I departed for France at "pi time", 3.14. For a mathematically minded person such as myself, this is an auspicious time to start anything. It is wet and cold in the UK and is expected to get worse while I'm away. By contrast, it is bright and sunny in our part of France - indeed the temperature is expected to get into the mid 20s later this week. I take that to also be auspicious.
The land rover is absolutely jammed packed with stuff. I had thought of buying a small bag of groceries but probably couldn't fit them in the car. There was so much I wanted to take, so much that I need to remember for over the next week or so.
I go straight to the cabin when I get on the boat, read for barely 20 minutes and then have a really good night's sleep. I am beginning to really like the overnight ferry. In fact, I am rather looking forward to the first time there is a rougher crossing.
A quicker than average journey down - Rennes and Nantes are quite quiet. There is quite a lot of water lying on fields by the motorway, so France has had some rain too. I see quite a number of herons standing in fields, plus quite a few deer
The journey down is uneventful until I am sitting in a service station having something to eat when a text arrives from Dave asking whether I would be ok if the completion meeting is moved forward a day to Wednesday. I am fine with that - however I have never heard of such meetings coming forward - they are often delayed though.
I got to St Jean d'Angely about 1:00. It is a beautiful sunny day and the abbey looks terrific.
I drove down to St Hilaire and had a quick drive past the house, not wanting to be seen by the vendors at this point. All looks well. I also passed an Emmaus store which I had discovered is a sort of Oxfam-like brocante. A quick look in through the windows - it is closed most of the time - suggests that it would be worth a visit.
Around 2:00 I was back at Gill's. She has sorted out some stuff from her cellar that perhaps I would like to buy, so I have a quick look at that for 30 minutes or so before it is time for us to go out and visit the dreaded branch of BNP where, I hope, my cheque book and bank card should be waiting. This involves a small amount of contact with the strange branch manager, but everything goes ok and I now have means of paying the vendors for the stuff I have bought from them.
Then onto AXA and a meeting with the rather lovely Sonja, who has the most beautiful eyes and lovely curly brown hair! Setting everything up to start one day early is fine. However I have thought that maybe they should know about the French windows and so I have arrange for the manager of the branch to come round on Friday.
By 4:30 I am settled in the Ellis Park bar in the centre of St Jean and meet up for Dave for a couple of hours. Some admin for tomorrow's completion, but mainly music stuff. For instance, Dave has heard that Dead Can Dance are playing the Sunday at Glastonbury next year and some more european dates. He is going to the Paris show having had to miss the recent one.
A brief chat to Wife afterwards about the early completion.