Just another week in SW France


Another summer morning, time to draw the curtains, fling open the windows and let the early morning breeze fill the room. Summer always smells warm and enticing as it fills the house each day, and the instant sound of bees in the wisteria and the sight of swallows flitting past in a blur of winged shadow add to the sense of season. 

Summer is rushing past just a little too fast. August is the month when half of France seems to come to a complete standstill and it’s the time when over 50% of the population take their annual break. Factories empty, shop-fronts close, and schools sit idly on dusty streets. And so, even though I am still at home, I find myself swept along by the holiday spirit and I feel as though I’m on vacation too.

Briefly shopping in Rochefort earlier this week I wished Roddy had been with me. It was past 6.00pm and the cafés were full of people enjoying their evening apéritifs, and they were dancing in the Place Colbert – I asked myself, why not? Could there be a better way to spend an evening? An apéro, a little dance and then some candlelit dinner on a warm summer’s night; it sounded like a fine idea to me. IMG_9529

The 15th of August was Assumption Day, a public holiday in France which has been a nationally important day since Louis XIII first declared it in 1638. Across the country various events were organised, not just on the 15th but throughout the entire long weekend, and many French took the monday as a holiday too, making it a four-day weekend. It’s the last big holiday of the summer.P6610030

On Sunday we visited the local Fête des Battages, a harvest festival. It’s an annual event held just outside the village of Trizay and we have been every year since we first moved here. It’s become something of a tradition for our family and it’s a wonderful daylong event that typically includes a sprawl of ancient farm machinery in full whirring-belt mode.


It has changed a little over the years. I remember our first visit when there were a few people eating lunch, carefully arranging picnics they had brought themselves on the open trestle tables, but mostly it was more of a Farmers Market with local producers selling everything from honey, to soap made from horse milk. This year there were less stands than in previous years; the mares milk soap was still there and so was the honey, and the rapeseed and sunflower oil stall was in full operation, pressing its seed right there for all to see.


The chicken man was in his usual spot at the entrance, selling ducks and hens in large pens and also quail; and an interesting snippet of information that Millie told me is that the quail are housed in such low cages deliberately – any more headroom and the little birds would jump and hurt themselves.


However, undoubtedly, the main event of the day was lunch.


This is where we saw the biggest change from previous years. There was no evidence of lavishly prepared meals at home. Now it seemed one arrived with just a bag containing one’s plates, cutlery, glasses and a bottle of wine. The actual food is then purchased on site. This gave the chosen local butcher an opportunity to do a roaring trade with people queuing up to buy cuts of beef and lamb, select pork pieces, or a slew of different sausages.


Once you had purchased your chosen meat you then took it to the giant barbecue and cooked it just to your liking.



But before les plats principeaux, perhaps one should start with some oysters? Or perhaps forego the barbecue and meat altogether and opt instead for Moules Frites?


If one is still not entirely sure of the menu, how about starting with a little salad of locally produced goat’s cheese and tomatoes?


Then of course, there was a huge pail of snails, and this is very French……though the Charentaise do love their snails in a bolognaise sauce, not just with garlic butter.


No meal would be complete without a little cheese, and this is the stall where I will always find Roddy should we part ways and be lost.


And if you forgot to bring your own wine, or just felt the need for something a little more thirst-quenching, there was locally brewed beer, with surely the most appealing of all names – Tête de Mule, or Mule’s Head!


After lunch there were several displays using the pre-war tractors and antique threshing machines.


And if – after an afternoon’s wander – you were still hungry, or the hour was close to 4.00pm, l’heure du goûter (afternoon tea) for the children, one could always enjoy freshly prepared crêpes with a multitude of fillings; jam, honey, that firm French favourite, Nutella, or perhaps a coating of plain sugar. This being a farmer’s market, the flour used in the crêpes was on sale too, as were the eggs. There was no possibility of one not knowing the precise origin of absolutely everything on sale that day.


