By Veronica

Sheltering from the sun


After our efforts of the last two days, we had a much-needed quiet morning at home. After lunch we went to Lagrasse; while S hung about in the doctor's waiting room, Bundle and I visited the abbey. This actually requires two separate visits as half of it belongs to the town hall and the other half to a community of monks. I haven't visited either part for many years and I'd forgotten how relatively uninteresting the Mairie's half is. They are doing some restoration work, and there was an art installation in the dormitory, but most of their part is just empty space. That said, my blip is of the abbot's private chapel.

So we decided to pay another 4 euros each to visit the monks. As we hesitated at the door, looking from the "decent attire" notice to Bundle's modest shorts, a charming white-clad monk came up to us and said, "Ah, if only all women dressed as well as you!" We took that to be a yes.

The monks have the large cour d'honneur, the cloister, the church itself, and the garden. When the previous owner of this part (a private individual) sold it to the monks a decade ago, the mayor and council were extremely peeved, as they had hoped to buy it. They tried to convince the populace that the monks were a dangerous sect and should be expelled. But they are so polite and friendly that this initiative didn't get very far, and everyone now seems content with the situation. The monks are doing a lot of restoration work too, some of it sponsored by large companies.

It was the hottest day yet; even the wind was warm. We were glad of the cool air in the church and cloisters, and then sat in the garden in the sun until summoned by S to join him at the ice cream shop by the river.

Finally we spent a lovely evening eating a leisurely meal at Les Calicots in Fabrezan, sitting in their sheltered, plant-filled inner courtyard. It's been lovely to have Bundle here, all thanks to Blipfoto which is where I first virtually met her.

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