First Oriole

Weather is perverse. After yesterday’s completely solid and very low cloud thrashing rain at us all day long, there were stars in the hitherto largely unseen sky for some of the night, at least. This morning, there were very brief interludes of blue with the occasional burst of strange brilliance, but we were back to about nine tenths cloud moving briskly by in a moderate breeze. If there’s a storm system moving through, as there undoubtedly is, where on Earth does it go overnight?

Poppy In Billy's Cornfield Spirits already lifted by the lack of thrashing rain, we were sitting having coffee #1 when our spirits got another lift as the now unmistakable (to us) flutey whistle of a golden oriole came drifting in on the breeze. These are summer migrants, mostly heard rather than seen, in Europe from May to August only (sensible birds), and are one of the reasons we enjoy France so much in June.

The day continued to improve, even the poppies in the cornfield outside Billy’s pitch had perked up, so we decided to skip breakfast and get out on the bikes while we could. Before leaving home, Carol had discovered a McDonalds in Vineuil, about 6 miles from us, which supposedly had a wi-fi hook-up. Having several days worth of postings, dear reader, off we went with the lap top. Following one of the excellent cycle routes here, we son navigated our way through Vineuil and found the McDonalds complete with wi-fi sign – closed for refurbishment until 6th June. Maybe they’d left their wi-fi turned on? No such luck. Bother! Unbelievable – the one time we’d had the foresight to check and it was out of commission.

Beginning our homeward journey for lunch, we stumbled across a B+B Hotel (more of a motel) advertising free wi-fi. So, we snuck along the fence line and lo, a weak signal. It needed an authorised sign-on, though. Carol filled in an e-form but no joy. Start home again. Back in the centre of Vineuil, Carol heard her mobile phone chirp. We stopped, she examined the phone and lo, an SMS message containing a password for the B+B hotel wi-fi. Strewth! So, having come this far, we turned around and returned, uphill, I hasten to add, to the fence outside the B+B. Finding the weak signal again, we managed (I think) to post our first blog entry (Amateur Hour), then go for the second and lost the signal. Drat! Repeated attempts to re-establish connection failed so we gave up and returned home. Could they have powered the connection down for lunch? It was 1:00 PM. Oh well, a 17 mile round trip to make a single blog posting. No matter, it was a pleasant ride.

The day had continued to improve and we had a very pleasant lunch of grilled butternut squash, serrano ham, lettuce and shaved ossau irraty cheese. That needed another bike ride to negate the calories so, in the late afternoon, we popped up the road to visit chateau de Chambord before returning for a couple of pastis and dinner.

An unexpectedly terrific day, even if the Internet stuff was a tad more than frustrating.

Posted in France, 2008
One comment on “First Oriole
  1. Rosemary says:

    What a fabulous picture; the poppy looks so 3D, I swear I could pick it. Love to both

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