With the temperatures soaring to 36C/97F on Monday, we headed to the beach and a relatively quiet spot on a tiny part of the Atlantic coastline known only to locals rather than to every tourist who sets foot in the Charente Maritime! It involves a dark lane, pine trees, and a narrow dusty sandy path through stunted green oak trees before the sea stretches out before you.


A couple of days later I finally was able to stop at the little brocante which I showed you a photo of a few weeks ago. I have passed so many times and am always in a rush but for once I had the time to go inside.



When I left, I took a wrong turn quite by accident and found myself on a road I have never travelled before. Before I realised it, I’d passed the most beautifully manicured property. Screeching to halt I reversed back down the road (we’re talking a tiny country lane, so there was no one else around) and parked so I could hop out and take a few  sneaky photos! In my dreams the owner would just happen to have walked out at that moment and of course he or she would have been utterly charming and be so thrilled that I loved their house enough to take photos that they would have invited me in for a good look around. Of course I would then have shared their enchanting home with you all! Alas, there was not a soul in sight and after a guilty few moments I continued on my way, took a few more lefts and rights and then I was back on the right road again.


Talking about ‘home’, we have our first ripe figs. I am not quite sure what happened; a week ago when I looked at them, a little forlornly, I wondered if they would ever be ready, but then overnight it seems some grew in size quite dramatically and changed colour. Suddenly we are inundated and we’ve been feasting merrily on them now for a few days!


The first ripe ones are always at the very top of the tree which sprawls out over our garage roof, so we dust off the big wooden ladder and it takes up its annual stand against the garage guttering! It lives here for a month or so, offering instant breakfast delights straight from the tree. But the rewards are more than worth the effort and the view out over the village from this vantage point is rather special too.



And that really takes us to the end of another week of summer, part of our seasonal Charente Maritime year….


However – before I say au revoir, I have a couple of questions for you to ponder on. While taking the photo of the figs, I noticed Bentley laying on the other side of the garden bench,  apparently as happy as anything. Why oh why, when it is 35C/95F, would he choose to sit, entirely by choice, in full midday sun, panting away, rather than seeking the shade? I’ve never understood this…….


And finally, driving my most frequent route, we slowed down at a roundabout and in front of us was perhaps the most iconic of French cars, a Citroën deux chevaux, proving what a wonderfully adaptable vehicle it is. Fortunately the children were with me and thanks to a handy iPhone they grabbed a photo as we passed.

So, the question is – is this the perfect convertible?


Or is this?


That same day, taking the same route homewards a couple of hours later, we followed this convertible for a while too, before it found a straight length of tarmac and breaking every speed limit and then some more, effortlessly left us behind in a quiet purr of ridiculously expensive exhaust; ironically it was also sky-blue in colour, but this time it was a Bentley, with a price tag starting at €250,000 (£200,000/US$260,000)….

Perhaps this is the perfect convertible?  A difficult choice……sigh

115 thoughts on “Just another week in SW France

  1. I’ll take one of each! Sell the Bentley and buy a house in France with the proceeds and then use the Citroen as my run around, problem solved!

      1. I know, I thought exactly the same, it is the best solution, wouldn’t it be just perfect, imagine what one could do with all that money!!! and the 2CV would suit me just fine to drive around in!!

  2. What a wonderful summer you are having! There’s nothing like fresh figs straight off the tree, no comparison with shop bought ones. I’m with Amanda on the cars, sell the Bentley & buy a house, we can dream….xx

    1. I agree with Amanda too, I’d just buy a second home here if I had that type of money! It’s a bit of a strange summer, the weather is somewhat up and down, but on the whole we can’t complain! The figs are fabulous! xx

  3. What a beautifully written account of your weekend. I could just imagine being there enjoying all that delicious food. Oh, and that Bentley…..

