Before anything, I want to thank you all for your hugely appreciated contributions to Cancer Research UK, made even before I have begun to cycle.
Your enthusiasm and your messages of support have been great. I’ve often heard marathon runners say that the backing they have received has really spurred them on. Until now I’ve rather thought they were being nice in return. But I find it really is the case. Very motivating!
Do one thing for me before we start to spin the wheels! Turn up the volume, click on this link, and join me on the starting grid!
Grignan from far away
Allo again! It is I, René!
I expect you are wondering why we are in Grignan. Well, to tell you the truth, so am I!
My wife, who, by the way is not called Edith and who is not madly in love with Leclerc, insists that we must ‘ave proper oignons and not oignons in fish-net tights and polythene. Yesterday, we went to Valréas, where Monsieur Leclerc ‘as ‘is shop. It is a bit like Saynsberries. ‘Ere is ow zey treat zeir oignons.
Well, as you know, I am travelling disguised as an onion seller, zo who am I to disagree wiz my wife? Not Edith, (who is not Edith, because she is my wife), ‘as brought us ‘ere to Grignan because it is market day, and I ‘ave to confess she is right, because we ‘ave found such oignons as any Frenchwoman would be pleased to ‘ave in ‘er cuisine.
“When iz ‘e going to get on ‘is bike?”
Zat is my muzzer-in-law shouting. Ignore ‘er; everyone else does!
I ‘ave more zings to show you from ze market, because, as we said at the start, sometimes there are times when time wishes to stand still. And when we are talking saucissons, zat is one of those times.
And ‘ow could you not linger when you ‘ave also ……
We shall never get cycling if we do not shut ‘im up! René has a project to open a little café in Grignan but I fear it is a bit too, shall we say, ‘cultured’, for him.
Madame de Sévigné lived here in the 17th century and is renowned as a huge literary figure.
She it was who owned the palace atop the village – the one atop my Clogs. Grignan now leans heavily on her memory for tourist appeal and as a centre for the ‘arts’.
You can fully enculture yourself here, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_de_Rabutin-Chantal,_marquise_de_S%C3%A9vign%C3%A9 ……
but we must move on, as there is cycling to be done.
Well, indeed there is but unless you are actually doing it, there is little to be said for reading about it.
So here is just a flavour of the first 3 days, during which we rode for 6 hours, logged 54 miles and climbed 888 metres.
One of the ‘ups’ took us to Réauville, where we were glad to pause and sluice off the sweat in the lavoir (old French for ‘washing machine’). It was refurbished in 2013 with some fantastic trompe-l’oeil murals.
The next ‘up’ bit was a heavy slog to another hill-top village with the splendid name of Chantemerle-les-Grignans. Imagine an English village called Sing Blackbird the Hambledons. Wiping more sweat from the eyes revealed this stunning view and I hope it gives you an idea of the landscape, the vineyards, and the Romanesque buildings that are a feature of every ride.
Returning we were able to cross the dried-up river bed
where I started to hallucinate in the midday heat of how I might be rescued from a flash flood
A little further along there were fields of sunflowers in prayer
and a Swallowtail butterfly that had managed to swallow half of its tail.
So there you are, we are on the bike and cycling……… but after these 3 days, the storm clouds are gathering. The next Clog will see the return of the Mistral.
Click on ‘Follow Blog via email’ to keep up with the clogs as we run into strong headwinds cycling ‘September 300’ for Cancer Research UK.
To donate to Cancer Research UK, please click on “My Cancer Research Page” at the top of this post. It will take you to a secure Cancer Research donation page and will allow you to say if Gift Aid can be claimed on your donation.