These clement November days are going to be a gift, when I can get round to them. After our two weeks here in August, trips to Croatia, Skye, Dorset, Devon contrived to delay our return to St V until well into October. Then I only had a week here before returning to cover half term.
Returning, then, in November we enjoyed a visit from the Palmers. Stuart spent nearly all his time working with Nick in the workshop, for which I am truly grateful. Angela and I filled some spare time with a bit of retail therapy. In particular we had a wonderful couple of hours in the Jardiland near the Auchan shopping centre.
France doesn’t really do nursery and garden centres as well as England does, but this branch we visit is very close. They have some lovely houseware, silk flowers, glass, basketry. And the plant section is much the largest I have seen on this side of the Channel. I find purple and cream pansies which will sit over the bulbs I plan to plant in the square planters by the front door. And I’m taken with some miniature wooden window-box type containers with 3 hyacinths and the legend ‘Le Gourmet Bistrot’ lettered on the back face. Sitting on the porch table it will amuse our French visitors who will find it ‘rigolo’. Such audacity. We drive back to meet the chaps in Le Debarcadere for plat du jour and a carafe of rose.
On Saturday we do the market. I don’t need much, a fine specimen from the barrow of caulis outside Gosselin and a 3 Euro sack of vegetables will see us through. Not forgetting a couple more bottles of that nice red we drank the other evening with roast pork. I remember to collect the duck I’ve ordered from M. Lemonnier for Sunday lunch. In the evening we find ourselves sitting round a table chez Fuchsias. Works of art process and are consumed. It’s bucketing down so Nick fetches a car. We get inside and cascade into our respective beds. On Sunday I roast the duck with plenty of taters, and its a quacker. We take a drive out to Gatteville to gaze at high seas from the dry comfort of the car. Very Sunday afternoon drivers. Then Stuart and Angela are off to catch their ferry.
So now we are the two of us. Nick is on the last stages of giving the workshop, which will be my space, coats of paint before boxing in the wiring. Then it will be a case of fitting work surfaces, a desk, shelves. I’m so looking forward to pressing this room into service.
But I have lost time in the garden to make up.