It had been several months since my fateful operatic encounter with the young Parisienne and her bewitching sea green eyes. The resulting scenes between my uncle and this vaping goddess plagued my dreams, resulting in an almost permanently grumpy gourmand.
Unlike the rest of Europe, this gourmand likes to work during August and take time off in September when the weather is slightly cooler and most of the tourist’s are safely at home. On a whim I caught the train to Blois, determined to cycle around the Loire valley for a few days. Sure that a few Chateaux visits coupled with some tastings at a winery or two would be just the thing to help me forget all about seductive vapoteuses and uncles apparently oblivious to their oddly amorous advances.
It was late afternoon by the time I reached Chambord, tired but slightly exhilarated after all the exercise… I revelled in the quiet splendour of the marvellous architecture and after circumnavigating the entire structure I went inside to pick up a bottle or two of their famed raspberry liqueur.
They were closing but obliged me with two bottles and threw in a quick snifter for the road. Bless them.I was just reaching for my wallet when once again I heard the lilting laugh that thrilled me to my very soul. Slapping down a 100 euro note I grabbed the bottles off the counter and left without bothering to collect the change. Rushing to the front door, I observed a young lady peddling gracefully down the long drive… hands free… plumes of vapour in her wake.
There was not a second to spare, so I stuffed the two bottles into my saddlebags and sped off into the dusk desperately trying to catch her.
(N.B – Always remember to tuck your trousers into your socks when cycling)
Night fell swiftly and soon I was tracking the demoiselle by the faint light of her bicycle and the fragrant smell of cherries or was it almonds in the cool evening air? I could not be sure, so I pedalled faster. After all mysterious beauties with exquisite taste in e liquids are sadly all too rare these days.
She veered right upon exiting the estate, so naturally I redoubled my efforts to catch up as we sped down the long straight road heading for the river. The smell of violets became stronger and stronger as I drew closer and upon passing alongside the mysterious mademoiselle, I managed what I thought was a suave “Bonsoi – aaagh!”.
It would have been much more impressive had my flapping trouser leg not caught in her chain during the attempted “Parisian pass”.
Despite the crash cruelly exposing my ineptitude, the young lady actually landed on top of me in one of those frankly unbelievable Hollywood moments.
I leaned forward hoping for a kiss, fortune favours the brave, right?
I just about caught a glimpse of her open hand as she slapped the hope out of me.
“Are you crazy? She demanded.
“You are mad… or drunk or… both perhaps?
“My brakes failed and the smell of your vape was so intoxicating” I lied almost but not quite tongue tied and yet undeniably intoxicated by her beauty.
Spotting her ego one on the ground I picked it up, polished it with what was left of my shirt, made sure it was firing correctly and handed it back to her.
“Your vapour, it has a most unusual… bouquet” I said desperate to prolong the encounter and try that vape.
“Selene”… she said and took a long slow puff, deliberately blowing a plume in my face.
I inhaled a sour fruity vapour that was maddeningly elusive and yet slightly floral… the violets.
In these circumstances it pays to play it cool, I had no idea whether Selene was her name or that of the e liquid, so I merely said “mmm smells rather moreish, can I buy you a drink at the next town and perhaps we can discuss this most unusual vapour?”
She took a long hard look at me and decided that yes that would be fine but that she was meeting a friend for supper and perhaps I would like to join them?
She smiled knowingly as again I tried to play it cool, inwardly rejoicing, this was working out perfectly.
“Yes, but only if I can buy you both dinner?” After all desperate times call for desperate measures.
“Perfect” said my future wife and we set off… coasting down the long road into town.
Halfway down she handed me her ego one in a breathtaking Parisian pass.
“Here…try it…it’s really rather good.”
Her smile was all the sales pitch I needed.
Carefully checking the road ahead and the distance between us…I pressed the button and inhaled, it was cherries not almonds, with a vibrant violet floating over the top. At times mouthwateringly sour (Acerola?) at times sweet, it went from floral to sherberty… lost between Dubonnet, Chambord liqueur and Kirsch this was a really unusual vape. However this time it was I and not my burbling uncle sharing a glorious moment with this charming vapoteuse.
I smiled back and thanked her managing to pass back the vape without incident.
The journey passed quickly as we chatted about the benefits of cotton over rayon, claptons or twisted coils and many, many other topics of mutual interest, it was perhaps the most memorable evening of my life.
Arriving into the sleepy village of Muides sur loire we dismounted and elected to walk the last mile, I walked slowly determined to prolong this enchanting evening.
We parked up outside the “Aberge du bon terroir” and like any gentleman who has nearly maimed a beautiful young lady while attempting to catch her attention I held the door open.
She walked in and just as I was about to follow, I heard a familiar voice that turned heaven into hell.
“Don?… Don?… Is that you?”
I spun slowly on my heel as my mad uncle bounded up the steps bellowing “Fancy meeting you here Don, I was just about to have dinner with that girl from the Opera house…Selene.”
To sample the very essence of eccentricity please visit http://www.thenancara.com
Rating: Jack Butler Yeats http://www.bertc.com/subtwo/g108/
Auberge du bon terroir: http://www.auberge-bon-terroir.fr/