A-Tisket A-Taskat and Tea for Three

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I’m still getting over the flu that I’ve shared with several MILLIONS of people in France this year.  My recovery after 5 weeks is remarkably slow and annoying. Every time I think I’m better, I seem to have a mini relapse. My friends and neighbours are faring no better than me and we still haven’t resumed our Nordic walking.

The three walkers (and the photographer) before we succombed to the flu

The three walkers (and the photographer’s shadow) before we succombed to the flu

So we decide to have tea together instead. I think  I should get a bit of exercise anyway so I decide to walk to the post box halfway down our street to post two letters and stop for tea on the way back. Even though the post box is in the same street, it’s a good fifteen to twenty minute walk from our house.

Chaenomeles japonica just coming into flower

Chaenomeles japonica just coming into flower

I set out at a fairly brisk pace as it is spitting slightly and I don’t want to get too wet. I keep my eyes open for a photo on the theme of ageing for the City Daily Photo theme day this month, to which I usually contribute with my second blog, Loire Daily Photo. Not a theme I feel particularly keen on at the moment.

Local school in our street that has now closed

Local school in our street that has now closed

I come across a few possibilities including the local school which, after serving generations of children in Les Grouets, our neighbourhood in Blois, closed last year because there weren’t enough pupils. However, my iPhone photos of it are a little disappointing.

The ageing gate

The ageing gate

I find a like-looking gate which doesn’t look as though it has been opened for a very long time. The surrounding trees, wall and tiles also look are though they are ageing fast as well.

Purple crocuses, some growing through the gravel

Purple crocuses, some growing through the gravel

A little further along, I stop, absolutely enchanted by a whole bed of purple crocuses, some of which are growing through the gravel. The gate is open so I go as close as I can without actually setting foot in the property. I don’t want to be found trespassing.

Freshly baked bread in front of our (non-functioning) bread oven

Freshly baked bread in front of our (non-functioning) bread oven

Happy with my find, as it has really brightened a very grey day, I continue towards to mail box, which is just after the organic bakery that unfortunately closed not long after the school. The baker still uses the kitchen but sells his bread elsewhere. It’s also where I buy 5-kilo sacks of flour and smaller amounts of grains to make my multi-grain bread.

Our closest mail box

Our closest mail box

As I go to post my letters, I discover one’s missing. Oh dear ! What’s more, it’s Jean Michel’s chez for Renault who accidentally charged him 1.01 euro on his Visa card instead of 101 euro and obviously wants him to pay the difference …  I start walking back, hoping that the letter has fallen face up and not face down in the mud and that no one has run over it!

The lost letter

The lost letter

Fortunately I eventually spy it on the road. It’s the right way up and the letters aren’t smudged. I go back to the post box wishing it wasn’t so far away.

Three barn doors

Three barn doors

On the way back I notice a barn with three doors which we might be able to use as inspiration for our barn which Jean Michel is going to turn into a garage as part of our renovation plan.

A windvane on my walk

A windvane on my walk

I arrive exactly on time at Françoise’s house. Liliane is already there so we play ladies and drink our tea in yet another set of Françoise’s many porcelain teasets which she inherited from her mother.  I am just so fortunate to have made such wonderful friends in the same street before even moving to Blois. It can take years to be part of a community when you move.

The living room sofa on a sunny day

The living room sofa on a sunny day

After about an hour, I go home to have a second pot of tea with Jean Michel who’s working on the shutters for our glass doors. I can’t find him although I can hear him answering me. I eventually realise he’s inside the house but since there are no lights on, I find it a bit strange. It turns out that he’s lying in the half-dark on the sofa in living room.

The delinquent plunge router that lost its screw

The delinquent plunge router that lost its screw – it is used to make that hollowed out big you can see on the left

This is so unlike him that I am immediately worried. He explains that he’s been using the plunge router on the new shutters. A screw came loose and caused a bigger gouge than he intended. Since using the plunge router requires considerable concentration and creates a lot of physical tension, he decided to stop and lie down for bit. (Just in case you’re wondering what a plunge router is, it’s a power tool used to rout or hollow out an area in the face of a woodpiece, typically wood or plastic as in the photo above).

