Music, Sunsets, and a Goat

Another few uneventful days. I’m not always doing things like hiking the Camino de Santiago. We do have a quick trip coming up on Monday so there’s that.

 Some nice light on a little beach shack/bathroom and walkway to the water.

I saw this couple walking this goat, along with their dog, last year and wondered who in the world would walk a goat. I had questions like did they let it in the house, did it eat their curtains, was the landscaping destroyed? I finally saw the goat a second time and this time I had my iPhone and took this rather bad photo from across the street into the sun. I didn’t think anyone would believe it. I put this photo up on Instagram and a lady who actually owns a farm told me that goats can be very dog-like. I had no idea. I remember once that my ex got a friend a surprise goat as a really badbirthday present saying, “Goats will eat anything, even the net going across tennis courts”, which this guy had. I never found out what happened with the goat afterwards but was told that goats won’t eat everything, maybe just flowers. Anyway, I am still enchanted with a goat you can take for a walk.

 Wednesday, the day of Summer Solstice and in France, and other parts of Europe, music is found all over the place. Even our little village had four or five bands playing. I liked this sign in our local boulangerie toting it.

We rode our bikes down to a restaurant which had a band playing and Maurice ordered ice cream and I got a pina colada which turned out to be huge and we watched the sun set while a band played old jazz.

Pretty good sunset too.

Beachy

It has been really hot in France the last couple of days-95 degrees-too hot to be out except in the early morning. One night I slept with the ceiling fan on along with a floor fan. I hate it when the sheets are hot. We don’t have air conditioning here. We usually don’t need it. We just open windows on either side of our apartment, turn on the ceiling fans and we are comfortable. With the heat came a strange invasion of flying bugs, mostly gnat sized. They were all over my floor so I vacuumed them up and by the afternoon my floor looked the same as it had earlier. There was also a ton of lady bugs flying in the air, landing on our windows and terrace. I don’t know if it was the heat that caused this or if it was one of those mating things. Well,  I survived and the temperature dropped ten degrees  and I have some photos, not of bugs, but around our village.

There are lots of walls and doors along the beach for, I’m sure, privacy. I always take a look when a door happens to be open. This looks like a neat yard.

Not the prettiest dog I’ve ever seen. I saw this same dog last year. It looks over the fence, not barking, not interested in people. I think it’s looking for other dogs. It looks like it is getting gray.

The markets here have lots of fresh food like this mountain of green beans. I always think it’s nice to see them this way instead of wrapped in plastic..

An unusual sunset the other night. I try to look at each one every evening.

This and That

Another few days with nothing special going on, mostly just everyday life but I always have some photos.

I put this photo on my blog a couple of days ago. This lady was an extra, more of just background, in a movie being filmed in our village. My thought was hoping she had sunscreen on.

Then the next day there were about twenty umbrellas set up not too far from our apartment for more filming. They first used the walking path that runs in front of our place and I was leaning over our balcony watching three people, extras, strolling along when I realized they were nude. Two men and a woman. I was wondering what sort of movie this was going to be. Sure, the French are known for topless women on the beach and, I guess, in their movies too, but this seemed strange to me. We found out that it was set in the 80’s and would be about the conservation movement. I don’t know if nudity was a part of that or not. Maurice laughed at me looking and being shocked but he said it also made him uncomfortable to tell the truth. I will be keeping my eyes peeled for movies on TV3 dealing with conservation in the months to come. In the end there must have been 30 or so naked people lying or sitting under those umbrellas. Did they hire a bunch of nudists or were these just actors? I guess I will never know. It was a chilly day but sunny and they all left at the end of the day very tanned and probably sunburned too.

I saw this painted on a wall on a side street of our village. Those fishing shacks are common around here.

