If only packing clothes, assembling collecting kit, provisions, wine and all the other preparations needed to close down one’s base in order to establish another temporary one could be seamless. And without contretemps. It seems that even after 48 years of marriage it is not to be.
So we get up on Friday morning early and stow the car, lock our front door and set off. At least the morning has gone smoothly. Five minutes into our journey I realise I have not brought quite enough of my current medicaments. If that is the only oversight I will be pleased indeed.
Before we fetch up at our holiday house at Bantham we are calling in to see my sister who has a consultant coming to advise on the installation of a borehole and Nick is going to help Liz with her decisions. It is a big step but a necessary one since the fouling of her water supply by a local farmer with his accidental polluting spillage on his land. After the meeting Nick and I have some spare hours so we drive into Lyme Regis where we have to call in at a shop to change a tee-shirt. Lyme is very busy, lively, with tourists, and the sun is shining. We think it would be a great place to bring Martine and Alain when they come to see us. We did indeed come here with Claire and Ty earlier in the year, on a wet May afternoon and the place was still steeped in atmosphere. I discover a second hand bookshop down by the Cobb and whilst Nick plods up the hill to collect our car I indulge myself for half an hour and find four additional Booker nominee titles to add to my collection. Turns out that the book shop, called The Sanctuary, is also a B&B.
We hope to call in and see Paul and Viv but they are not at home so we drive back to Hawkchurch where Liz will cook us an amazing supper of Escargots aux Cepes. It is a confection of snails and wild mushrooms and consists of garlic and parsley buttered escargots removed from their shells which are lightly stewed with a tasty melange of fungi. Liz has gathered Chanterelles from her private source, up her lane, which it seems no-one else has noticed. Together with her own dried Cepes the fricassee is then placed in a flaky pastry base and topped with a coil of pastry to form a cap. Well it is beyond just tasty.
In the morning Nick and I must rise and shine and head for Bantham to open up the house for the others. Our task this week, inter alia, will be to ignore the elephant in the room as far as is possible.