It’s an excruciatingly hot day in the Loire Valley and we’ve waited until quite late to go bike riding. After cycling about 15 K from Cour Cheverny, we’ve had our picnic dinner by a little lake in Bracieux and I want to find a place to have coffee. Relationnel doesn’t hold out much hope – it’s Thursday evening and Bracieux is a village with about 1300 inhabitants.
We ride into the centre and immediately come across a bar with a terrace jutting out into the street. We lean our bikes against the railing and Relationnel goes off to order. I think I hear someone say “Oh, they’re so cute!”. I look around but can’t see anyone that could possibly be described as cute. I stand back a bit to take a photo of the café. Relationnel turns at the door to ask me what I want.
Our coffee comes and we drink it. I sneak a look at the other people on the terrace. They all look like regulars with a couple under their belt. A young woman and two men between 30 and 40 at one table and two men in the early thirties at the table closest to us. Relationnel goes off to pay. “Excusez-moi”, says one of the young men, “I just have to tell you how cute you both are.” Relationnel comes back at this point and hears the end of the conversation, “Like that”, continues the young man, “out for an evening ride, at your age, and in love”.
Relationnel (whence his name!) replies, “Yes, the most important part is being in love.” The young man isn’t quite sure what he means. “Finding the right person is the hard bit,” says Relationnel, “Bikes are easy to get.”
We ride off to visit the 17th century market place and as soon as they are out of site, we go into hysterics. “At our age”. Oh dear!