Friday, November 14, 2008

Travel 18/7/08 – Nice Rest

The "dungeon" area where I was sleeping was devoid of windows and had nothing that could tell you what time it was. At the height of the day it gets no light or heat from outside and it is just as dark as it is in the middle of the night. It would be easy to spend half the day there thinking it was the wee small hours and emerge for breakfast only to find that dinner was being served. Fortunately, my body clock doesn't really like too much sleep and if I get more than I need I tend to feel worse than if I had got much less than I need. So I didn't emerge too late at all.

Mornings for me are pretty much as they were for my prehistoric cousins – who I am convinced lived in either Kenya or Columbia – foraging for coffee. Fortunately for me, things are easier now and I don't have to fight off caffeine-addicted monkeys to be able to pick, crush the beans and then spend four hours fetching water and building a fire. There are machines. Machines that not only, at the press of a button, crush the beans and find and boil the water, but also, I suspect, would fight off caffeine-addicted monkeys, if needed. And what's more I didn't even have to go and find and milk a cow – there was milk in the fridge.

It was a day for taking things easy. In fact, it wouldn't have mattered if I had had to do the monkey fighting, bean crushing and cow milking myself, there was time. And it was remarkable how in the warm bits of France breakfast almost merges into lunch into mid afternoon snack and into dinner. Between food and wine, people swam, painted, read and consumed sun. There was much getting to know our host's kids who are very hands-on and enjoy nothing better than climbing all over you or becoming a fast-flying "bommetje" heading for the water near you.

Soon it was time for a barbeque – one of the best ways to feed lots of people. In fact barbeques can always feed lots more people than you have. Once again the last event of the day was a game. Tonight, Apples to Apples in the palatial treehouse.

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