Luckily, on Friday some regulation safety vests arrived in the mail from our pal Lindsay, and I can now get on with my life.

Times when I've been working a regular job during the week, the weekend seemed like the only time to do the other things that pile up (laundry, dishes, bathing). This weekend I tried to take a break from the computer, where I spent all week confirming some last tour dates and making all kinds of travel plans. Like my fruitless weed-pulling in the courtyard, every time I think I'm almost finished, I'm back at it because more of the sneaky things keep popping up.

But it's hard not to catch the summery, relaxed feeling around here. It's August in France - the pace really does slow down as businesses close and people who have actual jobs take time off. But with the way the economy is, there is clearly less of that going on this summer.

Eric's been helping with the scene ouverte (or open mic night) at our local bar for several months. The idea is mostly for some of the younger musicians to have a chance to get out and play. For us, it seems to have become an opportunity to suck completely, as we did this past Friday when we massacred "Me & Bobby McGee". I think I was playing and singing in one key and Eric in another but it gave a clear message to the youngsters - you're never too bad or incompetent to strut your stuff in public.

We had a big excursion to the curry van planned for Saturday night. It is the only place within hundreds of miles to get decent Indian food, and it comes but once a week to a nearby village. Some friends had driven up from the Dordogne for a fix but it turned out the van was at the night market in another town. These night markets are happening all over this month - it's a novelty and special treat to be able to shop after 7 PM, and for the commercants it's a chance to make a little extra. We decided to go check one out and it was tacky, useless fun: lots of hippie-style ponchos and leather hats, fake flower arrangements and a guy at a keyboard playing a version of "On Broadway" that seemed to last the entire length of time it took for us to cruise all the stalls.

Yesterday I stood in line at the good bakery and ogled the treats in the case: eclairs, tartes aux fruits, mille-feuilles, religieuses. The place smelled incredible and I wanted to buy everything they had but stopped at some croissants and a chocolatine. Which meant of course that Eric and I had to take a bike ride, because we're "in training" for the tour. I think the hardest part of the strenuous routine is getting the bikes in the car so that we can drive to the (nearly flat) bike path. Still, it's something.

The sun came out late in the afternoon and I sat out at this little table we found recently at a vide grenier. Typical cafe table and four chairs, two with all their slats. I know we should paint it to cover the rust but the color is just too perfect. And I know we should cut the grass but hell, it was the weekend.