This is the middle of June and it is only sixteen degrees . . . cold and wet in the middle of the French countryside. And the weather forecast remains the same for another week!
In the grey and the rain, it’s a challenge for the most positive mind to add a spot of colour to a scene, even with wonderful mass displays of roses that still bloom prolifically everywhere; or with flags beating in the wind; or simply green grape vines running across a landscape in front of a château or other monument. I’m asking Edmundo to wear only the brightest clothing in his yet unused wardrobe.
Driving into Saumur on the Loire today, we see signs promoting a mushroom museum, which suggest what we might look out for at lunch today, after we visit the hilltop château. We’re not disappointed and find plenty of mushroom dishes on the menu. Poêlée de champignons frais et persillés aux rillauds d’Anjou (fresh mushrooms with parsley and vinegar sound better when seen written in French), and Escalope de veau avec murilles.
Jenny’s ‘mushrooms on toast’ with the leftover black beer and prune gravy from David’s rabbit casserole earlier in the week for dinner that we had for dinner at the château last night was so much tastier.
While we are accepting of the luck of the draw as to weather forecasts, I’m starting to wonder if the ghost of the Baron resting down in the crypt of the chapel in the forest of the château might be ‘winning’ on another front.
Andrew from Sydney has had to withdraw from our holiday due to pneumonia; Frank from Berlin lost an implant and is undergoing mouth surgery that forces him to pull out; and now Nasser from Tripoli has been delayed for three days because pro-Gaddifi gunmen shot-up the Tripoli Airport, and flights are cancelled for days to come.
A sigh of relief, when Ben, the first of the new arrivals, steps off the train in Le Mans as scheduled. The Baron’s ghost doesn’t appear to be interfering with our plans . . . well, not tonight anyway.