The light of day

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The light of day
Fouvent-Saint-Andoche, France

Fouvent-Saint-Andoche, France


From haunted house with a wizened witch to enchanted forest with a fairy god mother (or lovely, petite french lady) – just add daylight! We not only survived the night but awoke to a whole new world of unsurpassed beauty and tranquility.

After a good nights sleep in antique beds, we re-met Anne who was so sweet and charming that we instantly felt guilty about any insinuation that she has any affiliation with the dark arts despite the plethora of cats (the known familiars of witches). She told us all about the house which is a converted from a barn and stable built in the 1820‘s. The cats are the only animals today but the grounds are home to many fruit trees and extensive vegetable gardens.

I wish we’d known that last night or earlier this morning because we were starving having not eaten dinner last night and nothing for breakfast. Being miles away from anything and everything, we were eager to get on the road knowing that at the stroke of midday, everything would close for 2 hours and we might waste away! Anne gave us the names of the nearest towns with shops (20 kilometers away) and away we went.

We decided to give the GPS a rest and instead got more helpful directions from some friendly locals along the way. We arrived in Dampierre sur Salon in time to rid the patisserie of a couple of croissants, a baguette and the most delicious tomato, garlic and cheese pizza type baguette ever. We also picked up a couple of jars of pollen which ought to counteract any ill effects of excessive pasty and bread consumption.

A quick coffee at the cafe next door and then off to the next town to pick up more supplies for dinner – cheese, mustard, eggs, rocket, tomatoes and of course, some local wine now that we’re in the Burgundy region.

With all the time and sunshine in the world, we wound our way back, letting the few other cars on the road overtake us and pulling over where and when we liked for photo opportunities.

We took a wrong turn at some point and decided it was time to wake the GPS from her slumber only to realise that she’d passed away during the night. I skipped the other steps of grieving and went straight to anger nearly throwing her *&amp;#$!#@^ corpse out the window. Tomorrow’s drive to Dijon should be fun not to mention the ‘conversation’ I’ll have with Europcar if we ever get there!!!

We made it back thanks to Mum’s patience and long experience of dealing with my father who’s genetic gift of dooms-day-pessimism was presenting itself through me. The 2.5 kilometer drive up the gravel road lined with towering trees softly dappling the gentle light shook the worst of it out me.

The rest of the day was spent in general repose – Mum pottered about gathering walnuts and apples from the trees while I sat at a table outside and tendered to necessary matters of administration such as forward accommodation planning and blogging. We stopped for wine and an amble around the grounds meandering there and back just to see how far it is. It was so beautiful and quiet that all we could hear was the buzz of the bees and the dropping of the ripe fruit and nuts.

As the sun went down, it traded places with the moon and a million stars and the bees changed guard with the mosquitoes so we came inside for a simple dinner and the hope of an early night.

Mum’s Message:
After a good nights sleep and a big, big retraction as we reintroduced ourselves to Anne who is a lovely, French farm lady who told us all about her home which is very old.

We then went to Dampierre sur Salon and then Gray to get supplies from Aldi including wine and roquefort cheese (a LOT different to Aldi at home!).

In the afternoon I sat under the three spreading chestnut trees (that would take up our whole backyard) reading and sipping red wine while poor Nomi did administration finding accommodation for further down the track.

Later we strolled through the orchard and picked apples (which reminded me of Anne of Green Gables) and then we turned to an evening meal of mustard, cheese, salad and baguettes.

What made me smile today: Just sitting and being, relaxing under the spreading chestnut trees. Love to all.


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