Not much to report... The end of my weekend of rest started badly after a disturbed night's sleep.... A party in the hotel till 2.30am under my window which also included the setting off of the fire alarm at 2 am... My trip through France in general has completely broken down the french stereotype as I have met people of kindness and helpfulness... only too pleased to be of assistance. Last night, I encountered the French "who gives a sh*t" shrug! Well, those of you who know me know that there are 2 main things that will make me incredibly and insanely hopping mad 1) Being deprived of sleep (prepare to die!) and 2) Discourtesy, particularly in the realms of the service sector..... So being shrugged at having pulled on clothes to come stumbling down stairs at 2 am to be told the smoking at the party had set off the fire alarm (in the totally non-smoking hotel!) And when I asked when the noise would stop - 3am was the answer and a look of disgust when I told her I couldn't sleep because of it.
So yes, at breakfast, I did have a go.... in very bad french, because crossness and language fluency for me are mutually exclusive (even in English, there is a baser instinct that just wants to snarl and growl, rather than trying to articulate in words my displeasure). Again, I encountered the 'shrug' and that expellation of air through the lips that only the French can do, but I was not to be trifled with and demanded to see the manager.... Naturally, she was unavailable!
Anyway, off I went to church, still gnawing at my bitter little pill of displeasure, acutely aware of entering God's house with a very far from holy or graceful attitude, so a prayer duly went up to release me of my attitude.
And yes, I did leave feeling better. When I returned to the hotel, I did not flounce in like a sulky teenager, I smiled, was charming and when I came down again to go for a walk, I was informed that the management were very sorry and were offering me my night's stay for free. That was not the object of the exercise.... To be honest, had they expressed concern and regret from the get go, they would not have had to buy me off with a free night's stay... A heartfelt apology does wonders with me.... My fury had been unleashed more by their attitude than by the actual events of the night before.
So, to my walk.... I wandered up to the country house mentioned before and well, not much to speak of, other than it was very pretty and was very Italian in a French setting...
I also walked back around the villa
before returning to spend a couple of hours by the pool watching the canoeists negotiating the weir.
Tonight, I dined at the "Auberge du Château" just on the other side of the bridge at the foot of the château. Beautifully created and presented food, wonderful service and ambience... A 100% recommendation!
And so to bed... Tomorrow a drive to Blaye on the Gironde estuary before I embark upon Bordeaux. I'm not sure of my access to wifi next week, so apologies if there is a delay in service for this blog! ;-)