This morning was so cold when we went for a shopping trip to Ringwood that the wind pierced four layers of clothing. It was a relief to enter the shops. I waited for a possible meteorological improvement until late in the afternoon, before walking the London Minstead/Bull Lane loop.
There was no such luck. If anything, the weather was worse. I have never seen tree fungus such a nascent glowing gold as that on an ornamental cherry tree in the Lodge garden. Like the snails in Sigoules, it must like it wet.
The leaden sky seemed to have expelled the cold wind that dashed frantically all over the place as if ricocheting off the walls of a confined space from which it was trying to escape. Venting its spleen on any tree that stood in its path, it scattered the roads with tiny lichen-covered twigs and this year’s leaf, ‘ripped untimely’ from its moorings. A stable door banged impatiently, its residents, still in the field, once again wrapped up in their winter jackets. Intermittent needle sharp rain spiced up the proceedings.
The fourth layer mentioned earlier is a raincoat. As I have only brought it back from Sigoules this year, it helps me locate picture number 18 from the ‘through the ages’ series. This light Daniel Hechter garment was totally inadequate to keep out today’s blast.
A very different precipitation brought about its purchase. Sigoules is subject at times to spectacular thunderstorms. Visiting Bergerac with Chris, Frances, and Elizabeth on such a glorious day as to be wearing shorts and a T-shirt, we were beset by one such. This means that unless I did something about it, I was going to receive a sheet of water descending vertically onto my head. My companions, of course, were better equipped. Fortunately we happened to be outside a men’s outfitters. I dived inside. Well, even if they hadn’t got a raincoat, I could at least get some shelter with a credible excuse.
Now, clothes are expensive in France. And if you are shopping for them, you may not wish to visit the priciest outlet in Bergerac. What the hell. They had just one raincoat. It fitted me. If I went back outside without it I was going to get wet. I bought it. Like most unpleasant things in life, I can’t remember how much it cost. The proprietors were probably in cahoots with the weatherpersons.
O.k., we know that picture was taken in France. We know it was a day that warranted a raincoat. With the benefit of digital technology we also know it was taken on 16th April 2009. That narrows it down somewhat. Erroneously, I had thought the photographer has to have been Chris or Frances. In fact it turned out to have been Elizabeth, who I thought had not taken her camera on that trip. I should have known better.
Now where? The particular brickwork in the background is not found in Sigoules. So we have Eymet or Bergerac. Either of these towns has a multitude of twelfth and thirteenth century buildings. I plumped for Bergerac, which my sister confirmed.
Jackie produced a wonderful sausage and bacon casserole for our evening meal. I supplemented my share with Montpierre reserve Languedoc 2011.