After the Birthday party weekend Nick crossed to St Vaast and I stayed on at WK with JACS to be joined by Claire and Russell on Monday. We enjoyed some good Dorset days and on their last evening we went to the World’s End for supper.
On Friday I crossed the Channel and was met by Anne at Cherbourg. The 30-minute drive to St V was a chance for a good gossip!
Both Claire and Ty are in residence over the road and we have eaten together twice since my arrival. On the first evening I managed to double-book myself, having accepted Anne’s offer during our previous visit, of a ticket for a concert at the Church of St Nicolas at Barfleur. It is performed by Les Musiciens de Lvov – an ensemble of six Ukrainians who play instruments and sing their way boisterously but with great accomplishment through a programme of eastern European music. They finale with a rendition of Kalinka and encore with Moscow Nights. And I get to finale my evening with cheese and wine chez Tuttle.
These St Vaast days are passing at a gentle pace. The garden receives attention although it is not as needy as it has been. Nick has finally had his way with the lawnmower, the last of the unsplit Bee Orchid seedheads having been harvested, perhaps for later sprinkling. Despite web surfing I’m still not sure if I am expecting a re-appearance of this year’s plants in the autumn as resting leaf rosettes, or whether the fine dust inside the orchid seedheads will germinate. On verra!
There are plums:) Just about all our Victorias are to be harvested over a short space of time and the Greengage tree next door is laden. The golden-green Reine Claude fruits which fall from the tree are disappearing into the undergrowth of our border along that wall, but Roger has given us permission to take a step ladder to all the fruit we can reach. Indeed he has said that we can pop round and raid his three other plum trees. There are hundreds of pounds of fruit. So….
Plums have been split, lightly sprinkled with sugar and frozen. I have made Greengage and Vanilla jam, also more Rhubarb and Ginger which I think makes a great alternative to Marmalade for breakfast. The day I make my jams Ty and Claire come to supper when I serve Mark Hix’ recipe for Ling with Creamed peas, Leeks and Bacon. The ling fillet was part of Sunday’s catch when Tom Light and friends came for a fishing trip on Aroona.
The highlight of this post, as foreshadowed in its title, is the daily swim I have been taking with Anne. We drive the short distance, through the village of Jonville, to a sandy beach which is not much used by other bathers. The water is 18 degrees which is more than fine for me, although spurned by many as being too cold. Somehow the magic number seems to be 20. But truly, after a rapid immersion and a vigorous swim for 3-4 minutes, the blood which is circulating madly emanates an inner warmth, which complemented by the sun on one’s face, is full of well-being. Drying out in the horizontal afterwards, for 20-30 minutes is enough to give me a solar recharge.
One day Anne is looking after her grandson, Noé, so he comes with us to the beach. Goodness, does he remind me of another first grandson!!