Featuring similar countryside to that described in the last two posts, today’s walk took me to Sainte Innocence and back. To be able to climb these hills and look down on the fields and hamlets below is a blessing indeed. Especially with an artifical hip thanks to Mr. Marston, an excellent, personable surgeon at St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.
At the edge of Sigoules, close by the shops, there is now a block of retirement homes on a site which two years ago bore one farmhouse and a field of cattle. These residences are not labelled, as in England, with various versions of ‘homes for the elderly’. They bear the legend: ‘The future begins with us’. What the occupants make of the dogs in the garden next door which bark frenetically whenever anyone passes, I can only imagine.
As you enter Ste. Innocence there is a roadside shrine to Our Lady fronted by magnificent Arum lilies planted in a ditch fed by a measured trickle of water from a cistern. Their 12th. century church is locked. I had hoped to find a cafe, but although this small village runs to the said church and a town hall, there are no other public establishments. I was a bit parched when I got back.
This evening I used the Wi-Fi at Le Code Bar to send the last two days’ posts. It is, of course, mentioned in those missives. Now is the time for a fuller description. It is only a month since David and Frederick took over, renamed, and changed the face of what was La Renaissance. That establishment had been run by Joel and Nicole, an equally friendly, but more retiring couple. I believe they struggled because they are unable to keep the hours maintained by the current partnership, who are open all day and every evening seven days a week. They were perhaps less naturally gregarious than this new team. David spends much time chatting in a pleasantly unobtrusive way with the clientele. There is a lively, friendly, atmosphere and David and Frederick speak pretty good English. In Franglais we do rather well. The name, incidentally, is a wordplay on ‘barcode’. A pool table upstairs attracts the younger element. The piped music is usually of French artistes performing English songs. Currently I am listening to a very good version of a Beatles collection. Perhaps the future begins with Le Bar Code.
The lunchtime menu offered by Joel and Nicole was excellent and took some matching. I believe it has been matched. This evening I began with classic French onion soup saved for me from midday, followed by a very good ham and egg salad. This was only the prelude to an enormous platter of chicken and chips which not even The Martin Cafe could have rivalled. Double-fried frites. Marvellous. In England the heart and liver are not included when you buy a bird to roast at home; I have often shredded and eaten the meat from the neck after boiling it up for stock; never have I had all three served up on a plate with a leg and part of the torso. Delicious. The chicken was not stuffed, but I was. I shouldn’t have finished the second basket of bread.