21 December 2007

Unexpected visitors

A frosty morning out back

Monday afternoon about 3:30, somebody rang the bell outside our front gate. I looked out and saw a red 2CV parked there with two men standing next to it. I didn't recognize them.

I went downstairs to see who it was. "It's because of your blog," the men said in French. "We are faithful readers and we wanted to meet you." I asked them if they spoke English and they said they could read just a little but they especially enjoyed the photos.

December sunrise

Because I was basically napping in front of a movie on television at that hour, I was a little groggy. I probably should have invited the guys in, but I didn't. I just stood out there and talked to them for a few minutes.

Sun! But cold!

One of them said he lived in Saint-Aignan, down by the river on the other side of town. He said I had actually taken a picture of his 2CV one day and posted it on the blog. It's here. When I took the picture, the car was parked on the main square in town, in front of a house that was then owned by an Englishman named Douglas. I told my visitor that I remembered that picture, and that I do know Douglas.

Vines and shadows

The other visitor was the first one's brother-in-law. He said he lives in Cannes but he's originally from Saint-Aignan and visits fairly regularly. His wife is the other man's sister, and he has a 2CV that he said I had photographed as well, but I can't find that picture. It's beige, he said.

I'm not sure how I feel about being discovered. I asked them how they located me, and they said that since I had given the street name and posted a picture of my house, it wasn't exactly difficult. I guess I didn't think there were actually any local readers of my blog.

Callie in the vines

The two men stayed just five minutes. They are both about my age. One of them said I should stop by his house for a glass of wine one day during the holidays. "If the red 2CV is parked out front, that means I'm there," he said. I thought I understood where he said he lived but yesterday I was out and over that way and I'm not sure it's clear to me where it is.


  1. Of course you have people locally who read your blog - when I log on each day I say to my husband "must see what Ken & Walt are up to today". We are your neighbours across the river - next year I hope you will visit us to pick quince!!! I always recommend your blog to friends and neighbours - you really are a little more famous than you imagine.

    Have a good Xmas & all the best for the New Year - here's hoping we will meet in 2008

  2. It's Peter Mayle all over again ;-)
    (I'm referring to when he was "discovered" through his books and received so many "unexpected visitors" he had to move!)

    As for you not being able to find the home of your recent visitor - he reads the blog, he'll let you know, somehow...

  3. Carol, yes, I know you are there, but I think or thought of you as the exception. I do hope to come pick some quinces next fall. Happy Holidays to you.

    Isabella, we shall see if the Saint-Aignanais are reading the blog right now. Maybe they will leave a comment.

  4. I don't have a blog. I am a complete stranger. I feel like an intruder just writing a comment. You have to take my word that I am a far away, charming, intelligent, respectable lady but I could be a nutty old woman planning to knock at your door when you cook one of your fabulous meals. Fame has its price!...

  5. So you're a local celebrity! Don't forget to wear sunglasses when you go to the market so as not to be recognized. ;-)

  6. That happened to me with my flickr photos, once :)

    Claude from Blogging in Paris

  7. Pretty soon they will be selling Maps to the Stars' Homes by the side of the highway as you approach St Aignan - watch for paparazzi!

  8. I'm as surprised as you, Ken! I guess that you can't keep a blog a secret for long in a small town.

    I can understand why they enjoy seeing your photos.


  9. Those are beautiful photos. I love cold weather around Christmastime. Unfortunately, it's looking to be inspidly cool and grey here for Christmas.

    Have a wonderful holiday!

  10. I have been enjoying your blog from the frozen windswept wastes of the Ottawa valley-- my hiking normally takes me through Gascony and northern Spain, but should I ever pass through Touraine, I will likely call by!


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?