Georgie's ex-boyfriend from her teenage days paid us a visit last week. Drove over from Switzerland (Lausanne, I think) where he now lives and works. Warned him in advance that our humble abode is virtually uninhabitable so he'd be prepared for the shock of entering. Although it probably wasn't obvious, we'd spent a couple of days tidying up in preparation for his visit. Shoved him in the loft room where he stood a good chance of survival. Luckily the sun shone for the whole three days he was here so we were able to spend most of the time outdoors. Wining and dining out in the garden made a pleasant change and provided an enjoyable alternative to squeezing three people around the kitchen table. Maybe one day we'll have a proper dining room to entertain guests. Or maybe not.
Being a lazy good for nothing hermit recluse, I never know what to do in order to keep guests occupied. But Georgie's different. She's always full of ideas. So, after a little trip to Felletin where we slobbed out in the sunshine at an outside table at the town café, idly chatting and downing coffees, we set off for nearby Crocq to visit the excellent boucherie (it wins prizes and is held in high esteem by the locals). Here Julian bought a big hunk of paté and three steaks - he'd kindly offered to cook for us that evening. Interestingly, he remarked that the cost would have been about four times higher back in Switzerland. Apparently everything's expensive over there.
On the way back home we detoured for a quick visit to St. Georges-Nigremont which is a little hilltop village with a splendid view, an impressive church, a new café/diner and an old café run by an elderly lady - basically it consists of a table outside her front door, and when it's a bit cold, guests are invited indoors to sit at her kitchen table (charmingly olde-worlde French). Well worth a visit if you're ever down this way.
Can't really remember what else we did. Lots of chatting of course, and quite a few leisurely dogwalks. And one fine evening we drove off to Lake Marie (not its real name) for a swim. It's about a 40 minute drive away but well worth the effort. It's very near to the famous Lake Vassiviere which tends to get overcrowded with campers and visitors, but because that lake gets all the attention, Lake Marie remains unspoilt and sort of undiscovered by the masses. It's another place that's well worth a visit if you're ever down this way. But its whereabouts remains a secret!
The slow pace of life around these here parts contrasted somewhat with Julian's busy lifestyle and I think he quite enjoyed unwinding. Then all too soon he had to pack his bags and drive off back across the border. I think he survived the ordeal of visiting without any ill effects and we certainly enjoyed having him to stay. As a footnote, I think it's absolutely splendid that he's stayed in touch with Georgie after all these years. They're obviously friends for life. Good stuff.
A Winters's Harvest
1 week ago