Our local wine co-op had their annual open house last weekend, so Ken and I went over for some wine. We got a nice discount on forty liters and six bottles with an added bonus of a gift bottle of sauvignon blanc. We did a little tasting and saw some of the art on exhibit (a very talented macro photographer with a penchant for insects).
The label on our gift bottle. It says: "It's a gift! Thank you and see you soon!" I'm guessing the JPO inside the balloons stands for Journées Portes Ouvertes (Open House Days).
I call the co-op "local" because it's right across the river from St.-Aignan. All the grapes they use come from that side of the river in the St.-Romain area; none of them are from our side. So, the wine is not as "local" as it could be. The real local wine comes from the grapes grown outside our back gate and we have to go to the winery for that!
These little blue guys are blooming all over right now. They're tiny, but so numerous that they give the ground a blue tint. They grow among the grasses in and around the vineyard. They bloom in our lawn before they get cut by the mower, but they grow back and bloom again within the space of a week.
I believe these are a variety of myosotis, commonly called the forget-me-not.
We're in the middle of asparagus season now and today I'm heading out to the morning market for another kilo. I want to make steamed asparagus with hollandaise sauce. I've never made a hollandaise (that I can remember), so we'll see how it goes. I'm also hoping for more strawberries and some mushrooms.
My trip to Paris went well. I left on a 7:40am train from Saint-Aignan with one connection in Vierzon and arrived in Paris on time. I took a nice walk from the station through the center of the city, along the river, behind the Notre Dame cathedral, across the Ile-St.-Louis and over to the the big department store (le BHV) next to city hall. After a little targeted shopping, I was off to lunch with some American friends who happened to be in town on vacation. We ate at a favorite place of mine on the Place du Bourg-Tibourg in the Marais.
Flowers on a pine tree against a blue sky.
After a fun lunch I hopped the métro over to Concorde and the American Embassy. The appointment for the notary service went smoothly and in all (including security) I was there for a little more than an hour. All the staff were friendly and efficient. After the paperwork was completed, I had time to stop in a favorite kitchen supply store before meeting up with another friend for a drink. I walked across the city from Les Halles to the train station (Gare d'Austerlitz) via Beaubourg, le Marais, and Bastille, which took about an hour. The train left just before 6:00pm and I got home at about 8:15pm.
I didn't take my camera with me because the Embassy does not allow them, or any other electronic devices, inside. Since I didn't have anybody to wait for me outside with my camera, I decided not to take it at all. It was nice just to walk in the city without stopping to take pictures.
The trains were clean, comfortable, and on time in both directions. All in all, it was very pleasant and successful day.
I only know of two places out around the vineyards where these purple flowers bloom. I'm sure there are more, but I've only encountered the two on my routine walks with Callie. I can't find a match in the wildflower identification site I use, so if any of you recognize it, I'd appreciate your help.
A pretty purple flower that grows in bunches around the vineyard parcels.
Today I am on the road while Ken is home with the animules. I have to have a form notarized (a peculiar US custom) related to my retirement pension, and the US Embassy in Paris provides the service. So I made the required appointment and am taking the train up and back today to get it done.
Every now and then I'll see something on the side of the vineyard roads that someone has tossed out the window of a car. Usually it's wadded-up kleenex (yuck) which quickly disintegrates and disappears. I've seen candy wrappers and the stray fast-food package; the town across the river got a McDonald's a few years ago. I've seen beverage cans, too. But often it's cigarette packs, empty, of course.
Gauloises Blondes. "Smoking seriously harms your health and the health of those around you."
The weirdest (and by far the most gross) thing I've seen is a pile of human feces and the tissues used to "wipe" sitting right smack in the middle of the dirt road that Callie and I walk on every day. I imagine somebody really had to go and pulled off the paved road in the night. I had to steer the dog clear of that for a while in case she got any ideas. After a few days without any rain to wash it away, I noticed that somebody had actually come by and cleaned it up, presumably one of the vineyard workers. Ah, the country life!
Callie waits for me to take a picture on our way home from our Saturday afternoon walk. By the time I get where I'm standing for this picture, Callie is usually already at the back gate (barely visible in the center-left) with whatever stick or log she's carried home.
Hurry up! We're almost there.
Our weather is decidedly spring-like. In other words, it ain't warm. Low pressure systems from the north Atlantic churn in one after the other over the British Isles and we get the tail ends of them here. Which means lots of clouds blocking the warm sun (Saturday was an exception, but it still wasn't what you would call warm). Oh well. Summer is on its way. Right?
We wouldn't want to air our dirty laundry, now, would we? I thought the clothes drying on the line looked nice when Callie and I got back from our morning walk. So, why not take a picture?
I thought our clothes (and a rug) looked nice against the green background.
We had a long walk on Sunday morning. The sun was out and the grass was dry, so we walked around and around. Callie had a good time making her way ahead of me then realizing that I was not following exactly where she wanted to go. She always comes along wherever I am. Good dog.
Living outside of Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher since 2003. You'll find here pictures and descriptions of our life in rural France, some travels, and other stuff about me, my husband Ken, our dog Callie, and our cat Bertie.
All photos in this blog were made by and are the property of the blog author, WCS, unless otherwise noted. If a photo is mis-credited, please leave a comment so that it can be corrected. Photos belonging to others will be removed at the owner's request.