At breakfast I am enjoying drinking coffee from my super sized coffee cup (the size of a medium Chinese noodle Bowl!). It is very traditional. I have amused Michel and Monique by my penchant for Vegemite but no one is converted. Confiture is their choice and dark cherry is especially delicious.
Michel and I went shopping at the Grand Mall. The supermarket is amazing. The absolute best I have seen in France. It is like a huge Coles, liquorland and Kmart all in one building. The homewares were so attractive, even the dishwashing liquids were styled. The groceries were equally as attractive with fresh produce such as fish, meat and poultry well displayed. There is a whole separate section for Duck! They actually sell Pintade (guinea fowl). The wines were extensive but the special room for cases of wine from winemakers (Chateau this and that) was so impressive. The cases went to the ceiling and they are in a separate room from the individual wine bottles. Next door they have an equally extensive, music, movie, games, books, art materials, stationary in an equally attractive shop.
The mall was very attractive with lots of light and classy shops. They even had an H&M store and an excellent chocolatier. You can see why small villages are reducing or losing their amenities when people can drive to places like this easily. Michel still goes to a traditional independent Boucherie because the meat is excellent. We stopped in for some sausages for a barbecue today.
Emma slept in till nearly lunch time. I have discovered a delicious cheese that comes as a roll and Emma posed with it like advertising so I can try to get it at home. While we were finishing our meal she received news her dog had died. She was distraught. She just wanted to be alone. I can understand. She had this pet since she was a child.
Michel and Monique decided we would go to the beach at Messanges about 30 minutes away. We drove through one of the largest forests in Europe- farmed Pines and Spruce I think and lots of corn fields. The country is flat and looks rather like some parts of Australia. When we arrived at the beach we passed streams of cyclists and people heading to the beach too. Despite the numbers the beach was not crowded as it is really long and wide. The beach is over these large sand dunes and we walked down stairs to reach the beach.
Once we settled on a spot we headed into the water. The tide was out so it was a bit of a walk but the water was warm. The surf was very rough with large waves of white water and a strong undertow but a lot of fun. It was so good to be in the sea and warm water was a pleasant surprise. My previous experience had been in June in Spain and it was freezing. What a difference a month makes! It could have been any Aussie beach crowd. The lifesavers sat on a high chair righ in the waters edge and had a truck to cruise the beach and keep watch. Here you swim between the blue flags. The sea breeze was so refreshing. We left at four before the traffic got too bad. They have a fire watch tower to observe the forest which is behind the beach.
At home again Emma emerged for a bit of dinner and seemed more settled. We watched the news and dubbed movies. I find it very weird to look at the actors because their mouths don’t quite coincide with what they say. It is good practice and I am getting better at understanding. A lot of the movies are American and we also watch the old Zorro! That is hilarious and quickly spoken but of course you know the stories because they are so simple.
It is very relaxing here and I continue to practice my French. Emma and I only speak a little English. She will study English at University in Bordeaux from September.