Today we'll be driving the Citroën C4, which I bought in February, over to Tours to do some shopping on the north side of the city, where there are lot of big-box stores. We want to go to an Auchan store (think Wal-Mart) to see if we can find some bagels and to pick up some other, less-exotic supplies.
In addition, we'll stop at a Picard frozen-foods shop to have a look around (there are no Picard stores close to Saint-Aignan), and then we'll do some serious shopping at the Paris Store Asian supermarket near Auchan. We want to get some frozen shrimp, a few jars of peanut butter, and some bottles of soy and fish sauces. We also have Japanese panko breadcrumbs on our list, for ourselves and for a friend.
Yesterday the weather forecast said that today would be rainy, but that forecast seems to have changed overnight. Now they say we shouldn't get any rain until evening, so ours will be a dry drive. One point of going to Tours — a round-trip of nearly 100 miles — is to drive the Citroën on the autoroute for the first time, just to see what that's like.
The speed limit on a French autoroute, the equivalent of an American interstate highway, is 81 mph (130 kph). On other highways, the limit is 55 mph (90 kph) most places, with just a few places, at least around here, where you might see a speed limit of 66 mph (110 kph) on a stretch of four-lane road. My goal is drive the C4 at 80 mph for an hour or so as a test of its performance and our comfort at that high speed.
I'm having a lot of sinus trouble right now. I had low-grade allergy symptoms in March when I was in North Carolina for two weeks, and that didn't surprise me. I'm especially allergic to cypress-tree pollen, and there are extensive stands of of cypress trees along the Carolina coast, as there are in California, where we used to live. It was normal for me to have springtime allergy symptoms in the U.S.
Here in the Saint-Aignan area and the Loire Valley, there aren't so many cypress trees, but when the wind blows from the south it brings a lot of pollen with it. Right now a low-pressure area bringing clouds, gusty winds, and some rain is moving up from Spain and the Pyrenees. I'm really feeling the effects of it. I can't wait for our weather to change again.
I think doing the tilling I did in what will be our 2015 vegetable garden aggravated the allergies. I must have stirred up and breathed in a lot of pollen by running the rototiller. The three or four tilling sessions I managed to finish out there really did me in. Yesterday I took a day off from garden work, but I'm not sure it helped. I feel just as miserable this morning as I did yesterday morning.
Meanwhile, I'm still experimenting with my new Canon SX700 digital camera. While the weather was sunny and warm, I took a lot of photos of springtime scenes when I went out for walks with the dog. Some of those photos are posted here. As always, you can click or tap on the images to see them at a larger size.