Renaison. Happy 65th Will!January 19, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ -1 °C
This is the first stopover of our journey south where we've felt a real change in the scenery. We are nestled by a clear brown brook that flows gently alongside the Renaison river, after which the town was named. We are in the valley floor with vine clad hills rising to one side and the infrastructure of the town to the other.
On the drive here we saw more groups of Common Cranes and a dozen or so Muntjack deer grazing wild. The sun was out when we first arrived, although the soil under Martha's wheels remained frozen hard. The light warmed the sandstone bricks of the handfull of houses over the road, enhancing the colours of the painted wooden shutters; green, white and hyacinth pink. Will went to investigate fishing possibilities at the river and saw a bright flash darting along its course; a Kingfisher! We always feel so lucky to see one of these beautiful birds and over the course of 2 days Will was privilaged enough to see it a total of 5 times!
Sunday 20th January was a special day for Will; his 65th birthday! We began with bucks fizz and croissants Vicky had fetched fresh from the boulangerie, dodging the black ice as she went. We were glad we weren't travelling today! After presents, we set out on foot along the country lanes and fieldside footpaths, roughly following the course of the river. The day was mostly cloudy and white vapour clung in drifts to the sides of nearby hills. In the far distance we could see the foothills of the French Alps, similarly shrouded in cloud, but with large pockets of snow visible in the dells. A round route took us back through Renaison, the streets quiet now all the shops had closed for Sunday afternoon. As Will has reached retirement age he will start picking up a small income from his work with the council, but because changes in the state pension age have begun to take effect, he won't get this until May. All the same, we'll have more financial freedom in 2019 than previous years, which can only be a good thing.
Back home, we fortified ourselves with millefeuille birthday cake and a cuppa before breaking into the champagne while Will cooked a delicious chateaubriand. For him, cooking is enjoyable while watching Vicky cook is very stressful so we've long since come to an agreement. The rest of the day was spent relaxing, listening to Leonard Cohen and receiving birthday messages, videos and calls from family and friends. Thanks so much for these- we were definitely feeling the love!Read more