The first outing was our annual May sortie with the club of the third age. I love going out with this group as they really enjoy themselves and love to sing and tell jokes (often rather blue) on the drive. We visited the Dordogne starting at le Chateau des Milandes which had been the home of the singer Josephine Baker until she fell on hard times and was evicted. The chateau has been restored and houses mementos of the famous chanteuse. Next stop a a wine and foie gras tasting and on to the most important part of the day – lunch. This year I sat next to an 85 year old ex farmer at lunch. He told me that he and his wife were just about to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. I asked him how they met and he started to tell me a story that brought tears to my eyes – better then any history book.
After lunch a boat trip down the Dordogne past 4 other chateaux. It was lovely along the river with trailing swathes of flowers moving gently with the current
We ended our day out to ‘la valléé des cinq chateaux‘ with a taste of walnut wine served by a pretty girl (to the delight of all the old men)dressed in traditional costume.
The second outing was nearer home with the Kiwanis club of Marmande that Kevin is a member of. They organised a car treasure hunt around the village of Cocumont famous for its wine. The rallye took us around the gentle rolling countryside stopping at mills and churches searching for our clues and ended at a farm where a few deciding point earning activities took place before we sat down for a delicious meal with a main course of beef cooked on an open fire all served with great local wine.
The third outing was a randonéé an 11k walk starting very close to Peyrenègre. The countryside around us is great for walking and this walk took us through hazel nut orchards, woodland and farmland with spectacular views.
Look carefully in the picture of the woods below and you will see one of the many complicated hides (palombières) that are built in the local woods and used for catching wild pigeons. Back at the starting point we had a welcome drink and one of the walkers had brought a basket brimming with cherries.
So how does the baby come into this post? Well our 4th grandchild was due on the 21st May and we are still waiting. I bought a rather special bottle of wine on the first outing into the Dordogne and it’s still sitting in it’s packet. So any day now we will welcome another member of the family and we are so excited. Only an event so special would make me leave my corner of SW France in June but next week I am leaving for the UK to say hello to the new arrival and help out as much as I can leaving Kevin to look after the gîtes and our holidaying guests.