Yann loves showing his garden and house and the environs off! Interestingly, he’s also reading as many books as he can by Stephan Zweig. Guess who sings the praises of this writer and based his film “The Grand Budapest Hotel” on Zweig’s work? Yep- Wes Anderson. Small world and more connections.
Yann took me into a church to see the bells (and for him to collect owl pellets too). He’s a mine of information on the local history and flora and fauna. The church itself is locked, as most seem to be these days.
We then went to a place where there used to be a Cistercian Abbey – not much of it left but an old wine press in the village hall. Yann persuaded an artist to open her gallery as he knew I liked painting. We also went to L’atelier de Hélène to see her work too (whimsical and cute paintings of red Lutin and trompe d’oeil paintings). Then we called in a tabac for Yann to stock up on baccy while I indulged in a very first ‘Kir’.
On our return to the house, Yann had to get moving as he was leaving that evening – Jacques giving him a lift (and caring for the animals while Yann is away). Jacques speaks no English at all, so communications are somewhat frustrating with both of us looking to Yann to translate. Though he has brought me his drop spindles and some very old 'Toisin' (fleece) to show me.
Both Yann and Jacques were interested to know what my plans were next. I hope to get up early and make it to Metz, I tell them – the furthest I will have cycled in one day, if I succeed. Hmm, says Jacques, I have relatives near there – my daughter’s inlaws live in Rombas – I will ask them if you can stay there. It was about the same distance – albeit north of Metz (but I was only going there, because there are two youth hostels to choose from). The inlaws agreed it would be fine – and I am gobsmacked at their generosity. Then Yann and Jacques decide that I will take too long to get there, so Jacques will come around at 10 tomorrow morning and give me a lift to Fresnes – en – Woëvre which is about half way to Rombas and half an hour in the car. Suits me fine and I’m happy to accept the offer.