Thursday, 11 December 2014

Winter Break, Wednesday

We had - no, I had - a bit of a disappointment on Tuesday evening with our dinner.  Started with half a dozen snails - difficult to go wrong with those, and they were delicious.  But I had chosen paupiettes de volaille with langoustines to follow, and "bland" doesn't even begin to describe it.  Tasted of absolutely nothing, soaked in a floury pink sauce that also tasted of nothing.  The Swan Whisperer had ordered magret de canard sauce groseilles, which he said was delicious, and I wished I'd ordered that!  Then he'd ordered profiterolles, which I think I would have found too much, although they did look good.  I'd ordered the cheeseboard, which was Pont l'Eveque, Camembert and Livarot - just what we'd been watching made earlier in the day!  Which would have been gorgeous, but, alas, they had only just been taken out of the fridge.  So when nobody was looking, I wrapped them in my napkin and took them home to enjoy the following evening.

I think, on balance, that much as I love France, I prefer a country where it is light by 8:00 am, even if it is dark by 4:00 pm.  In France, because they are an hour ahead, but with almost no geographical displacement (Caen, where we were, is almost directly due south of Worthing), it stays light until about 5:00 pm, but of course it doesn't even begin to get light until about 09:00. 

We were hoping to get away by then, and it wasn't much later that we had packed our bags, loaded the car (airing it first, as it stunk of Livarot) and headed off.  As we had plenty of time, we decided to drive cross-country at first, visiting first of all Deauville/Trouville (which I always link with wealthy Brits in the 1930s flying themselves over and going to the casino or the races), and then to Honfleur, which we remembered as a very pretty little harbour, which it was. 

But then it was time for some serious motoring.  I finally worked out how to tell the Satnav to filter its Points of Interest, and to find us a supermarket near Abbeville, which is where we decided to do our shopping, and we set off, over the Pont de Normandie
and up the motorway to Abbeville, where the Satnav found us a Hyper-U and we did our shopping and had some lunch.  Although I had meant to buy some céléris rapés, and a couple of ready-meals for tonight, but forgot.  Got everything else we wanted, I think.  And then on to Calais, up a very empty motorway, and we decided to drive quickly round the town, rather disappointed that it wasn't dark enough to enjoy Calais' renowned Christmas lights (they make Oxford Street look distinctly dull), and then back to the Eurotunnel terminal.  The M20 made a stark contrast with the A28 - no danger of anybody feeling sleepy while driving on that.  We made it home just before 7:00 pm, and got unpacked and so on.   It was a good break, and I should have enjoyed prolonging it a couple of days, but being home and with my grandsons is good, too.

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