We are enjoying an absolutely gorgeous day, well, one of us is, anyway, since the other one has, unfortunately, come down with a cold. While he’s prone and miserable, I decided to take advantage of the brilliant sunshine and go for a run to work off some of the horrific calorie-overload, with which we were so generously treated last night. We were invited to roast beef and puds by our landlords, friends and all-around lifesavers of these babes in the Frenchy woods. The former Londoners live in the village of Saint-Romain-de-Benet, just outside of Saintes, fifteen minutes from the beaches of Royan. Their lovingly restored home is for sale by the way, should you be interested (let me know, I pass it on). It’s worth a chuckle to note that the drive to their house took about the same time, as a trip to the mailbox used to take us at the ranch.
But I digress, the main point here is the food. Isn’t it always, in France? In addition to the smoked salmon in hot puff pastry and an apéritif in the village bar, we had pâté with crusty bread and animated conversation for starters.
Meanwhile, the potatoes turned golden brown and crunchy in the oven and the roast beef rested for the required juice redistribution. Le coup de foudre, of course, were the made-from-scratch mini-puds, also called Yorkshire pudding. Everyone was eagerly awaiting their share!
To complement the aforementioned riches, we also enjoyed fabulous creamed carrots and rutabaga, as well as sweet peas and broccoli rosettes, not to forget, heaven forbid, the gravy of roast drippings. At this point in time, one may safely assume, we had already consumed our calorie allotment for the entire upcoming week. But we didn’t stop there, oh no! Desert was still to come. And not – if only! – a healthy apple section, but a rich, thick and aromatic apple cake, which we smothered in crème anglaise. Crème anglaise is described as a ‘light pouring custard’. Trust me, there is nothing light about it, but it does pour beautifully.
I do hope, I’ve sufficiently explained my urgent need for physical exercise, to supplement the frequent climbs up and down the stairs, required to supply my sickly husband upstairs with fluids. So, off we go along Cours Rivérseaux for about one kilometer in a gentle trot. Even though I call my walking sessions ‘runs’, I don’t actually run. I may jog a little, but mostly it’s simply vigorous walking, quite appropriate for my matronly station in life. Since I wore my new, slick, pseudo-Nike, steel gray running tights today, I could have been running like a gazelle. I’m sure, I was in the zone 😉
Hanging a u-ey across a zebra crossing just short of the ESSO station, I headed back toward home but made a detour through ‘Saint-Louis’. Remember ‘Saint-Louis 2030’? I wrote about this amazing area around the ancient Logis du Gouverneur last year when I discovered a fabulous display of doomsday graffiti there. A few days ago, I was stunned to see that the walls are now covered with entirely different graffiti. The promise of ‘Saint-Louis 2030’ has still not been fulfilled, but during the nine months, since I last saw the area, the municipality has decided to move the Tuesday and Friday produce markets there. And somehow this relocation of the market vendors and their clients went, mysteriously, hand in hand with a graffiti redo. New wallpaper anyone?
When you click on the ‘graffiti’ link above and scroll down through the pictures, you can see the baffling switch from purple and black to lime green and orange.
Maybe this isn’t actual graffiti, but self-stick, graffito-art shower curtains, and someone comes and applies a new layer ever so often, like pasting a new ad on a billboard? I shall have to investigate. Maybe, my pictures are the only record in existence of the previous wall art incarnation …
Before returning home, I want to check on something else, flood waters. From ‘Saint-Louis’ one has a terrific view over the town and the Charente river, which has risen so much that the prairies of La Palu and large stretches of riverfront on both banks are flooded. Let’s hope, the storms over the Atlantic will cease soon.
I made a quick stop at the bakery for a croissant to cheer up my poor husband, but they were sold out. So I was forced to buy an apple tart, so unfair.