08 July 2007

Seeing through visitors' eyes

We had a beautiful day in Saint-Aignan yesterday. The sun was out all day, with some small clouds going over. Walt went to the farmers' market to get some good melons (cantaloupes) for lunch and some other staples, including onions, mushrooms, lettuce, and poitrine fumée for lardons. I stayed home to watch the dog.

In the evening we had some people over for apéritifs. They are a Canadian family from Ottawa that I met through this blog. He is anglophone, and she is francophone. They both speak both languages, and their two sons also speak both languages. We sat at the table out in the garden and talked until about 8:00. It doesn't get dark until 10:30 or so here in July.

Last night's soft sunset

The Ottawans said that when they arrived in Saint-Aignan, where they are staying in a hotel, they found the town kind of spooky. Nothing was open, except the pizzeria and one other restaurant. The streets were dark and deserted — il n'y avait pas un chat, as they say — and there were bats swooping through the air just overhead. The bats must live in the big towers of the old church.

Of course, they had just spent 4 or 5 days in Paris, and I think Saint-Aignan was their first small-town experience on this trip. The contrast can certainly be striking.

When they got up Saturday morning to walk around the town, they were astonished to find the farmers' market set up and crowded with people. It was like a totally different place, they said, and I know what they mean. Except that the bats were still swooping around... Saint-Aignan, like most small towns in France, is not known for its nightlife. It's an early-morning kind of place.

OK, here's the weather report. Sun this morning, rain this afternoon. Here are the forecast maps.

France forecast for Sunday 08 July 2007

France forecast for Monday 09 July 2007
Thanks to www.france2.tv for the maps

On the first map, we are near the circle with the 19 in it. That's 19ºC or about 67ºF. On the second map, our temperature forecast is 14ºC. That's about 57ºF, and that's the predicted HIGH! Again, insult to injury. More rain is a bad enough prospect, but the cold.... Too much, c'est too much !


  1. Woops! Better go for a walk, as now I know what's in store for tomorrow! :(

  2. After a beautiful Sunday at the beach on the North Sea, I can now see dark grey clouds settling in over us back in the city. Oh well... better to have one day of sun than to have had no sun at all.

  3. I see a pleasant yellow dot with "27" over the old home place...ahhh....perhaps you need a short jaunt over to the Riviera? (Well, it's not that short, but it's all relative...)

    That feeling of a closed French town in the evenings used to just amaze me. Places look so different at different hours of the day...

    Meilleurs voeux!!


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