Leaving Sophie’s felt like a fledgling being thrust out of the nest.
I have felt like Mary’s lamb following her around – and now I am bereft of Mary.
I finished all the administrative things like sending Servas forms off and paying them via Internet banking. Also sent a small package of unwanted clothes back home to Steve. Didn’t leave until after lunch – more like 3pm. And by the time I’d finished queueing in La Poste it was gone half 3. Following hand written google map instructions had the usual pitfalls – but didn’t do too badly.
The sun was very warm as I cycled to the Bois de Vincennes and past parks and woods heaving with people all making the most of the balmy weather.
I then cycled along the River Marne – equally lovely, flat and wide but fast flowing – saw a young girl in a fibreglass kayak practicing paddling through slalom gates.
I ended up in a huge park and had to cycle up hill to exit it – think I should have come away from the River before – always in hindsight). I then did the usual scribble route around Lognes trying to find my Warm Showers’ host’s address.
I eventually went into a bar and had a quick, refreshingly cold beer while I watched, with amusement, the barman and two customers argue about the best direction for me to take. I got there in the end – around 8.30pm which was a tad late for dinner (though the couple don’t get home until 7.30pm).
Charles and Marie-Cécile are young newly weds (their second anniversary approaching on 3rd May) and had made a sumptuous feast. There was another couple – François and Claire – invited to supper also. Claire spoke fluent English, having lived in Australia, Canada etc in the past. Charles spoke good, but heavily accented English which my deaf ears found difficult to understand at times. They were all very curious about my travel plans and the journey so far. I also ended up telling a few birth stories, and none of them have had children yet so I hope I didn’t put them off (delivered some home birth propaganda of course!). I think they are all committed Christians – and Charles is involved in organising a international gathering/festival – but I might have misunderstood.
Marie-Cécile is a housing officer (I think) - she called herself a Social worker getting people accommodation - Charles is an Engineer working in the Printing trade. Franćois works for a Bishop(!) and Claire - argh, I've forgotten this morning what Claire does for a living, but it also sounded high powered.
There was a 4 course supper: Something like bruschetta to start, Spaghetti Carbonara for the main meal, cheese then eggless chocolate tart. Wow, I am certainly NOT losing weight – and they were ALL so slim I can’t believe they eat like that every night – so thank you, Marie-Cécile, for the wonderful food.
Charles and Marie-Cécile departed early in the morning and left me alone to sleep and see myself out. Such generosity and trust! It’s so wonderful to peek into the lives of people who live in a locality – HUGELY superior to anonymous hotels in every way. Time to get going again – and I have no set destination – apart from towards Germany in a straightish line.