23 July 2011

A bright dawn

The day dawned bright and sunny this morning. We got an inch of rain yesterday. Walt drove over to Tours and picked up G., P., and their two kids at the train station. They had left London at 3:30 our time for the five-hour trip to the Loire Valley.

La Renaudière

Luckily I had cooked a chicken and some rice because they were all really hungry when they got here. The kids, 9 and 6 years old, ate chicken and bread with butter. The older one, J., even ate some carrots (raw). P. says they are not easy to feed.

Looking out the front window in the converted attic

If we can get it together, we'll go to the market down in Saint-Aignan today, but it closes up at about noon, so I'm not convinced we'll make it. I'm not sure the kids would really enjoy it anyway. I think we might go to Valençay this afternoon, if the weather holds. It's a beautiful château that has a lot going for it: a big fortified medieval/Renaissance building with towers and all, and then a slightly "newer" building that is well furnished inside. There a fine garden and also an animal park where they keep deer, goats, chickens, turkeys, geese, and ducks. The kids might like that.

Grapes in the Renaudière vineyard in mid-July

Yesterday on my afternoon walk with Callie, I met a couple of hikers — people about my age. We talked for a few minutes. It turns out they are from Rouen and have rented a little house here for a two-week vacation. They had nothing but nice things to say about all the people they've met in the Saint-Aignan area. Everybody is pleasant, open to conversation, polite, and helpful. They said people where they live are more reserved and even stand-offish. It's good to get somebody else's perspective now and then. And theirs, because I spent a year in Rouen (in Normandy) and still have friends who live up there.


  1. As always, your photos are beautiful. So glad you've got some sunshine. Congratulations on being able to successfully feed kids!

  2. Have fun with your friends!
    I think that you were lucky in finding good neighbors where you bought your house.

  3. Enjoy your time with the V. family. Our best to all of you!

  4. Contemplating the food for kids issue... I'm thinking golden arches over your stove should do the trick.


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