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Published: July 15th 2013
Outside Monet's garden
Steady rain greeted us this morning as we woke up gradually, and it combined with the slow sloshing of water over the mill wheel to slow our pace. At breakfast we met a lady who had already been up and out to the gardens as part of a photography course she is doing. We were flat out making it down in time to eat!
After breakfast it was time for a trip to the police station, and THAT was a hoot. There was absolutely no-one on duty who spoke English, so I found myself acting out a charade and hanging on to Frank as if I was on the back of a motorbike - sound effects included, much to the children's mortification. Isabel had to leave the room.
Unfortunately I didn't have a knife with me to make it clear what I was doing when I leaned down and made wild slashing movements. The poor gendarme on duty went beetroot red trying to keep a straight face. I can only hope they didn't review the security camera footage later in the day. We ended up making an appointment to come back later so that we could make our statement
to another officer, who came in especially because she spoke English and knew how to deal with Australian lunatics.
The museum in Giverny had a great exhibition on Signac on, so while we waited for our appointment, we started there as it was a good place to avoid the rain. I particularly loved a portrait of Signac on his boat which was done by another artist, but in a similar style. We learned that Signac was a keen sailor, which fuelled his passion for painting water. The colour in all his paintings was gorgeous.
Isabel and I had a leisurely lunch in the museum café and wandered down to Monet's garden while Frank and Hugo went off to finish our errands in town. The flowers were all blooming as though Spring had just arrived, thanks to the cool start to the Summer season, and we were lucky to see the sun as we looked over those famous ponds covered in waterlilies. It was very hard not to snap far too many photographs, but it was completely beautiful so we did go a bit silly with the camera. By early evening we needed to get going, so after a
quick visit to Monet's house it was time to be on the road again.
You can understand we were slightly nervous heading off in the car after the previous day's adventure. Once again, I gave Isabel cause to be embarrassed because I kept leaning out of the passenger window taking photographs of any motorcycles that came too close - especially if they had a pillion passenger. She thinks I'm being a bit paranoid, but I reckon they'll think twice about slashing our tyres if they know I've already got a mugshot!
I hope we are now headed for the peaceful life in the Loire Valley - we're planning to swap the car for bikes for a while.....
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