        1. On that one we will have to agree to differ! Although I did very nearly eat several tiny snails in a lettuce the other day. They were literally the size of a pin head and there were lots of them, even though we had washed the salad well, every leaf I picked up I found another little baby tucked away!!! Hope you have a lovely weekend, now that the weather looks set to be lovely once more! xx

    1. There were a couple of nice things, I actually bought a pair of Limoges swans for one of the girls, she fell in love with them. It was very small and not a huge amount of choice, but just loved the who casual atmosphere. It was very much a pop-up brocante! I adore 2cv’s! xx

    1. My favourite French car too, the stupid thing is, I had one, 20 years ago and I gave it away! I travelled all around France in it, from Paris to Montpelier and back, several times and it never let me down. Then when I left France to go and work I gave it away to some friends! Oh well, one day I shall buy another!! xx

  4. I would love to be at that market, I’ve never seen a place where you can buy your meal and cook it on site, what fun!!! Love all the photos of your wonderful part of our world. I don’t know why dogs do that, but all mine have done the same. When in France, the Citroen!

    1. I just love this farmers market and the fact that one can buy all the food, take it home or cook it right there and then, isn’t it just perfect. Our dogs always seem to lie in the full sun! xx

  5. I have no answer to the question, but my Beagle will stretch out in the full sun on the hottest of days and seem perfectly content. This has amazed me too!

  6. Your Bentley (dog) in the sunshine – thinking of “mad dogs and Englishmen out in the midday sun”.
    The Bentley (car) vs Citroen – can’t imagine we could cover the cost of repairs for either of them.
    We do have a convertible (unrestored in our garage) – a 1968 Chevy Impala. Cost of repairs for that aren’t in the budget either. But I must admit, on a lovely (cool) sunny day, driving down the road in a convertible is a great experience.

    As always, enjoyed the summer photographic sojourn with your family.

    1. I too thought of Mad dogs and Englishmen, and yes I am certainly a little mad I think, and most definitely English!!! I thought that about the Bentley too, the fuel consumption alone makes the eyes water! and I can’t even begin to imagine the insurance costs, so yes I think I would stick to the Citroën! Hope you get to restore your Chevy at some stage. xx

  7. Lovely to go along with you, Susan, on your adventures in late summer! The photos, as always, are divine! I can feel myself at the beach bogie boarding with the girls, poking around the brocante with you and sampling cheese at the fair with Roddy………if only! We are having a cooler than usual August in DC and it is heaven. xo

    1. Thanks so much Anne, we are having a strange summer too, the hot weather just can’t seem to take a firm hold, it breaks after a few days and then we have rain and way below average temperatures. May and June saw the only prolonged hot weather. Oh well, it is what it is and we make the most of it, summer is still fabulous whatever the weather and I am sure you are enjoying it not being quite so unbearably hot! xx

  8. Dancing in the square, fresh figs, a glorious non touristique beach and that farmers market are enough to sate the appetite for a delightful week but when you then add that house, that brocante and that 2 CV, I’m in heaven! I have just asked The Bean who was outside broiling on the terrace why she does this when there is a plethora of nice cool shady spots to lie in. She had no answer xx

        1. Precisely, it’s a good club to belong to! When we first moved to France, ions ago, I remember all the villagers thought we were quite mad, in the summer, they closed all their shutters (of course) and we, in contrast, flung open wide all of our windows. I still cannot live in the dark! I do now semi close upstairs shutters when the sun is pounding in, but never downstairs, it goes against every grain of my English being! xx

          1. I’m sitting here with the heat building, the sun shining and everyone around me with their shutters closed. I on the other hand am letting all that glorious light ((and heat)) pour into the flat and I don’t care who thinks I’m crazy 😜 xx

          2. You see, we will never change, it is in our veins, and it totally goes against the grain to live in darkness in the summer, no matter how hot it gets we have to let that light flood in, and the heat too, and of course we just put up with it! I agree. It is meant to be a fabulous week here, very hot once more, but after a bit of a strange summer I am happy for another heatwave!! Have a fabulous weekend xx

