At lunchtime I took the back route down into Boé, once just a small village, now a huge retail park on the far side of Agen.
We are having a kitchen panic! Yesterday we trailed round five kitchen shops looking for ideas for the cottage. Monday we spent nearly all day in Ikea in Bordeaux and today I went back to one of the shops we visited yesterday to get a proper quote. The sudden rush is that I'm back in the UK from tomorrow for a week and there are deals to be had before the end of March.
The back route winds and twists its way over the hills that shape the Garonne and the Lot valleys. Sharp bends through woodland open up to vistas of rolling farmland and distant villages. The hedgerows are crisp pale green and the plum trees are in bloom. Miles of orchards clinging to the hillsides are flushed with white or pink, the trunks stark black against the new green grass and buttercups at their feet.
For much of the way, I have the road to myself. It is, after all, lunchtime. For a few miles I get caught behind a huge farm vehicle, like a giant bright yellow child's toy. Great fat wheels straddle both sides of the road and the back of the truck looms over my car. The camper van that I'd passed miles back (first of the season) catches up with me and we crawl along in convoy until the truck pulls over. I wave as I pass and I'm back to a clear road. It beats shopping for kitchens round the M25 and the South Circular.
The plum blossom will be over by the time I'm back. But by then the tulips, pushing their way up through the pansies, should be in bloom.