A Watershed


Hellebore 2.13

It is ivy on the wall attracting my numerous noisy little avian friends, not the virginia creeper which isn’t yet foliated.  Last evening, no matter how long or how often I sat patiently waiting, camera in hand, they scarpered at my first movement.  A flurry of feathers and they were gone.  All would be quiet.  Thinking that was that I would walk back inside.  Then the rest of the flock would silently emerge from the foliage and flit away.  Sometimes a tailender would follow afterwards.  It became a game of hide and seek that I was always going to lose.

This morning, before setting off for Eymet, I worked on the garden, trimming and cutting back.  In what is no more than a small courtyard; where plants must be grown in tubs or makeshift beds merely inches deep; uninhabited for most of the year; subjected to often intense heat and long dry periods in the summer, it takes a while to discover what will survive.  This time I seem to have lost only one cistus, though its companion on the front steps has lived.  I am delighted that the hellebore I planted last summer is now in bloom.

Magpies rattled away.

It was a sunless day with light rain on and off.  I walked to Eymet via Ste. Innocence and Fonroque.  The roads were all undulating and snaking, the stretch leading to and past Ste. Innocence being predominantly uphill.  Some way past this village there is a series of steep S bends dropping down to the D933 at Fonroque.  A right turn there took me into the town, and to Maggie and Mike’s home in Chemin de la Sole, which was my goal.Shrine to Our Lady, Ste. Innocence 2.13

I passed the wayside shrine at Ste. Innocence which I described on the 8th June last year (posted on 10th).  I wasn’t adding photographs then.

This walk was something of a watershed.  The last time I made it was in 2009 when I did not know that the pain in my left leg would not go away until I had surgical intervention in the form of a replacement hip.  When I arrived at this famous Bastide town to meet my friends at a restaurant in the mediaeval square, I was completely unable to climb into the bench/table at which we were to eat.  I had to perch on one end without attempting to fold myself up in any way.  On that trip Jackie had phoned me from England to see how I was getting on.  Learning how much my leg was hurting she politely indicated that I might not be quite right in the head.  ‘It’ll be OK’, said I, ‘you just have to walk through the pain’.  Well, you see, the dictum for marathon runners hitting ‘The Wall’, that point where physiological changes make them feel like stopping, is to ‘run through the pain’.  To me it seemed like a transferable skill.  It wasn’t.

Today’s call whilst I was on the move was from Saufiene, confirming the time for tomorrow’s door measurements.  I don’t think he thought I was quite sane either, but he probably considered it a bit impolitic to say so.  For the record, I felt fine on completion of today’s challenge.  Just a bit achy in the calves.

After the usual aperitifs and nibbles Maggie served up a tasty roast chicken meal and a varied cheeseboard.  A good red wine went with it.  We then watched English television during which both Maggie and I dropped off to sleep.  Reminiscent of a Firs gawp described on 2nd June 2012.

Lydie drove me home and we shared our usual warm greetings and entertaining conversation.

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