20211223 Orléans

Up early again.  Awake shortly after seven and gone maybe before nine.  Today I walk South again since North was a bit of a bust.  There’s another église.

Mostly on this walk I used my long lens (70-200 mm).  It’s a beautiful sunny day and there is a lot to shoot in this direction.  I get some good bird pictures but not the blackbird I was trying to get.  Also a beaver on the return trip.

The church is nice.  It’s Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Saint-Jean-de-Braye (Paroisse de Saint Jean de Braye) according to G.  There are some decorations for the holiday, of course, and there is a small group and an organist preparing for a show of some sort.  Gothic style, wonderful dais.  Worth the walk even if I didn’t get birds.

I make my way back.  This course along the river and along the canal is great.  Lots of people out jogging or riding or walking, but long enough that you only pass a person here or there.  Really wanted to shoot a blackbird but they kept escaping.  Did get some other birds and the aforementioned beaver.  Shot a short video of the beaver cleaning and preening.

Returned to the building just as R was rolling out and we passed on the stairs.  I went up for a quick shower and a rest.  After the shower though I thought I’d better get a chicken to have in my refrigerator for those times when I’m not eating with everyone else.  Just as I descend the steps there is Flo emerging from her apartment with Redbull in tow, heading for the vet.  He is in a rolling cat suitcase which is perhaps comfortable enough but the rattling cobbles make me laugh.  He is not amused.

The vet is nearby and the visit is short enough.  He becomes even less amused.  Flo had to chase him at home when he saw the cat-case, but when she moves to return him to the cat-case in the vet’s office he is all too eager to return to those familiar surroundings.  One vaccination down and a good enough bill of health.

As we return Flo and I stop at a shop to see if they have the poppy liqueur I bought previously.  They do not but they do have a very tempting chocolate bar with pistachios and caramel.

Back to the apartment.  We will eat later but I say good-bye to Flo at the door and go in search of a rotisserie chicken.  Under 7e for a whole chicken.  I look around for bread and cheese but we will shop again later so I just return with the chicken.

Up in my apartment I knock down half that bird and a bit of the red wine from the other night.

I read for a time and rest my feet.

R comes to prepare the apartment across from mine for his daughter (Lola) and her fiancé (Carlos).  Carlos is from Puerto Rico and so also speaks English and Spanish.  They get to sleep with the bunny.  I’m not jealous.

I did manage to get some mediocre pictures of the bunny.  He was not very cooperative.  Models can be such drama queens.

There was a problem with the electricity in that apartment but R flipped a breaker or two and the heater started working and we found a lamp that turned on so that’s probably good enough.  The bunny has insulation so doesn’t care about human-level cold.

We descend and meet Flo to retrieve the salmon smoked by a restaurateur friend.  We walk directly there but the restaurant is closed.  Instead we meander along the river and Flo tells me about le Festival de Loire, which happens here every other year.  The river and bank fill with boats and everywhere are people and food and drink.  This takes place in September.  Could be worth a visit!

Eventually we circle back around to the restaurant (Bangkok à Osaka) which is now open.  There we meet Ty and retrieve and pay for the smoked salmon.  He is wearing the best shirt.  I think to offer a trade but you can tell he’s not likely to give it up.

I am told it is a tradition to have a drink when they visit and I am not about to break such an important tradition.  Champaign and a nibble of those deep fried rice things found in Chinese restaurants, they have a name, and some of his excellent smoked salmon (lox style).  He also informs me that I have been forcing Flo and R to drink wine every night so apparently I am out Frenching the French.  What can be said when so much of it is so good?

Later Lola and Carlos arrived with R and we four talked in their apartment for a bit.  I showed them where the bunny was likely hiding.  Then back to resting my feet and reading until dinner.

For dinner it was Flo and Raynal, Lola and Carlos, Nina, Hugo (Flo’s son whom I had met on my last visit but he was only 14 then), Xavier, and myself.  Raynal had to cut a bit of board and extend the table (which ironically was cut down from its original size at the previous apartment).

Before dinner there was Champaign around the couch and chairs.  Mostly this time was spent with everyone listening in awe of R’s second daughter who spoke with great passion and speed none of which was available for my understanding.  It appeared only Flo was able to comprehend and communicate with her.

We had raclettes, which consisted of a couple of cheese and charcuterie plates and potatoes and gherkins and pickled onions.  The idea is like personal fondue.  Each person has a small wedge-shaped pan in which one places cheese, then this pan is inserted into a central electric heater thing which melts the cheese.  Pour that onto your whatnot on your plate and mix and match for goodness.

There was a wonderful white and red wine, of course.

For dessert there was a spiced bread and compote de pomme and the chocolate mentioned above and eau de vie de poire.

Eventually the night ends and Lola, Carlos, and myself ascend to our apartments for sleep.  I already told you I’m not jealous they are sleeping with the bunny.  On an inflatable mattress.  On the floor.  In the bunny zone.


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