Once settled in our charming converted farm outbuilding with its ingle nook wood fireplace, we stood in the patio door admiring the walled garden and manicured lawn.
‘It’s pleurting’, we said in perfect synergy as collared doves cooed in the pink candy floss tree and small pools of clear rain water gathered on the patio table. For a wonderfully deluded moment we felt smugly bilingual and a gazillion miles away from the rat race.
It took a few days in to get used to the lack of people as we travelled around until we realised that hamlets like Ernes had no shops or bars. Unlike English and Irish villages, with a pub and convenience store round every corner irrespective of population, the rural outposts of Normandy tend to serve the spiritual needs of the occupants and not the need for spirits.