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three

The call and response of owls has faded. The bell of a church concealed in the blackness strikes seven and the incoming day is heralded by the abrupt dawn chorus of crowing cockerels. Almost an hour later the arrival of the sun lights the sky aflame, incandescent all around with every hue of red and orange and yellow and pink imaginable. A buzzard drifts across the hushed fields. Through an archway an imposing cathedral looms over the landscape a few kilometres ahead. Drinking a café crème outside a bar on the edge of a square tricolors hang limp from the roof line of the grand town hall opposite. An unremarkable grey sky hangs languidly above a lugubrious scene of a market where the only customers seem to be mannequins in summer dresses on an autumn morning, pretty colours dulled by the weather. A solitary carousel slowly spins on the edge of the square. It only adds to the melancholia of the scene despite its happy tune. Returning north long straight roads undulate like stretched out sine waves. Clicking back and forth between a couple of gears, slight drag up hill, spin down hill. Head down. Should have a tailwind soon.

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