Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The little things in life

During our weekend visit to France, we took a drive out to the lovely town of Beauvais, one of the oldest towns in France, which lies in the Picardie region. The purpose of our visit was to find a long bolster cushion (which, since the 70s have been tricky to find in the UK) and I had remembered from our last visit that the town plays host to a small Galeries Lafayette department store, which served our purpose beautifully.

During our first visit we couldn't help but admire the imposing cathedral, but this time around our attention turned to the little touches that help give a different sense of place to an urban area.
I loved the planters, which had been built in the shape of little houses, and which were surrounded by a herb and rose garden.

The most remarkable gem however was a pretty little allotment garden which lined one of the town's car parks. We admired the beautiful rustic fencing which enclosed a garden full of nasturtiums, runner beans, cherry tomatoes, corn and pumpkins, plus lots of other plants that I didn't recognise. It was well-kept and in beautiful condition. It even had a rustic bench and table, where a weary traveller or shopper could rest a while. Just one small garden on a spare little patch of land, making a huge difference.

On our return to Gisors, our host town in Normandy, we pitched up for a coffee on the terrace of a bar in Rue de Paris. Even though the atmosphere was tight with the noise of passing traffic, the experience of sitting down and watching the world go by for just a few Euros was relaxing and pleasant. The local market was just closing for the day, so the streets were very busy. However, we just sat and enjoyed the bustle and the banter, whilst overlooking the river that gently flows through the town.

While we were enjoying our coffees, it became increasingly difficult to ignore the pull of the patisserie just along from us. As the queues died down, I couldn't resist the temptation of a brief visit to look at the pastries, eyes wide with delight as I selected something indulgent for later that evening. Here's another reason why I love France, just look at how the pastries were wrapped, even the packaging looks almost edible.

After a brief visit to say our "au revoirs" to "la famille Leroy", accompagnied by the many kisses (remember... four per person), we returned to La Neaufliere pour ascendre l'escalier once more, weary from our busy weekend.

Tomorrow would be a long day travelling back to the UK and sleep was a major priority. Bon nuit tout le monde.


Jo Beaufoix said...

Fab photos, and what a beautiful place.

21st Century Mummy said...

I also meant to take a photo of the "beach" that had been set up in the market square, it was very much like the one that they had in Nottingham a long time ago. I was too busy looking for a chocolate shop, I forgot.