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We went to Super-Besse last Saturday, to watch the arrival of the Tour de France, 180 odd blokes on bikes, not exactly flashing past – it’s an up-hill finish – but fast enough to make it go by pretty quick. The joy of it is, that they encourage an audience by the caravan giving away freebies as it arrives in advance of the cyclists. Many people left once they had enough hats cakes and sweets. A strange and peculiarly French event. The amount of cars, motorbikes, coaches and assorted hangers-on is amazing, and scary as they pass by at speed to get the best spot to meet their team at the end. The weather held and we had a few drinks and a BBQ back at the ranch afterwards.

All this is just a build-up to the fact that my writing is still suffering, though I have a new notebook, and that seems to have worked. I am varnishing a staircase at the moment, slow work. Four coats with a rub down between, for the stairs unfortunately, not me.

I woke early the week before, to look over the balcony and remember why we bought a ruin in France. I hope to get out into the mountains next week. To blow away the cobwebs and get some fresh air. The renovations are satisfying as you see the house taking shape. But it is the mountains, the outdoor space that frees my mind. So here’s are pic of the view from our balcony, next week a picture of the Chaudefour Valley I hope as that’s where I plan to go walking, lets see how the weather holds.

Early morning on the balcony

Early morning on the balcony

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