A neighbor who doesn’t live here in our building full time and who has cherry trees at his other place came to our door with a big box of cherries and asked if we wanted them. Of course we did! Cherries are my favorite fruit. It’s so nice to buy them at this time of year. With so many I decided to make a cherry clafouti, a French dessert very easy to make. It tastes so good when warm out of the oven. I had it for breakfast the next day. It contains eggs, milk and fruit so that counts as a healthy breakfast, right?

I put my foot next to this jellyfish washed up on the beach to show the size of it. This is the main reason I never get in the water here.

A pretty sunset the other evening.

Walking

Maurice and I try to walk just about every day. Here are some things I’ve seen since we got back to our beach place.

I love seeing red poppies in the Spring. I usee to see a lot more in Provence, fields of them, and maybe I will find a field full of poppies (coquelicot in French) here but, in the meantime, one or two brighten my day.

Friday is the big market day in our village. We bought some fish for lunch. I always like looking at all of the varieties and the lovely patterens you see.

Paella to go.

Roasted chicken for sale. I don’t buy it if it’s been sitting as it isn’t juicy enough for me.

 Maurice and I kept seeing hikers here and there in France doing the famous Camino de Santiago, also known as Saint James way. It is the name of pilgrimage routes to the shrine of James, the Apostle in northwestern Spain. Many follow the routes as a form of spiritual growth and the path goes through many towns with churches or cathedrals where pilgrims often spent the night. It is one of the most important Christian pilgrimages done and is now on the UNESCO list as a world heritage site. It is done by the religious or by those who love to hike or just for the challenge. All of this to inform you that Maurice and I are doing a small portion of it, the part seen on the map starting at Air-sur-l’Adour almost all the way to Spain at St-Jean-de-Port. If you have seen the movie, The Way, this is where the journey starts by a father whose son died on The Way.  It’s a pretty good movie and gives you an idea of what it is like. So, we are using a company that will take our suitcase to each stop so we don’t have to carry everything in a backpack. Some of the days will be really long and I hope we are in good enough shape to do it. I guess, if we are near a road or highway we can call for a taxi. We will see. I’m hoping our daily walks will make it easier. I will write about it of course when we return. You can follow me on Instagram at Linda Pennington-Mathieu or on Facebook at Linda Mathieu where it will be mostly in real time.

Beachy

A few things here and there that I photographed in our village, Chatelaillon.

image
I see people carrying these all of the time. They go out to the water when the tide is way out and run the net through the water. I’ve never seen what they catch but I think it’s either small shrimp or fish.

image
A pretty glass canopy over an empty house with the roses growing wild.

image
I love the architecture found in our area. Note the blue sky too!

image
I love looking through open doors and windows. Luckilly, I didn’t see anyone in their underwear.

Wine, Two Year Old and the Beach

I have a mix of photos, some left from our trip to Bordeaux.

copy1
I wrote a bit about this on Facebook. It’s a photo of some bottles in a window of Ott Rose, said to be the best by many in the States. It is more expensive than wines I usually buy. I just as happy with a 4 Euro bottle to tell the truth with my discriminating taste. I asked a wine expert in a Parisian wine shop if it was the best and he shook his head and pointed to another bottle and said it was better. Ott just has really good marketing. Ott is a Provencal wine by the way by way of an immigrant from Germany. Marketing seems to be the way in many areas-just look at Louis Vuitton and its prices for instance.

copy2
A huge bottle of rose from Aix that I was surprised to see in a Bordeaux bar.

copy
Alone for an hour with a two year old who only speaks French. The hardest part is that he’s two, actually. I have collected many toy trucks and cars through the years so I can keep most boys entertained for quite a while. And then there is the beach of course. He is Maurice’s grandson and we are having him with us for a few days. Oh, the energy of a two year old! Plus, he is learning to use the toilet and wants to give it a go every 30 minutes.

copt2
I was trying to get a magical shot of the water, the birds and the light this morning on my run but the sun wouldn’t co-operate and my lens isn’t good for what I want. I’m going to check out the one you can get for iphones one of these days.