Renovation & rejuvenation!
Sunday – I think that all the bedrooms instead of being labelled by their colour should be identified as the name of a local village. When we were here before Christmas we visited the Sunday market in Bassouses where an artist has a stall. I decide to go and seek her out to commission the painting of the room signs. Bassouses is about 25 minutes away by car… but the road gives the most stunning panoramic view of the Pyrenees – I have to stop twice just to take in the view, its one of those mornings where the clarity of the mountains against the blue sky and the green of the valleys and hills has to be seen to be believed, no camera can capture this….
Arriving in Bassouses and Dotty and I walk up the road to the market stalls – I am immediately attracted to a stall artistically & colourfully laid out, the stall holder is an organic farmer with the most amazing array of salads & herbs. I buy a Batavia and some Radis Glacons (‘Ice cube’ radish) – wow – delicious. She gives me an order form and tells me her
gardens are open on Saturdays… mmm – a visit is a must! The next stall is our favourite salami man! – His ‘bonnets’ au poivres are the most yummy, peppery, refined salamis I have ever tasted (with a price to match – worth every €) It appears however that my lovely artist friend is only there for the summer season and the festivals… someone finds her card and I await an answer by email. I return to Pignoulet with the most delicious lunch of salami, green salad (unbelievable flavour) and my white radishes…Oh and of course a bit of pain et fromage, the outside eating area beckons me… and the painting can wait
Monday it literally pours with rain… happy day inside painting – apart from a compulsory Dotty walk. On a day like this decorating is a joy. Tuesday and Wednesday offer full on sunshine and blue skies. The rest of the week the weather is stunning, I awake to birdsong and mostly clear skies. Tranquility is very good for the soul and I find myself enjoying my time – every day is different, always very physical and I go to bed early with the tree frog chorus in the background. I have now moved my pilates mat to the barn and relish my time practising daily.
The weekend James and I set to… there are still many boxes to unload and we start hanging our pictures in the rooms that are now re-decorated. I have a few hours with the pressure washer cleaning the tiles around the pool, the sun-beds and the outside eating area…. its beginning to feel a lot like summer and the temperatures are in the mid-20s.
On Sunday we go to the Relais de Bastidou, a tiny Relais with 8 bedrooms and the most gorgeous setting in a valley at the very end of a single track road. We eat in the garden, surrounded by beautiful rural scenery. Everyone who comes to the restaurant stops to say hello, Madame couldn’t be more friendly and the meal is superb.
When we return to Pignoulet we decide we should just ‘relax’ for a while and as the pool has now been cleaned and set up for the summer season we take our books and a cup of English tea and just sit for a while… Bliss!