6600lbs of fine Loire Gravel later and we have a 3" deep rocky courtyard fit for...US! Yes, it took us 2 weeks and a day (due to a rain delay or two) to get the job done but it looks great! All the islands of flower areas, (formerly actual gardens) are now re-defined and though Mucca and Cara Cature are wary of the sound of gravel underfoot (theirs and ours) it sounds good too! A bit bumpy in spots but that'll even out with time. There wasn't enough to finish the job, true, but the next 2 sacks will lay in paths to the barn doorways and fill in the areas in front of the gate and barn doors that require digging out before covering. We're both very pleased with the results.
We've got about another 18 days 'til we fly away to California for the winter season. The "plan" is to go back, finish the bloody bathroom renovation project (long in the tooth!) with all it's plumbing and tiling, do some interior painting of the stairwell and landings (William perhaps?!) and whatever other creativeness creeps into the schedule. Then return to France in early March next year, take care of loose ends here at Maison Blanc then drive the coast route down to southern Portugal (Fado!) to spend a month or six weeks in their lovely clime in a rented apartment or house. Maybe day-trip it to Morocco for a short break while we are at it. That's the plan so far.
Today? Well we are taking a day for a Bourges visitation with all that means. First up is the fabric store east of town towards Nancy named "Mondail Tissues". All manner of sewing projects have come out of that store over the years of us in France. Curtains, window dressings, wall coverings for many rooms and, of course, clothing. It's all there somewhere most of the time.
Then to the "Junk" store, actually "Troc 18", a chain of stores that are really "brocantes" that is good quality, sometimes great, of household furniture, fixtures, odds and ends, all used or just old in reasonably good (sometimes new!) condition.
Then to "Grande Fraise", sort of a high end "Trader Joes" grocery chain here in France that we love for it's huge variety of fresh vegetables, wide assortment of food stuffs from around the world and specialty meats cut by a real butcher on site! Sort of a miniature, lower cost without the hoopla "Whole Foods" experience.
We'll follow that by going to "Lidl", a small market chain that is basically a "canned goods" store, low cost, some fresh vegetables, cheaper cuts of packaged meats (I'm big on the ham!), cheap booze and wines (a wonderful South African white is a real BUY at 2 bucks a bottle). It's clean, well organized, well lighted and takes a US credit card!
Then off we go to downtown medieval Bourges to lunch at our newest "find" a Japanese restaurant named "Cosy Délice
". We ate sushi and sashimi there on our last sojourn to Bourges and I was struck by how very good the restaurant was. Food was 5 stars, the setting was quiet and simple bespeaking the Japanese esthetic quite well. I wrote the Yelp entry right afterwards and you can see we were quite pleased. Another try today!
Kelly will want to go to "H&M" to examine all things clothing back in the center of town and I'll drift into "FNAC" to check on the technical scene. Maybe an icecream from the kiosk near the parking lot. Then to the "Carefour" super market for cat litter and dish soap and whatever else we didn't pick up at the other stops. It's HUGE, got everything under the sun, excellent quality and variety. Our favorite supermarket.
The home. It's a full day of gawking and shopping in Bourges and not the last one before we wander off France for California.