Our friend Marie from Rouen arrived yesterday for a short stay before we all drive up to the Perche to meet other friends at the gîte we've rented up there. Marie is an English teacher. I met her 10 or 11 years ago on an Internet forum where the discussion was all about English grammar, pronunciation, and expressions.
Since I spent a year in Rouen long ago (1972-73) as an English-language teaching assistant, Marie and I had a lot in common. In fact, she was a student back then and I lived in a little apartment right next to a school cafeteria where Marie says she often had lunch or an afternoon cup of coffee on school days. We figure we probably passed each other on the street several times during that year I spent up there, but we didn't meet until 30 years later.
It was in 2001, while Walt and I were on vacation in the Loire Valley, that Marie first invited me to her house for dinner with her family. I've been there several times since, including a weekend Walt and spent there when we went to Normandy in 2006 (links to posts about Rouen and Dieppe). I can't believe that was already five years ago.
This morning we are going over to the Clos Roche Blanche winery on the other side of our village to taste and buy some wine. Clos Roche Blanche is owned and operated by Catherine Roussel and Didier Barouillet, who grow grapes "biodynamically" — in other words, organically. Their wines are recognized as some of the best wines made in the Loire Valley. There's a good article about Clos Roche Blanche, with photos, on the blog called wineterroirs.com.
The weather yesterday turned warm, muggy, and thundery, with frequent showers all afternoon. It was warm enough for us to be able to sit out on the terrace until late evening after Marie arrived. We were glad there were no mosquitoes. We did have a bat or two gliding all around the terrace right around nightfall.
The weather is still muggy this morning, with some wind. Thundershowers are supposed to continue today. Our plan is to have lunch outside with friends, who intend to grill some chicken sausages. Let's hope the rains stay away.