, felt too bad to linger and then headed home for sustenance - another great evening for a bbq so it was salad making for me and lighting a fire for Malcolm while the kids honed their badminton skills.

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