It is a mark of this year’s weather that we have come to regard a day without rain, no matter how much cloud, as a good day. Such a day was today; ten tenths cloud until about about 5:00 PM but it didn’t rain, so we were winning.
The early morning was very promising with mist on the river and over the town – quite picturesque. The promise was broken, though. Rather than the mist burning off, as one might expect, the misty sun was shortly covered and white and grey cloud cover persisted all day. Damvix was attractive in the morning, though.
Since yesterday had been continuously wet, we chose bike routes that were largely on roads to avoid any muddy residue. One trouble with weather such as this is that the effects persist for days, spoiling otherwise enjoyable routes. We did 14 miles in the AM, had a casual lunch of ludicrously cheap pate (less than 40p for a slab that would last two days – we really know how to live!) and bread, followed by a 16 mile trip in the PM to ride off the doubtless excessively fatty calories. The euphoria of the new saddle is beginning to wear off – my backside is beginning to feel it.
Some sun broke through for more than five seconds at precisely 5:00 PM. To mark the occasion,Carol heard and found some kingfishers circling around one of the smaller canals nearby.
The evening was clear and the sun shone. While we were enjoying a barbecued duck breast, we were honoured to be visited by an adult hoopoe and its fledged chick flapping to be fed. Naturally, when a camera was to hand, the hoopoe wasn’t, and vice-versa. Still, it was a thrill to see these somewhat comical birds at relatively close quarters.
(Aside: Duck breast, especially French duck breast which is about an inch thick, makes a better steak than most steaks. Strip the fat off and cook it just as you would a good steak.)
Tomorrow is supposed to be good but Sunday and the early part of next week are expected to be nasty. We need to get a newspaper and decide what to do and where to go next. Another decision time approacheth.