Breakfast was quite entertaining. A table for six laid with a continental breakfast including two huge pats of butter in the shape of a flower..one salted, one not… apparently quite an important choice to make. Two other couples I reckon in their late fifties and sixties occupied four chairs and we were to take the last two. Feeling a bit like “normal people” on Mars we said “Bonjour” and sat down. Two could speak a smattering of English and whipped out a French/English dictionary to make sure we were included in the conversation and one gentleman could speak English relatively well. The last gentleman spoke to the others when he wanted to ask us a question. The ice was broken through three events. 1) We had been sitting for 3 minute when Tass and Ted – miffed at being left in our little granny flat in the garden, started to wail in unison. Four startled face stared at us and said “Chien??” (Dog?) and I said Oui, deax (yes two) and then they babbled on with great gusto telling me to go and fetch them, which we did and for once, Ted behaved. 2) They decided to tell us which jams were which…I said “I think this one is strawberry – Fracais, but I’m not sure..and he said, “I dern’t know eezer, I ‘avent gut my glazzes!” And I said “Oh gosh, neither have I, I know what Fracais is – but I can’t read the writing.” and he very sweetly whipped his out of his pocket and asked if I wanted to look first. For some reason, everyone found this whole thing very funny. And the last one 3) I actually couldn’t stop laughing either. I could understand that they were talking about a local product that as grown in the area and used in salads. It was very popular in restaurants and liked water. It sounded to me like “cresent” but I wasn’t sure what it was. I told the husband what I had learnt so far. In the middle of the conversation, out came the dictionary and they told us they were talking about the local watercress that was very popular. And out came the explanation from the person I love sitting next to me ” Oh Gosh, I recognized the word as Croissant and I thought to myself, good for me, I understand a word! How cool is that! And then I learnt a bit more and I thought..why on earth would you put a croissant in your salad and, Good Lord, these people are crazy! They dunk them in water as well!”
Oh my,we have a lot to learn!!
We arrived at our new home in the dark as well. “Doris” (the whiny voice of the hired car Garmin) took us through windy little roads of shadowed dark houses in mist and rain. The gearbox was on the wrong side and much to husbands disgust, I kept getting into the drivers seat hoping to be a passenger. The main house – La Corbonnais (even the local Frenchman can’t tell me what it means and Google translation stared back at me blankly). We met the owners and had aglass of wine with them before they showed us to the dearest little cottage, (le Petit Corbonnais) peacefully sitting by a lake (which we couldn’t see) as it had been doing since the 14th Century.
We had the meal they kindly left for us, had a shower and fell asleep to the sound of gentle rain. In the morning, we woke up to a blue sky and the most amazing scenery. I won’t describe it – I’ll simply let you look as well.
A la prochaine