Saturday, June 20, 2020

Birthday shopping

'The Fonts' birthday. Angus and Sophie are up and out early to get to the bakers to pick up a cake.  In fact we're out so early the shops haven't opened yet. There's ten minutes to wait. From the door of the church we can see one of the flower ladies getting things ready for tomorrows mass. The seats in the nave have been socially distanced but even so they're too close for comfort. The church was built in the 1260's and is an enormous barn of a thing. Far too large for an agricultural town that's shrunk to 1500 souls of whom 60, on a good day, may attend mass.  The state of the interior is dire - what the revolution failed to destroy neglect has accomplished.  Stone flaking, paint peeling, wood rotting.  There must be thousands of these old churches dotted around the country mouldering away. What do you do with them ? Who will pay for their upkeep ? What happens when they go ? 

The bakers wife isn't wearing a mask. She's had electric sliding doors installed so that only one customer at a time is allowed in. We have to ring a bell and wait while she appears from the kitchen. She's carrying a tray of freshly baked croissants and dealing with a toddler that's clinging to her skirt. ' You're here early ' said in a tone of voice that's more admonitory than factual.

Angus, who is wearing a mask, listens as the bakers wife spills out her woes. No rugby club/ private party / school graduation orders. These accounted for 40% of their business. Their turnover is less than half the levels at this time last year. The good news is they're not paying taxes and there's a rent holiday. They survive.

Angus waits while birthday greetings are piped on the cake. He orders some croissants ...

a peach tart ....

.... and a tub of freshly made white peach ice cream together with a tub of peche de vigne ice cream.

Now that's a library :

Something about Alaska :


  1. Isn’t it gorgeous! Unless you could afford the staff and maintenance ridiculous, but gorgeous! 22,000 books, at the normal average price of a hardback.... eye watering!

  2. Happy Birthday the 'Font'. I trust Angus has selected a cake that will tempt you to eat more than a nibble!

  3. Hari OM
    Had heard about the bus removal... and that library is a bibliophile's wet dream!!! Angus did well to boost the baker's economic line. A rum baba might have helped too. Jus' sayin'... YAM xx

    1. Oh - and I add my greetings for The Font's birthday - may it be a shiny and bright one! Yxx

  4. Birthday wishes for The Font. I think the peach is a good choice, especially this time of year. However, I'm not sure how you ever decide with such a tempting selection.

    We were living in Anchorage Alaska at the time Chris McCandless was found. It was quite the story of course and an intriguing one at that. And I would have thought they would have removed the bus long before now.

  5. Happy Birthday to 'The Font'. A toast to her on the longest day of the year. To share one's birthday with the summer solstice is a wonderful thing!

    New Hampshire has (finally) started charging those adventurers who find themselves ill equipped and foolish enough to need rescue in our mountains and forests. Typically a very dangerous and expensive situation for everyone involved. It's a shame to have removed the bus in Alaska due to the miscalculations of silly humans.

  6. Happy Birthday - cheers to the Font. We hope you got some bubbles with your cake and a day full of sunshine and warmth.

    Greetings from NZ.

    Julie and Poppy Q

  7. Birthday greetings to The Font - and hope you (and Sophie) all enjoy the treats.

  8. Love, love, love the house! I wish The Font a peachy keen Birthday. And, to Sophie extra treats on The Fonts special day. Angus, will you whip up a special dinner or will you be venturing out? Also, a huge thanks for today's photos - the church is beautiful and impressive; the pastries mouth-watering and guilt-inspiring; and although Sophie was missed, I'm confident she'll look radiant tomorrow.

  9. Happy Birthday to 'The Font'.
    Those cakes would tempt most people to indulge, but we know that it's not going to happen, even with your seductive choices, Angus! Perhaps Sophie will be allowed to help out as it's such a special occasion?

  10. Solstice and a birthday, lovely combo. Happy Birthday to the Font.

  11. A hearty Happy Birthday wish to the Font!