It was raining when I woke up. It eased slightly on the way out of town. It then threw it down violently, on and off, for the morning and I got very cold and wet. I sheltered in a strange series of hovels and hermitages in order to escape the worst, with varying degrees of success. I went for the bail-out option, ride to Ruffec then get the train to Poitiers. I was so wet I got changed in the station toilet, otherwise I’d have frozen to death. I had the right kit, just about, although my gore path is no longer as weatherproof as it once was. Even the daffodils were reduced to cowering in a ditch. I had several arguments with Google after I started mapping on my phone. I left it in my pocket and it told me where to turn, which was mostly really helpful because it meant not taking gloves off to check or breaking the phone, but occasionally it gave me duff gen. It became a one-sided conversion:
Google: Turn right in 200 metres
Me: Yes I will, provided it’s a real road and not two medieval French cart tracks…. Oh quel surprise, it’s a quagmire with duckboards. I’ll pass.
Poitiers is very civilised and I’ve been ambling round the chic boulevards and eating eclairs. I helped a blind man in monoprix with his shopping. I’m fairly sure I gave him the wrong fromage blanc yoghurts. I think he was quite disappointed that his helper was someone with minimal knowledge of the meaning of highly specific French culinary words, including variations of chicken. He wanted a type of chicken I’d never heard of so instead he said ‘small chicken’, I took him to the tiny chickens or ortolans or whatever chasse-meat was tiny and chickeny. He actually wanted a packet of the French equivalent to fridge raiders. The goat’s cheese search got a bit stressful. I think hindrance rather than help is probably more accurate. I’m worried when he gets home all excited he’ll find a bag full of weird approximations.
The weather is set fair for tomorrow. Or as they say in Cheltenham (home to an additional two readers, or so I’ve heard) “it gives it to sun”.