Do you know what is in your cup of tea?

20 May

Sitting down to write this on a Sunday evening it’s hard to account for where the week has gone. Perhaps the picture explains part of it.  We did go back to the market in Lorgues on Tuesday mainly for a wander around, a coffee and to go to the bank and supermarket.

Lounging by the pool

On Wednesday we went walking again with Jeremy, this time a little further afield. He took us down to Le Muy to walk up a rocky outcrop called the Three Crosses, or Les Trois Croix. The elevation above the car park was about 250 m and the climb up took us about an hour. The views from the top were absolutely spectacular.

The lower trail was rolling and easy. That is where we ended up, in the distance

View towards the East with Frejus on the coast in the distance

Standing beside one of the three crosses. Note the safety barriers everywhere to stop people plunging 200m to a certain death

View across the A8 and the Argens river – the same river that passes our home

Leanne and Jeremy start making their way down

A selection of images from our hike up Trois Croix with Jeremy

There is a cherry tree near the house and Thursday was the day for picking. The birds had started to take their share so we got out with the ladder and picked as many as we could reach. It only amounted to a couple of kilos because the fruit this year seems to be very small but the flavour is very good.

On Friday we headed towards the coast near Saint-Tropez planning to do the walk that we had found in a local guidebook. It was a good idea but the weather got worse and worse as we drove. By the time we got to Cavaliere it was teeming down so we took refuge in a café right on the beachfront and had coffee and breakfast. The rain did not let up so we abandoned the walk idea and drove towards home again.

Nice café location, dreadful weather. Can you see the rain?

The road home over the hills from Saint-Tropez passes through Grimaud. We had wanted to stop here last time we were through so now, although it was raining a little, was a good opportunity. After finding what seemed like a rare parking place we started exploring around the village. Working our way up the hill we found the entrance to the hilltop castle ruins, plus dozens more parking places. The ruin was free access and offered great views over the surrounding village and landscape to the coast, including Saint-Tropez in the distance. We ended up getting wet but it was fun.

Approaching the castle ruins at Grimaud

Outlook from the castle. Saint-Tropez on the far side with Port-Grimaud on the near side

The castle from the walkway back down to the village

Something that has surprised us is just how hard the water is here. We are on the municipal water supply but we still have an expensive looking machine in the basement which is a water softener. Not sure how it works but you feed the hopper with pellets of salt and it does its thing. Even so, we have to put vinegar in the electric jug twice a week to stop the buildup of calcium deposits. In addition, the dishwasher has its own salt granule reservoir and as we found out, it will not function if that is empty. It seems that everyone has the same issue, having to use vinegar in the electric jug.
We stopped for a cup of tea with a friend nearby on Sunday afternoon. She made a pot of tea for us using a special tea blend that came from her cousin. Once it was poured she added milk to her cup but then had to tip it out because the milk was apparently off and had curdled. I drink tea black so it was not a problem. She poured herself another cup but this time used lemon juice.
I didn’t particularly like the tea – it was quite smoky and I thought that it was sharp. But apparently I was not sharp enough, because by the time I’d finished half a cup Leanne announced that she thought there was vinegar in the water!  Then our host realised what she had done. She had put half a cup of vinegar in the electric jug and forgotten about it, just topped it up and boiled it when we arrived. The second cup of tea was much more agreeable.
The weather has turned feral again. It has been raining off and on for most of the day and tonight there is forecast to be 35mm. The temperature has dropped to about 12~14°C and I have got the fire going again – just after Leanne had cleaned the fire box for the summer. Lucky I had some wood still near the back door.

Baling hay across the road on Thursday, just ahead of the rain that evening

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