28 August 2012

Walking home

Often, when we are invited out to lunch, I end up walking home. And no, I don't need any "mad money."

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of driving down to the village of Charnizay in southern Touraine to have lunch with Antoinette and Niall on the terrace of their beautiful and comfortable old longère farmhouse. We took the dog with us, and we spent the afternoon outdoors in beautiful weather eating delicious food.

Callie and I got out of the car here and walked the last mile to get home.

We left to drive home between five and six p.m., which is the normal time for Callie's afternoon walk. Instead of driving all the way home and then walking with the dog, Walt let me off about a mile from the house, at the end of the gravel road that runs through the vineyard.

Admiring the grapes along the dirt road

Yesterday was not the first time this summer that we've followed the same pattern. When we get out of the car and Walt drives away to take himself and the car home, Callie seems confused at first. But she quickly realizes where we are and follows her nose and instincts by heading for our back gate.

The grape leaves are showing the first signs of the impending autumn season.

While Callie sniffs and smells all along the way, stopping to mark the path (if you know what I mean), I take pictures of the sky, the grapevines and leaves, and, at this time of year, the grapes. It's a moment of peace and relaxation for the dog and for me.

Grape leaves and ripening grapes in late August

When I get home after walking that last mile, it's nice to know that I can go in and sit down instead of having to turn around and leave the house for the walk right after arriving. Doing that would turn the walk into a chore rather than a pleasure.


Thanks to Antoinette and Niall (here's a link to their blog, Chez Charnizay) for a fine afternoon, and to Mother Nature for the pleasant weather. Antoinette is a Dutch-American woman, and Niall is a Scotsman from Edinburgh. They've been living in Charnizay for two years now and seem to have settled in nicely.


  1. It's so nice that Callie has gotten used to car rides. You can get out and about more, the two (three) of you. Does she stay near you when you are visiting friends, or do you have to keep an eye on her?

  2. Hi Carolyn, Callie still doesn't enjoy riding in the car, but she just scrunches down on the back seat and waits for it to be over. Once there, like yesterday afternoon in a place where she'd never been before, she stays close, exploring a little, but never really out of sight. A. and N. have 2½ acres of land (not fenced in), so Callie could have roamed much farther but didn't.

  3. Ahhhh, nice idea, the walk home :) So glad you had nice weather for your visit with your friends-- there's nothing more pleasant than sitting outside around the table with good friends when the air is pleasant and there is a nice little summer breeze :)

  4. Ken, my Border Collie Jake was not happy in the car... unless I had loud music on... classical or rock, it didn't matter... I'd look in the rear view mirror to see the open mouth and lolling tongue of a dog enjoying himself... and not what was coming up behind!
    Music off and he'd vanish down onto the floor behind my seat!

    I often wondered if the tyre noise affected him and the music drowned it out [or neutralised it somehow.]

  5. What a lovely walk home. Callie was beautifully behaved yesterday :-) She is welcome anytime! It was lovely to have the 3 of you as our guests.

    As soon as you left Shadow appeared as if by magic; very calm and relaxed. Tinka took all of 30 seconds to get out of the tree once she saw the car leave. :-)
    I should have taken a photo of her lazing in the guttering gazing down on Callie.

  6. A nice afternoon enjoyed by just about everyone (minus Niall and Antoinette's Shadow and Tinka!
    Great idea about getting out of the car early, Ken, for that walk with Callie. I live on a hill, and when I was ready to go somewhere ahead of the rest of the family, there were times I started out early and then they picked me up on the way down the hill (1 mile). A good way to get in some exercise!

  7. Tim, I'll have to try the music in the car. Who knows, it may work.

    I can't get Blogger to open up this morning. I've been trying for nearly two hours. So maybe no post today...

  8. Ken. Good to see some promising looking grapes considerably better than some I have seen this year.


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