|Author Alison Morton by the Loire, #LazySundayinFrance
This week saw the release of book two in the Mélisende Thriller series by local Poitou-Charentes author Alison Morton (read my review here), and I’m delighted that Alison is joining me today with a #LazySundayinFrance guest post.
Not only has Alison given us an insight into a typical Sunday for her main character Mel, she has also let us see how she spends her Sundays at home in the north of the Deux-Sèvres department.
Lazy Sunday, eh?
The heroine in my new series, Mélisende des Pittones, known as Mel to her friends, would be up at seven (a lie-in from her weekday six a.m.), go for a run in her home woods in Poitou, shower, eat a healthy breakfast of eggs, yoghurt and fruit. Next, she’d leap up from the table, then cycle or walk to see a friend for a chat over a cup of coffee, eat a salad lunch, catch up on her emails and social media, help her mother in the garden, read a book, go out with friends later, probably including dancing at some time in the evening. If she has a boyfriend/lover at the time, she’ll spend the rest of the evening/night with him, and we know what that means. This will re-energise her for the rest of the week.
|Poitou countryside, home to Mélisende des Pittones, photo Alison Morton
I feel exhausted reading that, but she is just thirty and as a member of the French Army, pretty fit. I’m several decades older than her and my British Army days are a distant memory. A bad back and dodgy foot put me a world away from Mel’s.
So, back to reality… A cup of tea in bed about eight-ish, half-wakes me up, then I read on my Kindle, check my phone, get totally diverted by some cat video or weird historical post on Facebook. After dragging myself out of my pit, I bumble through a shower and stagger to the kitchen for coffee and muesli, sometimes toast.
I look out of the window and experience guilt. The garden is a mess; burnt grass, weeds in the herb garden, shrivelled up flower heads. On with the old jeans and top. Down to the basement for the old trainers dotted with paint dribbles (euphemistically called my gardening shoes). A quick whip round with the secateurs deadheading geraniums and a few weeds pulled out between the herbs. Bash my head on a branch of the olive tree, but the autumn sun shows up how bountiful the olives are this year.
Oh, there’s my neighbour, son of a farmer. We chat. He’s a proper French gardener with a beautiful allotment-like vegetable garden laid out in neat rows; strawberries, beans, tomatoes, herbs, potatoes, leeks, lettuce, courgettes – the whole banana. Well, no bananas; we are in the Deux-Sèvres, not the Côte d’Azur.
Out comes his wife to join in the chat and we solve all the world’s problems. Easy.
Lunch is home-cooked accompanied by a glass of white wine; red at midday makes me fall asleep. Afterwards, we might indulge in an amble through the local fields. If it’s raining, and there really isn’t a good film on the television, I go down to our basement office and sigh at the state of it. I promptly turn round, switch off the light and go back upstairs. If it’s not too chilly or too hot, I sit on the patio and read a book.
Sometimes we go out! It’s been a bit awkward for eating lunch in a restaurant during the pandemic, but a stroll along the Loire or through a château town like Montreuil-Bellay makes a pleasant afternoon. Simple things like watching the ripple of water or running your hand over stone worked five hundred years ago and warmed by sunshine have a lot going for them.
In the evening, I may type a few words of the latest book, but I tend to leave that until Monday morning. Time for another glass of wine. As we say here, c’est le weekend!
Lazy Sunday in France for French Village Diaries
|Double Pursuit by Alison Morton
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Buying links for Double Pursuit