A Quiet Week

30 Jul

This must have been our quietest week to date.  That is confirmed by the paltry number of photos I have taken in the last seven days, the lowest number since we left home in March.  It has also been very hot every day so doing things early and staying out of the heat in the afternoons (ie. siesta) was the best plan.  The catch with this strategy is that the days are already getting noticeably shorter so it is quite dark still at 6am.  Sunrise is now 6.20am.

Since Friday we have spent a lot of time watching the Olympics coverage including the opening which kept us up until 2am!  I think my favourite element was the Rowan Atkinson contribution.  Simply brilliant Mr Bean.  And the cycling on Saturday was gripping stuff that turned all the media hype on its proverbial ass.  Also enjoying the gymnastics.

Since news is minimal I will add something that I skipped last week.  While we were away in Paris it was Leanne’s birthday so on Saturday night, the 21st, we went out to dinner.  The venue was La Table in the village of Tourtour.  It was highly recommended to us by friends and it did not disappoint.  The food was superb.  But man do they charge for wine!  Apparently this is typical.  I estimate that the multiple over normal retail is about 4~6 times.  The average bottle seemed to be about €60.  Thankfully, we were not intending to drink a whole lot anyway due to the 30 minute drive to get home.

Leanne looking gorgeous at her belated birthday dinner

Clockwise from top left: fois gras mousse; mackerel entrée; Another entrée – can’t remember the details; raspberries with a basil mousse – weird!; cheese platter; main – pork fillet

And speaking of the drive home… there we were winding our way down the narrow road from the hilltop village of Tourtour when a doe bounded out on to the road ahead of us.  We were only doing about 40kph at the time so stopping was no problem but she leapt up the bank across the road and disappeared.  Just as she did so her fawn trotted into the headlights, did a few line dancing moves and clambered up the bank to follow its mother.  Lucky for them!

With it being so hot this week we decided to seek refuge at the beach on Wednesday.  We arrived at Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer at 9am and easily found a nearby parking spot (not always possible on the Mediterranean coast in the summer).  It is a quiet spot and unlike many beaches around here, has very fine soft sand.

A nice quiet beach, this is the public side, for want of a better description. The other half, to the left, had a café and rented loungers all over it

On Friday we made our weekly pilgrimage to the supermarket.  Having been intrigued by the bank of handheld scanners at the entrance we finally got signed up to use them.  It was just a matter of registering at the customer service desk and then scanning the barcode on the terminal to release a unit.  Cool.  Now we can check the prices as we shop without having to search for one of the terminals located in the aisles.  Also, by scanning everything as you put it in your trolley, you have a running total on the financial damage.  Seems like a nice idea.  So we collected what we needed for the week and headed for the check out.  But the operator didn’t want to serve us and indicated that we should go to the far end of the checkout area.  We had no idea what this was about but are not really in a position to entertain detailed discussions in French just yet, so we complied.

Sure enough, at the end we found two checkout positions that had a sign over them that matched the logo on our scanner.  When we got there the operator took the scanner, flashed it at something on her till and asked if we had scanned everything in the trolley. As it turned out we had so we could confidently say yes.  Then she told us the total and directed us to the EFTPOS terminal to pay.  So we had done our own checkout as we loaded items into the trolley!  That was it.  Finished.  No more to be done.  Very slick.

Since Jeremy broke his ankle our walking has taken a big hit so on Sunday morning we got up reasonably early and set off from home to walk some tracks that he told us about around here.  With our new walking sticks and map in hand we set off on what turned out to be a nice 7km walk to Chateau La Martinette via the river track and back via a bush track over the hill.  I’m glad we set out early because it turned into another 35˚C day.

Entrance to the chateau over its own private bridge

A peek at the chateau from halfway across the bridge. It was recently purchased by a Russian who is in the process of a major renovation

Leanne beside the irrigation channel modelling one of our newly acquired walking sticks


2 Responses to “A Quiet Week”

  1. james b August 5, 2012 at 09:42 #

    Brian havent caught up with your blog for awhile , glad I have done so . Rain here inauckland so not much fun . have completed the rail for the decka st sandy bay so might apply for compliance inthe next mth or so . Was god to see Bindy in1 piece in Port Douglas
    regards to you both james b

  2. Jeff July 30, 2012 at 21:13 #

    The french have a name for the ratio of restaurant wine price compared to purchase price from the vineyard or supermarket. It is called “le coefficient”. 3-4 is considered acceptable in a good restaurante with a large winelist as of course the restaurant as to fund the inventory. Anything over 5 is considered being ripped off!

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