We needed exercise so I coerced the children into getting out of their pyjamas and putting some shoes on. It was five in the afternoon after all but they did not want to go out.

We did our favourite walk which takes us out the back of the house through the garden gate and onto the communal path. The walk used to be called “Let’s go and see the sheep” but there aren’t any sheep any more.

To add some spice on the way we did some mild trespassing to see what was inside an old barn next to the path. There are some antique cars in it, slowly decomposing.

The old laundry is in a locality called La Fontaine Chandon and it’s not strictly a fifteen minute walk unless you go with children and stop to look at interesting stuff as you go along every ten steps or so.

The wash-house has a constant stream of cold fresh water running into it which provides interesting currents for the various ocean-going ships we have launched into it. Cork hulls, plastic bottles, bamboo rafts – you name it we’ve floated it. It’s also interesting for the weird little crustaceans that swim around there and are quite abundant. And, of course, on hot summer days visits to the wash-house can degenerate into water fights.

We came back along the road to say hello to the piebald tinker horse that until recently was wearing a blindfold. It didn’t even look up from munching on some grass in the middle of the field so we headed back.

On the way home we came across this chap on a wall. It didn’t look too happy. I wonder if autumn is a little too cold for mantises. This was the biggest mantis I’ve seen around here and sadly they’re not very common.

It was time to go home but, of course, the kids did not want to go back in.

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