16. May, 2016


FRIDAY  13-05-16

We both had a really good night, probably due to the fact that it didn't rain overnight. We had plenty of water onboard and so were able to have a nice hot shower. The BBC weather forecast for this area had been cloudy for yesterday and today followed by a period of improving warm sunny days. We therefore had decided to spend extra time here and arrive at Orange in sunshine.

First it was off for a walk in to the village of Chusclan to buy a baguette. What a nice little village it is, lots of narrow side streets, a bit of a maze really. The boulangerie was the real deal, the shop itself was quite small but the bakery and ovens behind, seen easily through the large opening between the two, was much larger, and the warmth and smell from there was wonderful.

On the way out of the village I spotted a public toilet and decided to check it out, and there it was - a Shanks Squatter. You really do know where you stand with a Shanks.

Our pace on the way back was hastened by the odd spot or two of rain. On our arrival we decided to find the shop within the wine growers complex and buy some red wine. Having found it we entered to find our neighbours from last night supping away and buying a few bottles as presents for folk back home. He seemed to know his stuff and pointed out some decent glug on the shelves. Behind us were locals arriving with plastic containers with a tap in the top. They'd come to have them refilled, though we shall settle for a five litre box of red Coat-Door-Own.

I paused at the entrance to the Aire to take a photograph of our 'wine bar' across the road, causing The Chef to reach the motorhome first, let herself in and promptly set the PIR alarm off. What a noise, and it wouldn't respond to the 'disarm' command, so there I was burying its screeching speaker in to a cushion whilst unscrewing its back and taking out the batteries.

Soon afterwards I took a look at the BBC weather forecast using my mobile phone, and then thought I'd be helpful  and pop up to the English couple and let them know the latest guesstimate. Having knocked on the door it was opened by a complete stranger, a Frenchman, I was quite taken aback, I even had the audacity to lean in to his vehicle to see if he'd opened the door on behalf of his English hosts. But no, the Brits had gone and this elderly couple had taken their pitch. How embarrassing, especially as it was difficult to explain what I'd done. So that was it, we'd had one senior moment each.

My priority then was to attempt to fix the leaking waste pipe. First I had to drain down the waste tank as the backfill of water was putting gravitational pressure on the leak (did that sound impressive or what?). This was done using two Aldi folding silicone buckets which I'd bought for just such a job. Drained down, I then had to unwind all of the old gaffa tape, then wipe it all clean before donning rubber gloves and covering the whole area with the white gunge I'd bought a few days ago. Once smothered the 'wound' was bandaged with more gaffa tape.

We spent the afternoon indoors whilst it busily rained again, trying not to put any waste water down the sinks to give the repair time to set. Only time will tell.

Fortunately the weather cleared about 16:30 and we decided to get out again for some fresh air while the going was good. Having looked at the calendar this afternoon I seem to have marked this weekend with the entry 'French Whit Weekend' - oh dear, looks like it's going to be another busy weekend.

This evenings offering from The Chef was potato and bacon rosti with a salad and the baguette from down the road, though this one was more chewy than crusty, well we can't expect them to be good at wine making AND bread.

This evening we were hoping to be able to play a DVD on the laptop, but no, this Hewlett Packard laptop I upgraded to really is the pits. Give me Sony any day. It doesn't have a fire-wire connection so my video camera can't talk to it, and it is loaded with Windows 8 which I hate. What was wrong with Windows XP? Tonight it seems there is some kind of software issue, another problem for another day.