We bicycled yesterday through Montigny, Grez, Villliers-sous-Grez, Larchant and Nemours. And I exhausted myself in pushing Marguerite about 10 mies altogether against a head wind. We had tea at Villiers, just a straggling village without any attraction except that of its own life. During our tea the drone of a steam-thresher was heard rising and falling continually.
Tea in the street; they brought out and pitched for us a table, also vast thick basins, which we got changed for small coffee-cups. But we could not prevent the fat neat clean landlady from serving the milk in a 2-quart jug which would have filled about a million coffee-cups. We sat in the wind on yellow iron chairs, and we had bread and perhaps a pound of butter, and a plate of sweet biscuits which drew scores of flies. Over the houses we could just see the very high weather-cock of the church. Everything was beaten by wind and sunshine. From the inside of the little inn came hoarse argumentative voices. Curious to see in this extremely unsophisticated village a Parisian cocotte of the lower ranks, She was apparently staying at the inn. With her dog, and her dyed hair (too well arranged), and her short skirt, and her matinée (at 4.30 p.m.), and her hard eyes, she could not keep from exhibiting herself in the road. The instinct of ‘exposition’ was too strong in her to be resisted. She found fifty excuses for popping into the house and out again.
Journals of Arnold Bnnett - August 26th 1907.