Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Back to the water

Thursday 23rd September 2010: Annecy FR. 
The weather is good, and I keep my promise to myself. In the morning, I find myself wondering over to Doussard and try the Town Hall to see if I can get any information about the lake side house. I find that it is closed and I have an hour and a half to wait until it opens at 14.00. I go to the local café and sit down to order an orangina. After the coffee fiasco in Evian, I think its my safest bet.

I sit opposite some English people in their 70’s. I here them talk about their day and although I look over at them, I don’t let on that I can speak English. I want to sit and write in my journal and have peace and quiet whilst I wait for the town hall to open.

I sit there for a while and converse with a few people in French to pass the time. Its hard because I cant find some of the words I am looking for, but they are patient, and know some English, so I am helped in that respect.

It is time for me to leave and I walk into the offices, where no one speaks English, only ‘a little’ when asked. I proceed in French and am led to another office to explain my situation and show her the video and photos I have taken. Surprisingly she looks up on her computer and tells me that the owners live in Paris and give me their address. No problem, no payment, she just gives me their address!! You can tell this is not England. I don’t know whether to be grateful or worried that this information has been surrendered so readily.
It’s all I need here and I cycle back to the Snail to prepare myself for my lake swimming. I pack a small bag and cycle off down the cycle path. I stop every now and then to collect things for ‘the nature shelf’ and continue until I get to the lake. I can see a few people here from a few days ago. The German lady and her two twin 3 year olds, the pregnant lady in turquoise. They have become familiar to me in this place, and although we have not spoken, it’s nice to see them again.

Although I didn’t pack to many valuables in my bag, I have the essentials: keys and phone, and I don’t want them to get stolen. I have been quite careful since I’ve been away. I’ve locked up the bike, even though others are around me unlocked. I don’t want to get complacent, that’s when things start to happen. My initial idea of putting them at the end of the wooden pier has failed as there is a middle-aged man there reading a book. He may not be faster than me, but if I’m in the water, he can easily take my things before I swim to the small wooden pier. No, I needed to find another option! And fast, because I was getting hotter and the water was looking even more inviting than yesterday! I looked over to the lady in turquoise and wonder if she could look after my things whilst I get in the water. I summon up my courage and go and talk to her in French. She has a nice smile and I notice that she hasn’t got far to go before her little one is born, perhaps that’s why she is here. We chat for a while and I find out she is from here. I tell her how lucky she is and she agrees. She looks after my bag and I walk along the wooden pier before getting undressed to reveal my yellow and orange bikini.

The water is wonderful and my hot skin welcomes the relief. The water is shallow enough for me to stand in and I stay inside for about half an hour swimming from one side of the swimming area to the other. I look along the water bed to try and find a stone that I can paint on, and after a bit of searching I find one.
Outside of the water, my skin dries up quickly with the heat and I give my thanks to the lady in turquoise before resuming my sunbathing. In the distance I see a light blue wing, and know at once who this is. The Pilot has decided to land at the water’s edge and texts me to bring his things when he lands so he can swim. He doesn’t know I am already here. He goes swimming anyway, and enjoys the water before we go back to the Snail. He catches a lift back with other Pilots and I cycle back.

I wonder if the weather will be good enough tomorrow because this place is just wonderful. 

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