Awoke to rain which was a nasty surprise, as the weather yesterday had been good. However it was very desultory drizzle, and soon cleared. Ate breakfast, had a chat with the departing family in the VW next door and then set off for the market at Lisieux. Arrived in reasonable time and actually found a place to park, then set off. Very busy scene, with lots of fruit- peaches, nectarines, plums, grapes and apples especially, but veg not very good owing to the drought presumably. Bought nectarines, apples, haricots verts. Looked at the food stalls, clothes and hardware then off to the toy shop where Gareth bought a Play Person, then to Monoprix. Here we did some more food shopping – 5 little Dover sole especially and contemplated the general rising costs. My shopping trolley is a lot more than it was last year for instance and so are the pencil cases, etc. Some very paper-like table cloths in the Nouvelles Galeries were 69 francs!
Set off in search of our lunch, heading for Livarot first, then Vimoutiers where we couldn’t locate the Relais at all – think it must have packed up, which was a pite as it was one with a casserole. Eventually found a little hotel in Livarot where we had shrimps (in the shell!) or melon au porto, then turkey escalope with mixed veg and ice cream or fruit and coffee. It was all very tasty even if not haute cuisine.
Drove back via the château at St Germain de Livet, which looked as lovely as ever. Some rain when we got back but it soon died away and we sat around, writing cards and our diaries, playing table tennis, swimming etc. Had a delicious tea consisting of the sole with chips followed by nectarines and white wine. Then the children played boules, we walked round the site, now a lot emptier and finally had a drink in the bar, talking to the lady in the green Commer van who is here for 3 months. She’s a retired swimming teacher and comes every year. Apparently the black cat we so much is called Poète and comes from Paris and is returning tomorrow. Various useful pieces of information from her (avoid the municipal site at Avignon!) and other people we were talking to – La Garangeoise is a nice site which begins to empty about August 20th. Bar was very full tonight – a lot of people are off tomorrow and were having farewell drinks.
Large caravan has now large monstrous awning and has been equipped with electric blanket! It has also been washed all over and TV aerial adjusted…