20211222 Orléans

Up before eight but needed a shower and so didn’t leave until closer to nine.  It’s been rather frigid here, very close to zero (32f).  Also I lost my wool cap somewhere along the way, presumably when it wasn’t so cold and I wasn’t wearing it every day.  So today I must get a new cap and maybe some laundry.

Flo said yesterday she knows a shop where I can get one, so I send her two texts (about the cap and about doing a load of laundry).

I’m not clear how much adding a cap is going to help since it’s my hands and face that are bearing the brunt of this cold weather, but it surely won’t hurt.

While I am out taking pictures and today wandering northward, Flo sends me a text about the shop to buy a new cap and to say laundry is a go.  Google Maps fails to offer the correct location so I return to Flo’s and start my whites in a bowl of bleach water, and Flo gives me the address for the shop so I can fetch a cap while my whites soak.

Leaving my camera gear with Flo I make my way across town for the ten minute walk to Celio.  Sure enough they do have a small selection of caps.  I end up getting a dark green cap and a dark blue scarf.  That should help even though it will do nothing for my hands or face.  And I head back to Flo and my laundry grabbing a sandwich (on a small baguette, poulet mayonnaise which also has sun dried tomatoes) along the way.

I drain the bleach water from the whites (two shirts, a hand towel, and a handkerchief) and toss those into the machine with all the socks and such.  Mostly socks.  That’s the one item you can’t bring enough of for a long trip.  Gotta have fresh socks every day!

Flo is working but also perhaps she is making compote de pomme.  We talk while she prepares apples but she has to get back to work so I come upstairs, eat my sandwich, and write this part.  Now I will walk some more and take more pictures.  The light is not as good today as it was yesterday but we’ll see what comes.

Picked a destination and made a long walk.  Figured I would head North since yesterday it was South.  There is a church amidst some woods some distance and I’m good for a long walk, especially since yesterday was light.  It’s about an hour forty one way.  I’m guessing, with photographing, it’s maybe a five hour voyage.

As predicted the light is nothing to write home about.  Yet here I am mentioning it for all the world:  mediocre light.  These things happen.

Walked through and out of the city, then through a more rural area spotted with farms, industry, and residential areas.  A lot of wide-open spaces and freshly plowed mud.  From Maps you might expect to see a giant park in this area but there is no park but a lot of farm land.  It’s a nice country walk.

Nearer the church there is a small park and I spend a small amount of time there recording and shooting.  It’s very tranquil.  The creek that runs through the park has man-made banks typical for this area, and apparently habitat for beavers.  I did not see a beaver unfortunately.

Left the park and made my way toward the church.  Pretty easy to site since it’s much taller than anything else in the surrounding area.  Shoot some pictures from the outside and rattle the door a bit.  Closed.  Apparently Wednesday is not a good day for god.  Shoot some more pictures and begin the return journey.

Returning goes by really quickly, at least in part because I’ve already shot my way through here.  But when I get back to cross the bridge back into the old part of the city I hear and see a glorious bit of water fowl:  a blue heron (l’héron bleu).  I do snap a couple in-flight pics with my 28-70 mm but that’s too far away.  I swap in the 70-200 mm and shoot some pics as the heron stands around and looks with disdain at the other water fowl.

It goes like this, with him occasionally eating a small fish, for half an hour.  Some people from time to time stop to see what I’m doing standing in the middle of the bridge with this giant camera.  Mostly my fingers solidify.  Half an hour and that fucker can’t be bothered to do more than cloak himself and preen a bit.

Finally though he makes a bit of noise and I grab a few pics as he flies under the bridge.  By now I’m completely frozen.  Pack up the backpack and make a beeline for the apartment.  Also I have to pee.  I hope these pics turn out worth while.

Anyway, back here and writing this latest bit.  Dinner tonight with F&R will be blanquette de veau.  A sort of stew I would guess made with veal and cream and mushrooms.  First, though, we will visit a small market or maybe a farmer’s market nearby for some supplies.  Hmmm… maybe twenty minutes?  I’m almost thawed.

Flo came up because it was time to feed the rabbit but there was no bunny sighting.  Also the lights in the friend’s apartment were not working for some reason so that probably didn’t help.

We then went down and departed for the shopping.  Bringing a little bag and cart device, which you have probably seen being dragged along behind some old people, we walked to the local open-air market.  We expressed pity for the cold workers all day out selling vegetables and meats and eggs and such.  One woman who currently had no customers was huddled around a small heater, seemingly content.

We bought vegetables and eggs, visiting three different stalls.  After that we walked to a different apartment Flo rents out for AirBnB.  The most recent resident had left some stains and a broken bit of trim or molding.  Then we walked back to chez Flo for dinner.

As mentioned dinner was blanquette de veau and it was simple and delicious.  Since the zombie outbreak it has been popular to buy a dinner from a restaurant, retrieve the meal in sealed containment (a jar in this case), and reheat it sous vide style (no precision required just warm enough for eating).  This was done tonight.

I should try to make this dish but getting veal in Ballard could be challenging, you know, evil and all.  Did I mention a government official of a particular city has banned foie gras on the grounds it is animal cruelty?  Even in France ignorance abounds.

We had tiny chocolate cakes (like little lava cakes) and some compote de pomme (like chunky apple sauce) for dessert.

We also had an excellent chardonnay with dinner but I forgot to take a picture of the label.  Or two.  Maybe two.  Anyway, that was this day done.  Off to bed.


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