          3. I will … hubby has been here for a week and goes back tomorrow morning to Boston so we will be eking every ounce of delight out of the remaining time together 🙂 xxx

          4. I do know what you are going through, there were so many months and years when Roddy was away half of the time, he would be back for a month and then gone for three, it’s amazing we had five children!!! Enjoy your last few hours together xx

          5. Thank you … I know you understand and we know there will be an end to this – meanwhile the sun shines, I live in a beautiful place and I have The Bean for company … not bad going!! Xx

          6. Just the sort of things I used to think, we have absolutely nothing to complain about compared to what so many people are going through. Hope you had a lovely weekend xx

      1. I totally agree you have to let the light in, heat or no heat, I could not live in darkness during thre summer months.

        1. I 100% agree with you on this one Sharon, as I said to Osyth, it goes against everything I have grown up with to live in darkness and to let out the summer light! We just get hot and suffer in silence, although we do shut upstairs bedroom shutters when it is really hot during the daytime, but it doesn’t matter as no one is upstairs until bedtime! xx

  9. Ah, the most amazing charms of summer time in France! Where else would locals just get up and dance in the square? Love it. Although you may have guessed that the peek into the Brocante made my heart flutter. Heaven! I’ll be leaving for a antique buying trip to Parma, Italy in Sept. but I do have to admit, France has my heart. xo Lidy

    1. I know I was surprised to see the dancing too, but then I thought, this is France, it just seemed so natural! The brocante was just so natural, very much my type of place even though this time they didn’t have anything I wanted. Hope you have a fabulous trip in September, hopefully next time you can do a trip to France and come and stay. Would so love to meet you xx

    1. Ha ha, all the normal everyday things in life go on as well! But yes, life is indeed pretty good here and at this time of year there is just so much fresh produce that we do feel spoilt at every turn! But don’t forget in the winter, we will have just he same usual culprits at the market and no imported luxury items! xx

  10. Why must we choose just one convertible? Get both, I say, and you’ll truly have the perfect convertible for *any* occasion. 🙂 Your post was so beautiful that it should come with a warning label: “Reading this post will make you question what you’ve been doing with your life.” Thank you for sharing this wonderful snippet of your life in France.

  11. Our two Westies do the same, they sit in the sun (which here in Alberta can be just as hot) and roast away – no idea why they do this.
    So happy to have found your blog, especially as we are planning on making the move to the same area you are in (albeit not for another 2 years or so); so thank you for sharing your daily life, which is making me want to move right now!

    1. Thanks so much and so glad you found my blog too! Where exactly are you planning on moving to? If I can be of any help do let me know. Dogs are funny aren’t they! Where would we be without them, I adore Westies by the way. xx

  12. Susan, I wonder whether you are at all aware that the ‘mob’ commenting above are all able to live vicariously and virtually in REAL France thanks to you calling us to come along on brilliant journeys such as this . . . . loved the ‘food part’ especially . . . tho’ snails with Bolognese ragu I believe I would pass . . .

    1. Thanks so much Eha, I think I am becoming aware, yes and I can only say I hope I don’t let anyone down. It is such fun sharing our life here which we do feel rather privileged to be able to live. The food at the farmers market was exceptional, you cannot get much fresher than that and a fabulous atmosphere! Hope you are having a lovely weekend xx

  13. I will take a Citroën deux chevaux, anyday. Our fig harvest started a couple of weeks ago. Our little close to death tree 3 years ago has roared back. Can’t keep up. Oven roasted figs, fig, mozzarella and pesto sandwiches and of course fig clafouti all get attention this week. Being in the USA, we could use a normal week if possible. Sigh.

