Cezac 5, in the rain

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Our imprompto dinner

We seem to be in the Cézac rainy season as Monday was our third day of rain.  We managed to sneak in a short photography hike between showers on Sunday afternoon.  We followed a man on horseback. First he, and then his tracks led us on a nice circle route up into the hills south of our place.  Good light came and went, and finally went permanently as we got rained on the last 15 minutes of the trip.

We have been writing our sections of the travelogue separately, but much of Monday afternoon was spent in rewriting and editing Dawn’s piece about Peche Merle, Rocamadour and Souillac.  It was the end of an exercise that had begun a day or two earlier with Dawn’s comment that she thought it was too high falutin’.  What followed was a complete re-examination of thinking styles, our criticizing styles, with questions about the art of writing itself thrown in for good measure.  We survived, although I am not sure we would survive a re-hashing of the discussion here.

Tuesday, we woke to more cold, gray skies.  We had heard that it might clear, so we got some bike parts to repair the bike.  During Dawn’s previous ride, the front gear had become unattached from the pedals. Fifty cents worth of bolts rectified the problem.

In the afternoon, I discovered a book by the father of M. Maheu. It is his library that we have been reading in the armoire.  It turns out that for twelve years he had been the director-general of UNESCO, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. In fact, he had worked for the organization since its inception. This explains the library’s breadth and depth of its examination of world cultures.  I could come back here just for the library.  Yesterday, I read a book researching the correct route that Hannibal took with his elephants through the Alps.

The sun came out this afternoon.


The bonus at the end of our rainy walk was a huge rainbow with a double arc of violet. The main reason we kept reworking my paragraphs about art was that Stephen didn’t think it was clear. That’s all. We’ll be home next week.


I think I have reached the limit on cute villages and mysterious churches. This is good.  It must mean that the wheel has turned and I am ready for other things.  The week that Amber was here, she and Dawn would take walks in the afternoon and I would stay home and write and listen to animals in the roof.  If they got too noisy I would take a broom handle and bang on the ceiling and they would move somewhere else and continue that little eating sound that rodents make.  I didn’t tell Dawn or Amber and the animal remained my secret.  He got older and/or bolder and made an appearance one evening after dinner and evidently took a liking to us because he decided to play in the wall behind our heads as we were trying to sleep.  This I think was the night that we also discovered the big spider, but that’s another story.

Wednesday did not dawn sunny as promised so we hung out and I decided to trap the creature.  I don’t even know what it is.  It looks like a juvenile squirrel, but it also might be some kind of mouse. It has a bushy tail, which puts it on the friendly side of the rodent population.  We baited a box, but I realized that he was too fast for me to flip the box over once he went in to eat the peach, so my next device was a wooden spoon with a half a fig on it balanced over a plastic garbage bag suspended by weighing it down with a flashlight.  It worked and it didn’t.  The squirrel stole my first bait and knocked the second into the bag, but then conveniently fell into it while trying to figure out how to get to it.

I grabbed the bag, jumped out the door and swinging the bag over my head ran down the driveway.  After seventy five yards or so threw the squirrel, bag and all over the embankment.  Or so I thought. As I looked back toward the house, out of the corner of my eye, I seemed to see the squirrel sneak off the road into the brush.  well anyway, I had gotten rid of him.

He reappeared shortly after dinner and although he was polite enough not to run around behind our wall, he did bang on the clean pots in the dish drainer. So today I try again.  My second attempt will be with our kitchen waste container.  I put it on the counter, place a couple of books next it to provide easy access and wait.  Mostly I read. Pretty soon, the beast obliges nicely by climbing up on the books, onto the container and drops down into it. I sneak up and drop the lid on. With this device no need to run around like a madman trying to do something before he escapes the trap.  I just take the can outside, put a couple of rocks on the lid and go back to reading.  The quiet is nice.

About a half an hour later, he appears again.  Now I am confused. Is there a squirrel in the can outside or not?  Is this the same squirrel, or a second squirrel or a third?  At some point, I realized that the flashlight which belongs to the Maheus and was holding up the garbage bag for the first encounter was missing.  I sheepishly climbed down the hill to retrieve the garbage bag with the flashlight in it.  So was the squirrel ever in the bag?  Is there a squirrel in the can now?

I take the can down to the end of the driveway.  I peek in. I see no squirrel.  I poke around in the bag.  No squirrel. Finally, I catch a glimpse of him lying very still on the bottom of the can outside the bag.  I pull the bag out and try to chuck him over the embankment, which I don’t really succeed at, but I do chase him into the woods.  So, two down and how many to go?

This guy is smarter, and bolder.  We spend a lot of time looking at each other across the kitchen.  At the moment, he is hiding and I expect nothing more until I try to go to sleep.  Tomorrow is another day.

Dawn was involved in the first part of this escapade, but not the ensuing chases because she took the train to Paris yesterday and is not expected back until tomorrow.  The incessant rain interrupted by clouds got to her and she decided to take Isabelle’s offer of the spare apartment to get one more look at Paris before we head back to the New World. She also wants to talk to Malek about some ideas she has about doing a joint concert with him in Paris. She probably wanted to get out on her own a little also.  In the last six months, with the exception of my being in Florida in May, we have rarely gotten more than a hundred feet from each other and that was mostly when we were going to the toilet.

It has taken a little time to find myself,  but I have succeeded. Took a walk up into the hills during a period of relative dryness. Only about forty five minutes, but very satisfying.

On the way back along the road, I spied a flock of pigeons.  Actually, there seemed to be two flocks flying next to each other.  They were both circling the beautiful farmhouse that is across the road from us. Gradually, they became one flock.  In the process they got rid of some other kind of bird that was flying with them for awhile.  They were pretty far away. Mostly what I saw was the sun hitting their wings when they hit the right angle.  Otherwise, they were just specks in the distance.  I could here their cries faintly.  Their flight was not predictable, as if they were having an argument.  They would wheel and turn and turn back at themselves but suddenly they all stopped flapping simultaneously and glided maybe two complete circles and landed somewhere out of my sight.  As I walked down the road further, I could see them perched on the farmhouse roof.  A couple of pigeons insisted on solos by flying off again only to return shortly.  A rooster crowed from the farm just to add the finishing touch.  A rather ordinary event made beautiful and touching because I had the time to watch.

Here I have no list.  In the back of my mind I am developing one for next week when I am back.  But I am hoping to make a habit of holding onto irresponsible hours, list free moments during which perhaps I can do things only for the pleasure of it.

I found the shop vac, made it work, and vacuumed the place including all the spiders and their webs.  Moving day is coming.  Beginning to look forward to the United States.  The next adventure,
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Our imprompto dinner
Our imprompto dinner
photo by: jsbuck1