The day started well in that the sun had returned. Wednesday is market day in nearby Bram and, being a pleasantly sized market, not too big not too small, we decided to do some shopping for supplies there. The meat shopping went well and we came away with paupiettes de veau (stuffed veal parcels) and some pork chops. The day was shaping up nicely for a lunch of barbecued sardines but we had to get those from a supermarket, unfortunately. They were a little too big for my liking, too, but we’d be waiting a while to barbecue since hitting the south so we got them anyway.
The good day began to fall apart. First of all, Carol returned from les sanitaires excitedly announcing that she had found some interesting lizards so I went off with her to snap them if I could. I could. Excitement levels increased as a praying mantis clambered up a wall then posed looking straight at me and my camera. Snap, snap! Wonderful! Maddening depression set in as I realized that I had stupidly left my camera set to manual following a few previous flash photography experiments. The mantis was horribly overexposed. Maybe I’d be able to salvage something in post-processing. I re-snapped a few lizards with my camera correctly set.
Secondly, while the charcoal was firing up, I went chasing dragonflies with my camera and managed to slip on and fall into some mud at the margins of farmer Luc’s lake. The life of the uncoordinated! Fortunately I saved my camera but I missed the dragonfly and got my trousers caked in sticky mud. Not a pleasant laundry job.
Thirdly, my fears over the size of the sardines proved to be well-founded and they oozed large amounts of oil causing the coals to flare ferociously. My portable Weber’s lid did its best to snuff out the flames but we still ended up with a slight petrochemical-like taint and lunch wasn’t my greatest of successes.
Farmer Luc has marked two walks through the surrounding countryside from his campsite. In an attempt to help me start doing things right again, we spent the later afternoon on the shorter of these. It’s about 5mls/8kms and was an enjoyable way to spend about 2 hours unwinding from the stresses of falling over and cooking lunch.