    1. I rather agree with you about the Citroën, but I might just take the Bentley too and then sell it!! So glad your fig tree came back to life and it sounds as if it is producing prolifically now, what fun, I adore figs, the luxury of just wandering out and picking some for breakfast never fades. Hope you at least have a normal weekend!! xx

  14. I have several fruit trees in my yard and I keep them much lower than the fig tree you show. There is an American book you might be interested in, “Grow a Little Fruit Tree” by Ann Ralph. She talks about what is an increasing trend even in commercial agriculture of managing the size of fruit trees. If you’re happy with the size of your trees than don’t bother, but do know there is another option to ladders and 30 foot trees.

    1. Thanks Mike, the book sounds fascinating and I shall certainly look it up, thank you. You are quite right there certainly is another option, but the fig tree was enormous when we bought the house. Two years ago we reduced it by at least 30% in size, the maximum, we understood, that we could safely do in one year without putting too much stress on the tree. Last year we left it to recover and this year we will cut it back severely again. Although it is also a great focal point of the courtyard where it sits so we don’t want to do anything too radical! xx

  15. The Citroen is most definitely my choose in convertibles. It has everything you could ever want… history… cuteness… reliability… comfort… more economical… and it’s French, what more could you want.

    1. I do agree, I owned a Citroën about twenty years ago and drove it up and down the country several times from Paris to Montpelier and back and the rest and it never caused any problems at all. I drove it all around Paris too. Cheap, reliable, and the things I could fit in it were amazing! So sad, but I gave it away to some friends when I left France to go and work!!! xx

    1. Thanks so much, the Citroën for sure for running around, but maybe I would take the Bentley too and then sell it, imagine what one could do with the proceeds! Hope you have a lovely weekend xx

  16. A week in photos, what more can a Francophile ask for? Brilliant as always, Susan, and love the commentary. Could you go back to the Brocante and tell me how much a few things are? I’ll send you a list and a blank cheque and you can post it all to me 🙂 Another month and we’ll be there for lunch, hopefully – still getting dates sorted out but Amy and I are looking forward to meeting you all, even if it’s just a quick drive-thru…..

    1. Thanks so much Simon, the brocante will still be open when you are here, although her times are somewhat sporadic, you can go and browse to your heart’s content! Hopefully we will have a balmy Indian summer and you can enjoy a wonderful September here! So looking forward to meeting you both too xx

  17. I’m really going to have to stop reading your posts. Especially when you write about these community events involving Food, capital ‘F’. It just makes me so homesick for rural France. I’d hoped that by exchanging one rural life for another in England we would get more of the same, because there IS wonderful food to be had in England. But it’s all quite disappointing, and a bit of a middle-class pursuit, this farmer’s market thing. Not a truly community all-comers-welcome event at all. Ah well. Never mind. Soon Brexit will arrive, and we’ll ‘get our country back’. Whatever that means. Have a great weekend! xx

    1. I totally agree with you on all fronts. We have been to so many farmers markets in England and also in several other countries and none are as down to earth and honest as they are here, or certainly in this neck of the woods. As Shari wrote in an earlier comment “not at all like the chi chi ones we have here” I think this summed it up completely, although I am not sure quite where she is, I do know it is in the States and I am fairly sure it is California. This was just good honest fun, the freshest of foods, health and safety would have had a fit anywhere else I am quite sure!!! Everyone had fun and the smells were intoxicating. Anyway, hope you have a wonderful weekend and hope the sun manages to make an appearance! xx

  18. Such a lovely week, I could feel myself slipping away to France and oh how I would love to have been at that farmers market, I would certainly have eaten the goats cheese salad and then some steak.

  19. Now that I’ve cleaned the drool off my chin at the sight of that local salad (goat’s cheese is my FAVORITE!) I can honestly say I prefer the Citroën more. I’m just not a Bentley kind of gal, preferring charm over posh. Happy weekend.

