Godnose what the sucker was doing there, but I followed the damn thing for about 30km, at an average speed of all of 20kph. A far cry from the trip down. Still, end of a long weekend I suppose, and of top of it the Dutch are out and about, so what more can one expect?
At least the thing sort of petered out after Serres as people stopped off to have lunch or whatever, and I managed to overtake the campervans that were raising my blood pressure, and then when I did get home around 15:00, it was bright and sunny - just the right weather to crack open a bottle of rosé. Which, of course, bowing to narrative imperative, I did.
Me, I think she's ruined her tastebuds with too many years of not smoking. Jerry certainly scarfed it down with vague moans of pleasure, even although I did have to use apple slices rather than figs as planned.
Thursday started out rather unpromisingly. For starters, it was fair pissing down: on top of that, the lycée at Challes wanted Jerry back (he'd checked out on Monday as all they were doing, as the exams are on, was watch films in class). So we headed glumly off, and as we're waiting to turn left across the nationale in Challes there's a light "thunk" as the car behind runs into me.
So Margo took Jerry the remaining 500m, and imagine my surprise when she came back with him still in the car. The bloody school did not want him at all, just one of us, to sign a paper saying that he wasn't there. Now why in hell's name they specifically asked for his presence I shall doubtless never know ...
Whatever, Saturday's come round, as it will, and we have a long weekend in front of us - Pentecost, don't you know? (For all the strict separation of church and state, the French do love their religious holidays.) Which may go some way to explaining why Chambéry was somewhat deserted this morning, as I did the usual prowl around the market.
And I managed to pick up some cherries, which I rather feel are destined to be halved, pitted and then bathed with just a hint of arancio and maybe a spinkling of sugar before heading down our throats. Simple is always good.
Still have to think of a fitting fate for the butter beans (which are, oddly enough, haricots beurre in French), the tomatoes that actually smell of tomato, the two firm aubergines and the baby zucchini, the size of fingers (OK, biggish fingers, but fingers nonetheless).
Truth to tell, the only blot on the horizon (for after a rather dubious start to the day, it turned out bright and fine) was the anti-nuclear protesters, dressed up in white coveralls and gasmasks, handing out leaflets doubtless designed to make us all run for the exits screaming "we're all DOOMED!"
Prats. I like cheap, clean, safe electricity.
Still, the scowly-face worked, no-one tried to slip a leaflet into my shopping basket, and I managed to finish my rounds without being obliged to kill or mutilate anyone.
I might be being a bit generous here: let's just say that they had musical implements which seemed to be plugged in (unfortunately only 230VAC, rather than the 30KVDC preferred on the TGV) and noises were coming out of their mouths.
Which, personally, I could have done without.
And sadly, the same sort of madness was going on in place Metropole, and it was loud enough for me to hear as I sat and sipped at Le Modesto. Still, at least that lot weren't singing in French.
Such as, should I do rouelle de jambon on the barbecue with some of those vegetables, or should I go for basse cote in the frying pan? Or, just possibly, tandoori chicken?
I've been working on the matter for some time now, as the sun sinks lower (as does, let it be admitted, the level in the wine bottle) and still have not managed to come to any firm conclusion.
Oh, by the way, Mal made it to Ecuador and apparently heads off into the jungle today. I doubt we'll have much news for a while: somehow I suspect that broadband connections are pretty scarce out there.
Later ... my problems have been resolved. I went down to the garden and picked blackberries, which are even as we speak making lascivious noises cuddling up to the cherries, and I spotted some magnificent rosée des prés (horse mushrooms, to you) so it's beef with mushrooms and pommes sarlardaises to go.