It was almost half past three when Mats and Vera left the bar. We agreed that we would meet there again between five and quarter past five at the latest. Just when I was about to ask Jean and Nick whether they wanted to stay there or take a stroll around town, Jean came up with a brilliant idea. She turned to Nick and with a twinkle in her eye and said: “I know what we can do! We have time enough to show Martine our house in Le Grand Pressigny, haven’t we?” Nick thought it was a good idea too, and I was really happy with the unexpected invitation.
I had seen so many photos of their cute cottage and their dog Lulu on Jean’s blog, that I was thrilled to finally see the house and the dog for ‘real’. I had some doubts about the feasibility though, given the short time span of only 1.30 hours and considering the distance. Moreover, I didn’t want them to go through any extra trouble for me. But they both insisted – after all it was ‘only a 30 minutes’ drive (one way), which left us 30 minutes to visit the house, the garden and meet playful Lulu.
Jean insisted that I’d sit in the front seat with Nick taking the wheel; a gesture I much appreciated because I had a much better view of the scenery then if I had been sitting in the backseat of the car. I really enjoyed the unexpected ride through the Touraine countryside sitting in a British car … which made me see the French roads from a new and unusual angle and perspective. Nick stayed away from the main roads and we made our way south along calm country lanes, with a lot of vegetation, flowers, small cottages and nice pastures.
During the ride we shared our blogging adventures. We all agreed that the posts that attract most readers and comments are those about personal subjects. Very often the best written and documented posts about historic buildings, cultural events, nature, etc. hardly get any attention. While an everyday personal mishap or success suddenly stirs people’s interests. We came to the conclusion that there is a peeping-tom lurking in each and everyone of us and that peeking into somebody else’s private life can be very stimulating indeed. I guess we bloggers all have an exhibitionistic streak; mind you not the kind of ‘suspicious-man-in-trenchcoat’ exhibitionist. More the kind that likes to share his or her experiences and thoughts with people who think alike and have the same interests in life.
After a pleasant 30 minute drive, we arrived at Le Grand Pressigny where we were warmly greeted by Lulu. While Nick poured us some drinks, Jean showed me around the house. It’s lovely! Actually, the word I used was ‘sweet’, which made Jean laugh. But it is, believe me. Although it’s not very big, it has all the modern commodities, with a very nice and relatively large kitchen, an inviting fireplace, cosy armchairs, two comfortable and tastefully decorated bedrooms and a garden and terrace to die for. We sat outside for a while, sipping our drinks and playing with Lulu. She’s quite a character and ever so friendly.
When the local bell tower chimed half past four, it was time to go. This time Lulu came with us. We were running a bit late, and I called Mats on his mobile phone to tell him not to worry and that we would be at our rendezvous point by half past five at the latest. We made good progress though and arrived at the café in Loches well before my friends did. We decided to have another drink together and although it had started to rain again, we huddled together under the parasols, with Lulu happily running around.
Mats and Vera had enjoyed their visit of the donjon and the medieval town of Loches. They had done some food shopping, but unfortunately had forgotten to buy a baguette for our evening picnic. So I dashed off to the nearest bakery to get one. Next door to the bakery was a butcher where I bought a smelly garlic sausage. Back at the café, Lulu immediately picked up the smell, and looked at the package with anticipation (in vain though).
It was well over six when we decided to say goodbye, with Nick and Jean returning to their cottage for a last night in Le Grand Pressigny before heading home to the UK the next morning. We headed north, back to Vouvray and our B&B. Thank you Jean and Nick for a lovely day. I hope to see you again, soon … in France, the UK or why not Belgium!
I wanted to post some legends with the photos, but blogger is playing up again. But I guess you've figured out 'who's who' :)