    1. I must admit the goat’s cheese salad did look fabulous, as fresh as fresh can be. I think I would take both cars, the citroën to drive around in and the Bentley to sell, think what you could do with the proceeds!! xx

    1. Thanks so much Sally, I think everyone is in the same mind about the Citroën, although I think we would all take the Bentley too and sell it, imagine what we could do with the proceeds! xx

  20. My honeymoon was a journey through France in EXACTLY that blue 2CV, borrowed from my sister in law, and filled with balloons that gradually popped out of the roof as we drove along the french lanes. We got as far as Cognac before we had to head home!
    We’ll be passing your way tomorrow, but sadly in a modern Peugeot! xx

    1. Hi Miranda, I sent you an email last night, but then my email crashed so not sure if it went through or not, if not I shall send another this evening. You are certainly in our neck of the woods, we are about half an hour from Saintes. It would be lovely to meet up and I can suggest all sorts of things. Your honeymoon sounds idyllic, the best way to see France. I had a 2CV about 20 years ago and drove it all around Paris and down to Montpelier and back several times, it never let me down, and then I gave it away!! I have never quite forgiven myself!! xx

        1. I have written another one, so hopefully it should be with you! I know, I don’t know how I gave it away either, I was young and naive! Have regretted it a lot since!!! xx

  21. I, too, think Bentley the dog is mad…..I have always had German shepherds or border collies and they like shade & snow. It fact we always had a fan on our porch or in the alley of the barn where they could lie down and cool off.
    Sell the convertible Bentley after you ride around a little and buy the lovely house with lots of fig trees & grape vines & roses! “Oui”
    Practical prevails when we get older, I think
    Have a wonderful Summer weekend!

    1. My thoughts are just the same as yours Patricia, Bentley is quite mad and yes enjoy a few rides in the Bentley and then sell it, just imagine what one could buy with the proceeds! And then I could enjoy running around in the 2CV, a fabulous little convertible and equally desirable! Hope you too have had a wonderful weekend xx

  22. Susan, I have stopped reading the comments as if I don’t, I will NEVER get around to speak to you again – you have the loveliest and kindest readers of any blog I ever looked at.
    First, a rather embarrassing (Hero Husband thinks, I don’t…., I thought it was hilarious) fact. We returned from our beloved Devon on Monday night. Tuesday we got up early, I had a lot of washing to do, on Monday night I watered the veranda and all the pots sighing with dry earth around the house (some damage has occurred and needs to be ‘composted’), HH was at his work as of 8am, he worked diligently and intensely. At some point I said to him: Isn’t it amazing that nobody knows that we’re back, NOBODY is calling today…. He said: Yeah, and nobody at all is replying to my calls and mails. Thus, the day went on and I said that I really SHOULD get to do some shopping but won’t because we have a freezer full of stuff and plenty of good things in the larder, we ate, hung the washing, worked a bit more and at 6.45 in the evening HH’s boss called him to say that nobody in France is working as it is a Jour de Ferié…. No wonder that not even the sellers of triple windows were calling!
    I love, love, love your photos – they are always the kind I like to take myself and the brocante looks like my heaven. I would probably even have bought that cat picture on the back of the door although I’m a 100% dog person….
    The pic-nic idea of buying the food and BBQ it on the premises sounds new and brilliant – although I am afraid I’d probably still bring my own salads as I’m such a sucker for pic-nics. But I’ certainly join in the ‘wine business’ and while I’d go for some cheese, HH wd wave his hands in the direction of the sweets counter and the cheese one as well…. Great communal thing – I heartily subscribe to it.
    Will that do for now? I’m sure I’d have 10’000 other comments to make but I think there is another post I haven’t had a chance to look at. I’m still, in my thoughts and heart, staying in Torquay and South Devon, with our friends, with the beautiful landscape, bathing in the kindness of the people and enjoying some real holiday time.

