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Bastille Day

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Despite that, Graeme searched out an open boulangerie and returned with breads and pastries. We bummed around the tents, reading, lolling, dozing. The day was spent around the stream paddling, splashing and “fishing”, which involved tying one of Hannah’s crocs to a stick and sailing it down the stream. Or throwing stones at the croc.

Late in the afternoon we decided to be more motile and raised ourselves up to walk for a bit up the hill behind the campsite. Our efforts were rewarded by a couple of cherry trees with some fruit at picking height, a long straight piece of coppiced ash that supplied two stout walking sticks and the pleasure of peeling the bark off with the aforementioned Swiss army knives and the most spectacular cloud burst involving just a few minutes of torrential rain and hail stones the size of marbles. I’m not ashamed to say that I used my sleeping daughter (in her rucsac on my back and in her rain cover) as a human shield to protect me from the hail stones.

On the way back we found (glory be to god) that the wind had taken off the branch of a cherry tree, which was now lying across the road full of lovely red, ripe, sweet, juicy cherries. We stripped it like locusts. Sadly, on getting back to the tents, the cherry stained smiles were wiped off our faces with the sight of the tarp ripped from its moorings, exposing the camp chairs and books to the downpour. By this stage I had been reduced to reading an atrociously written Kate Atkinson book Case Histories, (which some fool describes as the best book he’s read for a decade) having worked my way through a disappointing Louise Welsh (Naming the Bones, which is most annoying because it cost me £13) and the wonderful Keepers of the Truth by Michael Collins.

Madame’s son and daughter (one of whom is an in-law but I don’t know which. Him probably) and the parent’s of the harassed Caesar (who incidentally, a couple of days after “nom-gate” and after some prodding from an older French boy, approached Hannah with a hasty je t’aime) came round warning us that the weather forecast was that the night was to be plus vent and if we had any trouble we were to come up to the house, pour les enfants, which was very sweet of them. However, they’ve clearly never camped in Scotland because we were still sitting outside drinking wine when the “gales” were blowing, enjoying the strange sensation of a warm wind.

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This entry was posted on July 14, 2010 by in The Bank of Me.
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