Tuesday, 31 May 2005

Early Riser

Orleans yesterday, as mentioned.

We started off by turning left out of Centerparcs (we'd always turned right before) to see where it took us. Fortunately, to Lamotte Beuvron, which was handy since it has a station, and we plan to travel from there tomorrow to go to Paris. On to Orleans.

Since it was a Monday I thought it may be quieter than usual, but we went to mooch rather than to shop, so that wouldn't be a problem. Initiallly quite disappointing. I mean, we found the cathedral and went arount that (Alice loves churches), which was magnificent. It never fails to amaze me the amount of time - lifetimes in some cases - that people spent constructing such beautiful places, spurred on only by their beliefs. The same was true of Mont St Michel. There's faith for you.

However, the rest of Orleans was slightly disappointing. We were looking for someplace to have an ice cream but simply couldn't find anywhere. We were heading back to the car to come back to Centerparcs when we thought, "we'll just head up here along the way", as one does. And we found this beautiful square, the Place du Matroi. Ironically we could have parked there initially, but I passed it by in favour of another car park. Anyway, we easily found a cafe selling ice cream sundaes in this square, plus we found the main shopping area, which we'd missed earlier. Far from being disappointing, it turned out to be excellent.

By the time we got back to the car, therefore, it was somewhat later than intended, so I suggested taking the autoroute back to Centerparcs, via a supermarket. We picked up signs for a Carrefour, which we like (went to a Champion the other day, which wasn't so good), and decided that Carrefour was the way forward.

Unfortunately it meant travelling in exactly the opposite direction to the way we wanted to go for a good fifteen minutes - the signs never tell you that, do they? Still, we got there in the end and bought lots more nice things, not all of which food. We all got nice shampoos/shower gels, for example. French supermarkets really have the edge even on the English when it comes to diversifying.

Homeward bound. Fortunately, although we'd been travelling in the wrong direction to get there, we were still close to the autoroute, just the next exit along. So we were able to get back to Centerparcs very rapidly indeed - especially with Jacqueline driving!! Plus we used the fact that it was changeover day to bring the car right up to the cottage - we'd bought water and the shopping bags were heavy in any case.

Too late, unfortunately, to do much else, so Alice had to forego her evening swim. Instead, we had a nice family meal of pasta and tuna, after which I was fit to drop.

This morning, have checked the bank account. Our French account is really good, in that card purchases get deferred until the end of the month. Of course, it is the end of the month today so I hit their web site to make sure I had enough funds in the current account. Turns out that all my purchases are going to go through at the end of June, not May. So I'll earn another month's interest leaving the money in the savings account. I'm sure it'll only earn pennies interest, but it is nice nevertheless that they have a product that works this way. My English account is theoretically deferred debit, but in practise they take the card total into account when determining whether to accept or to decline transactions, so it might as well be real-time.

Which reminds me, must phone them to see if my invoice has been paid yet...

Not sure what we'll get up to today. A swim this morning for sure, but first I can feel a whirlpool bath coming on!

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