    1. It sounds as if you had a fabulous holiday Kiki, and who wouldn’t in Devon, many many happy memories for us there, not least it is where two of our children were born. How funny that you didn’t know that it was a holiday, I’ve done that sort of thing before, but living here on the coast, everything seems as busy as ever and all the shops are open as normal, tourist season! Having said that we did get caught up in a hideous traffic jam back from the coast on Monday evening, it seems that the world and his wife were in the Charente Maritime for the four day weekend!! Loved our farmers market, loved the brocante and generally having a great, but busy, summer. There is nothing like the pleasure of spending time with friends, I whole heartedly agree, the best thing in the world xxx

  23. Wasn’t it glorious on Monday, the last day of my holiday. The salade chevre looks great value at €3 and your figs look absolutely luscious. I’d love to poke around in that charming little brocante. It’s the 2CV every time for me.

    1. Hope you had a great holiday, the weather was certainly a little bit hit and miss, but hopefully you had some wonderful days. I thought the salad was fantastic value as well with a generous portion of cheese, definitely not skimping there! Xx

  24. I love the idea of a farmer’s market with both the meal and the elements for the meal on sale, it sounds like a completely original concept!

    1. It was a great concept, and if you didn’t want to eat it there, you could purchase, knowing exactly where everything had come from and take it home with you, either way it was a win/win! Xx

    1. The perfect evening in Rochefort, lovely atmosphere and beautiful surroundings. We loved following the little 2CV and were so happy to come to a roundabout so we could slow down and take a photo! Xx

  25. Yikes…so now I am an official member of a “mob.” 🙄 Love this! Oh…my…goodness…you are loved and adored by So many. Merci for letting us come into your home and be a part of your “extended family.” From the very first time I met you you were so gracious and helpful! Merci ❤️
    I would definitely drive the citron deux chevaux. It has character and style…something that “shouts out” I Love adventure. But, of course if offered the Bentley I suppose I would just have to sell it and buy a Chateau in France! ❤️

  26. I loved your post, my first time reading your blog! Love hearing about France, hope I get to go soon. Meanwhile, your blog is absolutely entertaining, keep up the good work!

  27. I am not a car person but that sky blue Bentley convertible looks pretty sweet. I’ve always considered vehicles more like appliances than status. My standard joke when we get a new car is that we should immediately take a hammer and knock a small dent in it in an inconspicuous place and get the “Rite of First Ding” over with. I drive a Volvo S60 – so a respectable mode of transport but nothing that says “look at me”. I seem always to have been a metal magnet – meaning I have been hit more times than I can remember by someone else (more often when the car was parked!) – I’ve never (yet) been the person who smacked into someone else. Recently I had to take a work related day trip and parked my car in the airport parking structure. I typically do first flight out so I usually am within a few spaces of what I call my “regular spot”. I came home mid evening from that trip to find someone had run down the side of my car, denting both doors and the passenger side quarter panel. I guess they entered the adjacent space too fast, or erratically, or were texting, or whatever. Of course no one leaves a note with insurance information. This was the fourth similar airport incident in the 30 years I’ve been flying out of Atlanta. This particular Volvo has been hit so many times I joke the older it gets the newer it becomes because of all the repairs. There is a beautiful steel silver Bentley that I see in the garage of our office building – no idea who it belongs to – the complex is comprised of an office component, a residential component and a W hotel. I don’t usually suffer from car envy but that thing is beautiful! I’d be curious how many road dings it picks up navigating Atlanta’s notoriously horrible streets and traffic (a well deserved reputation). I’ll content myself to admire from afar.

    1. Brilliant comment, thank you. I love your joke ‘the older it gets the newer it becomes’. I have to admit we are somewhat similar, we cannot be too precious about cars, I think that started with children, beaches and sand, one cannot worry too much about the interior when it is permanently being filled with five small bodies, two adults and buckets, spades and a wet dog! From then on I stopped worrying too much and so did Roddy! Now a scratch which also seems to happen quite often here doesn’t send me into a panic! I would happily take both of these cars though and sell the Bentley and then thoroughly enjoy the 2CV in the summer months! xx

  28. Citroen 2 CV every time!! Did you ever see the series that Monty Don did a few years back where he travelled around France looking at gardens large and small, all in a little Citroen deux Chevaux! loved it!

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