The French experience

Hendecourt-lès-Cagnicourt, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
Saturday, April 28, 2012

So it seems that I am not as good at this shopping lark as I thought I was.
I've been trying to buy skin moisturiser, so clever clogs here looked up Google Translate and bought what I assumed to be the right stuff - and it was a brand I recognised so how bad could it be? Well turns out it was hair moisturiser...
Next time I am really clever and ask a local - with much charades, I make sure that the product is for skin and not hair...
Yep - it is for the skin - it is body wash!

I am getting the hang of driving though. Avoid all French locals as their favourite past time is tailgating. Learn what Priorit� � Droite means. This caught me out twice before I Googled it. Confusing at best, deadly at worst. And traffic lights are only on one corner of an intersection and can be easily missed. The speed limit is 90, unless it's 70 or 50 or 30... but they only have one sign telling you the speed change. Blink and you miss it. I will be extremely surprised if I don't have a few speeding fines waiting for me at the car hire place.
I've only had one near miss with a pedestrian (but I blame the Slug because of the wide driver-side windscreen pillar) and almost turned a cat into roadkill - but I thank the Slug for having such excellent brakes - even if the entire contents of my bag, including my camera, went flying onto the floor.
I have loved staying in the one place for a few weeks to really get the "feel" - and I can now get to Peronne and back without Natasha's help. I'm usually really good at getting my bearings in a new town and can fairly accurately locate north ... except last time I was in Paris in 2006 when I got everything backwards and the BOSS had to set me straight. Well it must be something about France because I'm doing it again - I could have sworn Peronne was North West and not South East. I blame the lack of sunshine!

Speaking of which, we didn't have any rain today - we had fog! All day!

Spent the day with Claude and Collette being fed - and fed - and fed...
French Champagne to start.
First course: Foie gras on toast.
Second course: egg and avocado salad with stuffed (home-grown by Claude) tomatoes.
Just as I was thinking "what an excellent lunch that was - and now I'm ready for a coffee" the third course arrived.
Traditional Cassoulet (chicken sausage mushroom bean casserole)
followed by the Cheese Platter and bread and biscuits
followed by dessert of custard filled pastry
then coffee.
Wonderful, delightful people but boy oh boy was I full!

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