Wednesday, 28 October 2009

26. River bank tales

25th October 2009. We enjoyed a lip-smacking dinner on Friday evening. J-Y, the husband of D (Madame’s painting teacher), had prepared a superb five course meal for all the class at the workshop/studio in the heart of Bayonne. He’d trained as a chef but found that he didn’t enjoy being shouted at by choleric chefs and so he abandoned cuisine as a career. However, thankfully, he’s continued cooking as an amateur. He and his wife are an extremely creative couple – we went to a soirée there about a month ago held to raise public awareness of foreign ‘jobless’ & students in Bayonne. There was a wide range of nationalities reflected in those present and they each presented themselves in their own language, with the aid of an interpreter if necessary. It was very well done and it succeeded in turning each one from the “jobless scrounger” stereotype into an individual.

As October draws to a close, the temps are bouncing around. Large leathery brown leaves from the chestnut trees are starting to drift down from on high in the avenue. The other morning it was down to 3C but this afternoon according to the thermometer in the car it was 25.. so we decided to go for a walk with the pooch along the Nive.
The Nive
We discovered this walk a few months ago and it’s become one of our favourites as the path is tarmac which helps keep the dog fairly clean. We’d originally planned on turning around at a small footbridge about 12km from Bayonne but having got there we realised that the village of our gite was just nearby. We carried on, only stopping at a farm shop to pick up a gateau Basque to offer M et Mme D. It was great to see them again and we sat outside in the sunshine before deciding to move inside as it was just too hot out there in the sun.. We had a couple of glasses of wine with the cake before heading back along the Nive to where we’d left the car.
One of the guys down at the rowing club has managed to find me a ticket for the Bayonne-Toulon game at the weekend.. Unfortunately Jonny Wilkinson won't be playing as he's joining up with the England squad for a month.

I started reading Robert Louis Stevenson's Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes today. Think I'd like to follow in his footsteps and bring the story up to date. He wrote it in 1878 when he was 28. The following year he travelled across the US to California before returning to Scotland. He went back to the US and then on to Australia before finally settling in Samoa. He was only 44 when he died.

I'd better start writing..!

Friday 30th October 2009: Just returned from soaking up the sun on the beach at Anglet.. where it was a warm 26 this afternoon. Our last visit for 2009? Who knows.. but I'm keeping a knotted hanky in the car just in case..

No comments: