Home at last, unpacked car and shovelled out 10 days of accumulated water bottles and food wrappers, taking care of course to filter out the 4 bottles of wine acquired at various locations on the journey.
But I've jumped forward, the last of the gigs was my third at Pub Gabariers in Saint Simeux and having had two great gigs on Thursdays in previous years I was looking forward to playing a Friday.
I travelled back down over two days stopping off at Poitiers over night, the weather had clouded over a little so a much more comfortable journey, the usual SatNav fun where roads had been moved since it's maps were ma de, but I know most of the traps now, even if not confident to go the whole way without it!
So I arrived around 1pm, to a warm greeting from Simon the owner and the offer of lunch and wine, gratefully received, then after plenty of time to setup at my leisure and chill out.
Beforehand I went for wander up the hill above the venue taking my video camera and guitar, and took quite a few clips with the aim of editing something out of them, with a rural french theme to it, no chance yet to review what I took, will have to see in the next few days what I can come up with.
I'd setup by around 8pm and was joined by Simon for an excellent pizza, I'd really recommend them if your in that area of France! There was quite buzz in the pub with most of the indoors tables full and a few outside ( the weather had finally broken and it was cooler and a bit window, though still put an English summer evening to shame) and a good crowd at the bar.
I went on at 10pm and played two long sets, 1 hour 20 minutes each! Early in the second set I spotted a couple from Belgium that I remembered from last year, very pleasing to see them there again! Good solid applause even from the people still eating which is always a good sign, both sets went down well, I has a good chat with the Belgians in the break, using a mixture of French, English and sign language, they bought a CD on the assumption that it was la mÍme de ce soir, (which I hope means the same as this evening, or nearly so...) which it more or less was :-)
I had plenty of time the next day to make the ferry at 10pm, so could set off at my leisure, I arrived on time but the ferry itself was late! It 'steamed' at double speed to make it back to Newhaven on time, bring the tour full circle.
On the journey home from the ferry I was on the edge of tiredness most of the way, being earlier than usual, a roadside cafe that I often stop at was closed but I stopped anyway, to make sure my eye props were in place. A bit further down the road a deer leaped out in fron of the car, beautifuil site, if a bit of a shock, thankfully I missed it!
I've some recording and videos of every gig, but have yet to have a chance to review any of it, finger crossed it will useful and useable, will post the results in a few days.
Big thank you to all who helped me organise this year, a la prochaine!