We settled into Bill & Julia's very quickly. They always make you feel so welcome. We had a very nice supper of veal and veg and some very good red wine. Talk went on quite late into the early hours before we made our way to bed.
In the morning we awoke and thought that we would have a quick drive to Lourdes. I was going to get some of those plastic Virgin Mary's full of holy water. Julia mentioned that there was a street market in the town, so we changed our minds and got ready to go there instead. We did not regret the change of plan. The stalls were full of wonderful seasonal veg and fruit. A lot of the people seemed to be selling things from their gardens. We bought two loaves from a young hippie guy who grows his own wheat, mills it and then bakes the loaves and sells them in the market. He even cycles it into town in a little trailer on the back of his bike. Now that's green.
We met up with Bill & Julia in a coffee shop as they were running around trying to get things for their new fish tank. They asked if we could collect some roast chickens from one of their friends in the market and take them home. We made our way to the stall and collected the three chickens and two large pots of roast potatoes, the smell from the stall was mouth watering.
I came very close to buying a blue french sailing cap. Wendy said I looked a dickhead so I thought better of it.
We made our way back to the house and the chickens were put in the oven after the gravy and juices were poured from the bags into a jug and left to settle. Bill & Julia's builder popped by and joined us for lunch. He had a great French accent and I was quite pleased by just how much I could understand of what he said. We were due to leave at around 4.30 for the station as we were flying from Toulouse and the train ride would take around one and half hours. Julia's phone went and it was one of her friends asking if she could manage a lift to the station, turned out she was to get the same train and the same plane as us. Small world. We had a quite couple of hours trying to pack the suitcases again. Always harder when things are worn, they seem to get bigger.
We left to collect Jennie from a nearby village and then made our way to the station. The tickets for the journey were 17€ each. The platform put me in mind of the Great Escape again. I do wonder if I will ever get over this ?. The train was a little late, but when it arrived we jumped on and got some nice seats. The journey passed quite quickly and before we knew we were at Gare de Toulouse. It was straight out and a turn right to find the bus to the airport.
There were buses arriving from Morocco. One man got off. He was using a walking stick and trying to carry a huge rug tied up with string. He would pick it up and start walking and then turn in a circle due to the weight of the rug. He was dressed only in light trousers and a jumper. I did wonder what would become of him. The bus arrived 4€ each was the fare. The drive through the centre of the city was nice, it certainly was bustling. The Easyjet desk was very quiet when we went to check in and after that was done we thought that a beer was in order, along of course with a nice ham and cheese baguette.
Through security, which was manned by a man who must have been in his first week. He was stopping everyone and going through the bags after they had been through the x ray machine. He was quite quick with mine when he unzipped it and found a weeks used boxers on top. Merci Merci he said as he pushed it towards me to zip back up with a grim look on his face. Wendy was made to take her huge hiking boots off. This can take up to an hour by the time she has undone them, taken them off walked through the machine and put them back on again.
The plane left on time and the flight was uneventful. I have taken to drawing Banksy cartoons on the sick bags, just to see if they make the news that someone thinks they are rich from finding one. We flew into Gatwick, which was a zoo. The bags arrived and we said goodbye to Jennie as her husband was collecting her from the airport. We made our way to the train and there were hundreds of people queueing for tickets. Wendy spotted that we could buy them on board so we we ran and got on the train. It was packed to overflowing.
The girl came along selling the tickets for the journey which takes about 25 minutes. £33 for the two of us. We got into Victoria and made our way to the bus stop. A number 11 came along and we got on. The driver seemed to think that he was in a Grand Prix, we got quite queasy. At the end of the day we got indoors at around 12.10am. A long day, and as we got into bed, hard to believe that we had been walking around a French street market hours before.