Slow Sunday

When we woke at 7:00 am this morning there was blue sky visible through the skylights in our bedroom but that was shortlived. By the time we had eaten breakfast the sunshine was gone and the rain had returned. We had no plans for the day other than to go to Mass at Trédaniel, the next village toward Moncontour, at 10:30 am. In the meantime we read, dealt with email, embroidered, or otherwise entertained ourselves.

At 10:00 am I drove us to Trédaniel where we found the church of Saint Peter part way up the hill. We found a parking space above the church and walked down toward the clamour of clanging bells. They were loud and long and, as we discovered after Mass, an automated recording rather than the real thing. The structure of Mass was entirely familiar though the language was strange. Majella managed some responses and was able to sing along once she could locate the relevant page in the hymnal by peeking at the pages open in books around us. The rest of us managed to keep in step and to sing or murmur a few words here and there.

On the way out we recognised the comtesse from our visit to Le Colombier on Tuesday. When first approached her recollection was that she had met us long ago but she was soon reminded of the occasion. John and Pauline engaged in a longer conversation with her daughter who was there with her.

We drove on to Moncontour to pick up some bread and other essentials for lunch and dinner. As we had yesterday, we tried the back road in hope of seeing the château we had glimpsed from the road near Trédaniel but had no more success than before. We did manage not to pass by the square with the supermarket where we completed our shopping before heading back to Trébry. The sole service station was not open so we could not buy fuel but drove on hoping that the gauge was correct in estimating we had 190 km worth in the tank.

After lunch of fresh bread, prosciutto, cheese and salad we rested while the gentle rain continued to fall outside. By 3:00 pm we were feeling the need of some activity and the weather images suggested that the rain might break again. We decided that we could risk a trip to Moncontour where Majella thought that the costume display was open on Sunday and and we knew that the garden on the ramparts of the old citadel should be open.

DSC_4270Moncontour was quieter than usual. We easily found a parking space in the square in front of the supermarket which was closed as was the tourist office. Majella was disappointed to find that the costume display was not open but we were able to access the medieval garden on the ramparts by way of a set of ancient steps from the main street. Beyond the gate to the ramparts we found a garden growing medieval plants and maintained using methods from 500 years ago. Majella had some difficulty with the French of the first man she spoke with but there was another who had visited Australia more than once, spoke good English, and was pleased to show us through the garden. The rain continued to sprinkle throughout but we had jackets and/or umbrellas and found sufficent of interest to offset the dampness. Pauline acquired a variety of herbs that she put to good use in our dinner later this evening.

DSC_4278From the garden we wandered down the street hoping that Au Coin du Feu, where we had dinner last Sunday might be open for coffee in a warm spot. It was not opening until dinner time so we walked on down the street toward the church of Saint Mathurin which we noticed was open. We went in for a look and found signs of fervent and enduring devotion to Saint Mathurin. The side altar with his statue and a bust near the front of the nave were adorned with plaques thanking him for favours granted and there was a stained glass window depicting a ceremonial procession of the bust.

As we left the church we noticed that the bar-tabac across the street was open and went in for the coffees we had not been able to find earlier. I had espresso, Majella and Pauline had hot chocolates which they described as very good, and John ordered red beer which turned out to be cherry beer and also enjoyable.

Back at Trébry we relaxed with drinks and nibbles while Pauline prepared and cooked a quiche for dinner. That was topped off with the remnants of Majella’s Far Breton. After dinner we watched the finish of the Tour de France, enjoying the experience of doing that in daylight in France rather than late night or early morning in Australia.

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