Our departure from Central France was becoming a bit of a joke.
Initial plans of staying for two weeks were eventually shelved on account of a lost parcel -carrying a much needed trailer axle- that failed to arrive from the UK.
When it did finally turn up we’d happily committed to an extra week on our friend’s farm; expanding our modest knowledge of organic production and travelling to the market square at Roanne as part of the enthusiastic sales team – kids included!
We hatched another date but when that approached a week long deluge of rain appeared on the radar. The idea of cycling off, sacrificing a warm bed, dry roof over our noggins, and access to sanitation -without standing in a downpour- failed to appeal.
Again we pointed an index at the calendar in search of another date -this Thursday, almost six weeks after arriving.
Throughout our time here we’ve mused as to why we don’t just stay. But behind the banter there’s an element of truth to the jest, especially as this part of Europe has drawn us back time and again.
Perhaps it’s the location of the village: Charmingly nestled in the foothills of an old volcanic plateau called the Massif Central. Whereby from its small cluster of stone houses you look across farmed valleys and over to a horizon of distant trees, interrupted singularly by the steeple of a far off church pointing into a warm summer’s sky.
Or maybe it’s the reception at the local café when met by the owner with a welcoming kiss that creates a feeling of returning home, let alone going out.
Possibly it’s the laid back approach of the local mayor, eager to get stuck in on community working bees whilst also finding time to develop his latest pursuit of riding stoker on Rachel’s tandem…
Ultimately though, the biggest reason for our late departure begins and ends because of a great friendship that has developed with someone we see not only as a mate, but part of the family..
Yet alas, our time here is running out. The only way Scotland will ever get closer is by us rolling north, and with summer now officially upon us the good weather can’t be too far away.
It’s time to make tracks.
Or else we never will!