Somewhere in the middle of June we cross to St Vaast to prepare for the visit of village neighbours, Cybs and Eamonn. Before they arrive we enjoy a series of social events which involve food – this is, after all, gastronomic France. La Marina restaurant hosts a Beatles tribute band which is surprisingly good. We eat steak and chips with Daniel and sing along between mouthfuls. Tanou and Jean Pierre invite us to supper and we meet Antoinette who is going to open La Hougette which is a snackery bar close to the Vauban tower at La Hougue and serves residents, tourists and the adjacent tennis club. She is a vivacious character and we decide to call in at lunchtime on the following Sunday when she opens up for the 2-month season. We owe Bri and Georgy a meal so they come round for supper and cards.
On June 21st it is International Yoga Day and Tina Foley has organised a ‘stage’ based at le Manoir du Houguet. It is owned by the Cottebrune family and Patricia attends the same yoga class as I do. There are morning and afternoon sessions with a bring and eat picnic lunch we share. There are some delicious salads including at least four different coucous ones which must all be tried.
Tina has been extending her learning in England and bringing back some new tricks, taking me and I think some others well outside our comfort zone! One of the nicest interludes of the day is a post-prandial walk to the beach, undertaken in silence. We hear the birds, listen to the waves lapping on the shore…….. When I get back home I find Claude Osmont has invited us to eat dinner chez Genevieve. So my gluttonous lunch is topped by too many tempting and irresistible yumminesses
Before our guests arrive for their long weekend Nick fits in a fishing trip and catches mackerel, whiting and Pollack. He fishes with Stephen and Georgy and they are lucky enough to see dolphins. We make smoked mackerel pate, I keep some for house fish and chips and make a fish pie. Christine and I make two swimming excursions. Yes the cold is a shock (14 degrees) but I have learned that I will always warm up and it feels so good in my head to be back in the sea. Interspersed is gardening.
On Thursday morning I have an appointment with the charming Manu who fixes my hair, giving me a great cut. The Tuttles arrive in the afternoon and in the evening we give them supper in exchange for a hand of Spite and Malice. The following day the McGoverns are due to arrive…………