The Galette des Rois (French Epiphany frangipane pie containing hidden fèves i.e. ceramic charms) has been eaten and the kids are back studying. The Christmas holidays are well and truly over now. France, however, remains largely Christmassy as there never seems to be a hurry to take the decorations down. Ours are still up and will stay up a little longer I think. With the dark nights and gloomy weather, I want the place to look cheery for as long as possible. January is a tough month in rural Creuse when we generally get the worst weather, although last year February won hands down with a whole month of sub-zero temperatures.
On Monday, having got Ruadhri – reluctantly, it has to be said – on his school bus at 7.30 a.m. in the pitch black, we delivered Benj back to Uni in Limoges and Caiti to the train station there to travel farther down France to Bordeaux. Limoges Bénédictins Station is a very fancy affair. And not easily accessible by car so we walked from Benj’s flats through the city, trundling Caiti’s case on wheels with us. Amazingly it still had some wheels left after the 40 minute brisk journey, with Caiti cringing every step of the way in case we met someone we knew. I’m not sure if it was because she didn’t want to be seen in the company of the case, which Chris and I took turns to pull, of it was parental company that was causing the concern! Luckily she got to our destination without too much embarrassment.
Childless at last, Chris and I pottered back to the car through a different part of the city and then stopped off on the way home for some gentle geocaching. We’d already been on our feet for a couple of hours but it was such a nice day that we were happy to spend another two hours walking through the Limousin hills.
We found our cache at a wonderful shrine called Pour Maman (For Mother). I think this was mother as in the Holy Mother rather than a common or garden ma. I don’t think many kids would build such monuments to their long suffering mums!
We were very high up and had a great view of the surroundings. So it was a beautifully located cache but it was geocrap at its worst. I’ve mentioned the crap some geocachers leave behind. This one took the biscuit with a fag end, a dirty tissue, a dirty plastic spoon, a bottle cap and a scrap of paper. For flip’s sake, what is it with some people?
Anyway, we moseyed back home, dealt with the livestock, retrieved Rors from the school bus and pretty much collapsed after a busy day. A nice way to get back to post-holiday ‘normality’, whatever that is, even though it meant work piled up for another day … That’s for tomorrow!
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