An Autumn Break

The bells of the village church are calling the faithful to worship, in the cacophonous way that French life has witnessed for centuries. Mellow autumn sunlight slowly burns the morning mists from the vale of the River L’Erve, where ducks noisily complain at the clanging bells. Autumn tints of green, gold and brown shade the landscape to the blurred horizon. It is unseasonably warm, encouraging vivid yellow and red hornets to gather precious food from rambling ivy that sprawls up the ramparts of the medieval city set high above the landscape of the Mayenne.


I sit on the balcony drinking in the morning with my senses and silently appreciating the beauty of the new day. Today will be a proper French Sunday. Food will feature prominently, but not before “un petit faire du promenade,” a little walk around the delightful village of Sainte Suzanne. Our cottage is set right into the ramparts amidst the tangled cobbled alleyways and narrow streets that are wonderfully bereft of motor vehicles, but do see the occasional horse or pony trot by.

The bells fall silent and jackdaws chatter their appreciation as they reclaim their perches in the bell tower. A waft of coffee reminds me that I have not yet had breakfast, but no worry, no need to rush the day away! Mrs Dookes has just returned from the boulangerie, yes they are open Dimanche matin, Sunday morning, but not at all on a Monday the Bakers Sabath. Fresh bread, croissants and pain au chocolat bear witness to the boulanger’s labour and smell sublime. Time for breakfast. My old mate Floyd would probably have a slug of Marc de Bourgogne in his coffee, but I’ll pass on that, just black will do for me!

So I am back in France again, with Mrs D, but sadly not on Harley. This is strictly a holiday to relax and take stock. Well, it is also a way for me to say thank you for the freedom to bugger off so much on my beloved motorbike! I have promised that we will not be flying off on any major excursions. Yesterday we passed through Josselin and took in the wonderful street market, which was alive with seasonal produce and aromas. The imposing Château is very famous in these parts and rightly so.

So that’s a little update as to what the life of Dookes is like just now, yes I’m sorry that there’s not much about motorbikes to report at the moment, but watch this space, I have a feeling that things will get interesting again real soon on that front!

….and what of the future?

Well, I do feel a wind of change blowing and maybe it’s time to do something new. You know; new directions, new challenges, new places….always new places that’s “de rigueur” for me!
Stick with me, this ride ain’t over yet, by a long way!

“Of course, I’ve had it in the ear before
‘Cause of a lust for life”


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