May Day Walk

Mme Patricia Curd

The starting point for the traditional May Day Walk was a car park near the church in the charming village of Le Thoureil. A record number of twenty-four members and friends gathered for the annual photograph at the start of the walk, joined this year by both Julie’s dog, Izzie, and Terry’s little dog, Claire. The number of walkers was particularly pleasing as the weather was blustery and unusually cold for the time of year. Wrapped up well against the chill wind, we set off somewhat slowly and headed uphill passing several beautifully restored properties with lovely gardens. The pace slowed down as groups of walkers stopped to admire the pretty houses and outbuildings nestling amongst the trees.

We were soon out of the village and wandering along a road surrounded by woodland dotted with more lovely properties, both old and modern homes. We joined a pathway which led us past meadows with lush grass and wildflowers and in one case a herd of cows with several young calves. Of course, another pause was needed to admire them. Everywhere was green and full of the energy of spring. Above us young oak leaves were bursting into the spring air. At ground level young bracken fronds were thrusting skyward. The ditches were strewn with bluebells and stitchwort.

Some of the group opted for the shorter route back to Le Toureil whilst most walkers continued behind Tony, our leader. At one time, as we came out of woodland into a meadow, the sky looked ominously black and almost immediately the heavens opened. For several minutes the rain and hail stones fell and the stragglers, unable to take cover under trees, were drenched. The wind soon dried them out and from then on it was a downhill road past yet more beautiful properties back to the carpark.

Just a short drive away, we soon arrived at our picnic spot. Although somewhat later than anticipated we weren’t too late to celebrate ‘l’heure de l’apéro’. Tony offered everyone a glass of bubbles and Christine provided little homemade salmon croissants as canapés before the serious business of eating got underway. There were plenty of samplings on offer: Japanese seaweed thins from Roy and Yolande, parmesan biscuits from Brendan, Annie’s shortbread biscuits, Jackie’s chilli cheddar, all washed down by Jack-Henry’s excellent 2014 red wine. The atmosphere was jovial. Everyone had a good time but all too soon it was time for us to go our separate ways. Our thanks to Tony for planning such a superb circuit for us. Please Tony, can we do it again in the autumn?