The Vanishing Pilgrim…..

Afternoon all, it’s been a while…..

We’ve lit the fire for the first time this year, and various animals, in various stages of slumber, are dotted around the kitchen as a result. For those of you unaware, it wouldn’t be a week in France, without a national shortage of something. Mustard is just about sorting itself out, now it’s wood pellets for our boiler. At 14 euros per bag (if you can find them), compared to just 5 last year, it’s just not viable to light the boiler, albeit it’s still a bit too early to light it just yet. Our plan is to dust off the oil fired rads and use them as and when required, probably in Craig’s office, our bedroom to take the chill off morning and evening, and possibly the bathroom because I refuse to get out of the shower to a cold damp towel, I have standards!!! Luckily we have the log burner in the kitchen and that will serve us well until the weather gets super cold, which doesn’t tend to be until December really, Dec and Jan are our big pellet usage months. I’m hopeful the situation will resolve itself medium term, but if not, we have about 60 bags left from last year, and I could either sell them and buy a Faberge egg, or save them until we have family staying over xmas. Sadly I think it’ll be the latter….

I’ve been busy planning for our holiday to Iceland in January. I’ve just booked all our excursions today which is quite exciting. A midnight Northern Lights trip to start, Skylagoon, which makes Centre Parcs Spa look frankly laughable (and that’s not something I say lightly), Golden Circle, which is basically “that reet big waterfall”, “that reet big geyser” and others, followed by Southern Coast, black sand beaches, volcanos, glaciers and Game Of Thrones tastic. Do I want to go to Blue Lagoon? Well, yes, but we’ve crammed in a lot already and I don’t want our week to be just a cavalcade of needing to be at a certain place for a certain time. We have a couple of free days, and we leave late on our last day due to flight times, so we could book it while we’re there if we feel we want to. I also want to allow time for an additional Northern lights trip in case it evades us the first time. It’s been a bucket-list destination for us for a while, and its our 10th wedding anniversary in December so what better opportunity. (Plus a wee bit cheaper than Disney right?!)

It’s grey and misty and autumnal today. In a few weeks La Belle Creuse will be golden, russet and burnt ochre, with every dog walk ankle deep in fallen chestnuts. It’s my favourite time of year by a considerable amount. Whether it’s the smell of woodsmoke in the air, working out just how dead you’d be if you ate a poorly identified woodland mushroom, or lighting every single tea light, there’s a lot to love. No sign of migrating grue just yet thankfully, and dahlias are still plentiful. I adore it.

Hubs returned from the States this weekend and we set out to walk the dogs together, with a chill in the air, and the rush to get back home reasonably fast, ahead of the rain we could see rolling in over the distant hills. As we rounded the side of the house, there was a mystery bicycle. It was half in our garden, half on the road, laden down with belongings, covered with a waterproof tarp, and with an obvious flat tyre. Clearly a pilgrim travelling the Compostella that had run into bother? But where were they? There was no sign of anyone as far as the eye could see in any direction. No-one seemed to have taken shelter in our outbuildings, no-one had knocked on our door asking for help. Strange we thought, and headed off on our walk, which wasn’t a long one due to the incoming inclement weather, maybe 15 minutes. We returned, and the bike was gone. No sign again of anyone in any direction. Ordinarily I’d find things like this weird, then I remembered where I live, and then it felt completely par for the course. At least it wasn’t a stranger wandering in and going to sleep in our pantry….. again…..

Laters, V xx

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