Almost finished - the shutter being glued together

Almost finished – the shutter being glued together

I make a pot of tea but don’t have any myself or I’ll be totally water logged. I then go with him to inspect the gouge which doesn’t look that catastrophic. By then, he’s feeling better and is able to finish the shutter without any further problems.

The glass doors and shutters are now finished. I’ll tell you about them in detail in another post.

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11 Responses to A-Tisket A-Taskat and Tea for Three

  1. The lost letter reminds me of finding one on the sidewalk this winter- I delivered it the next day, since it was too far out of my way with too little time that evening.

  2. If the photographs are not remarkable, well, things mostly aren’t, but they’re so evocative of a uniquely Gallic rural wintry atmosphere that I’m taken back years ago to a sojourn in more or less your part of the world. We can assume, can we, that your ‘ageing’ themes emphasize the charm of the aged? Long may that last….

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      The photos are definitely evocative of a unique Gallic rural wintry atmosphere! On the whole, I didn’t think the theme (chosen by an Australian blogger) produced a lot of inspirational photos, with some exceptions of course. I particularly liked Stuart’s entry (he lives down the road from me in Amboise) on http://amboisedailyphoto.blogspot.fr/2015/03/city-daily-photo-theme-day-ageing.html. His photo shows a series of oak barrels with the explanation: “in my photo taken at a vineyard in nearby Vouvray, we have not only the ageing wine but the ageing barrels as well. And like us, it’s all getting better with age.”

  3. Susan Walter says:

    A series of little adventures, seemingly commonplace, but adding up to a charming blog post. I can’t wait to see JM’s handiwork in place. I’m super impressed by what he will tackle. My dad once made a silky oak chair for my sister to complete a set she bought which was missing one. I think JM is like that.

    As one of the many millions that you so generously shared the lurgy with, I’m still having some off days too. It seems to be when I get cold or have a busy day. Yesterday we went to Noyers and it set me off again with the golfball in the chest. Bah! I passed on the cheery news to our friend JP that he had 90 days to look forward to — he was at the tired and not much appetite stage with it at the bourse.

  4. Rosemary Kneipp says:

    Well, thank you, Susan. I’m always worried that my posts on living in the country will become boring!

    I, too, am amazed at what JM will tackle. How lovely of your Dad to make a silky oak chair for your sister.

    I do hope that I didn’t share my lurgy with millions! I’m hoping it was just you and JP as I didn’t set foot out of the house again until I was no longer contagious. I even made my cleaner wear a mask (she preferred that to not coming).

    Sorry to hear that the golf ball returned. I had another minor relapse during the weekend but today seems better. Let’s hope it doesn’t really last 90 days but I’m beginning to wonder …

  5. Helen says:

    A wonderful description of what you see as ordinary, but for your readers a lovely insight into a ‘normal’ day in Blois.
    I hope this flu bug doesn’t travel to Aus.

  6. Rosemary Kneipp says:

    Thank you, Helen. Glad to share.

    Susan says a doctor in Australia says it lasts 90 days. I hope he’s a pessimist …

  7. That is quite the walk to the nearest mail box, although when I think about it, it is probably about the same here. I always drop our mail off on the way to work, that is when there is mail to drop off, so I don’t ever think about it.

    I’m sorry about your flu! Yuk! My last real flu dates back to over 15 years ago and I was astounded at the toll it took — two weeks off work and two more weeks to really feel up to speed. Hope you get totally well very soon.

  8. Rosemary Kneipp says:

    Since I work from home and Jean Michel is retired, we don’t drive past a mail box every day, so posting letters is a bit of a nuisance – especially since the box is cleared at 9 am. However, if we can catch the postman when he delivers the mail around 11 am, he is happy to take any letters we need to post.

    I certainly hope that you don’t get this flu, but the “peak” is over, thank goodness.

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