Yep, that is snow! John was practically hyperventialling at the prospects of visiting the snow fields so first thing in the morning we headed from the town up the mountain to go for a long hike. Even at the end of what looked like a great season of snow this place held the sound of ski boots on concrete and the whirl of the many chair lifts up the mountain. However, the rain wouldn't stop for us and it was cold so we took a few snaps and gave up. From here we headed down for a long drive on the motorway.
The motorways are fantastic. The flow of traffic is smooth at high pace and we covered a lot of ground while munching on fresh bread with garlic and olive tapenades...We finally stopped in Azay le Rideau for a coffee break. Ok. Keep in mind the garlic, the coffee, the early start to go hiking...no make up...crusty bread crumbs in the wrinkles of our clothes...I thought to myself, yikes, I have let myself go here now and really look like a DAG. When what did we see on the other side of the street but a shop that looked decidedly like home away from home! Theophile!
We were happily greeted by Nancy Kay as soon as we entered and given a tour of the shop which held many beautiful delights. There was a class upstairs of women learning their sampler blocks. Here they are embarking on what we all know will soon become an all encompassing hobby and search for the Holy Grail of colour and design!
Downstairs we met Nancy Kay's daughter and had a good look around. Nestled in the stone and wood were the familiar fabrics of my own shop plus many more with a distinctly French flair.
Ribbons, buttons and oh so much more...
Although I spent most of the visit rummaging through my bag for a mint after all the garlic and coffee the visit was a highlight of the trip. Nancy Kay was so unbelievably welcoming that within only a few minutes I felt I had made a life long friend. And in that is the real promise of joy about patchwork. We know instantly that we are home even so far away and in that there is happiness.
With promises of staying in touch we got in the car to move on to our B&B for our last nights in France. One of the funniest things in the shop was when I pointed to a beautiful piece of work that Nancy Kay was working on and John said, "that is nice applique and embroidery!" I had no idea he was learning so much on our trip! It was also funny that he could appreciate how "caught out there" I felt in my daggy shoes, tossled hair and garlic breath in the presence of such French style and grace! We laughed all the way down the street.
So now we are at our last stop. As our thoughts of France are now interrupted by thoughts of home we head out for our last day of sight seeing in the Loire Valley filled with bread and coffee. more later I am sure! k