Sunday, 10 November 2013


This year Mum and I headed off to Barcelona for a week of fun and relaxation.  It was not hard to relax, the size of the glasses of wine and Sangria were huge!

As usual with our trips we managed to get a few photos of some lovely architecture on our walking trips (we did a lot of that) and for the first time ever, mum spent more than me on shopping. 

The view from the National museum over the city.

The view from our hotel room balcony, just off La Rambla and a narrow street view on one of our wanders.

One of the best shopping experiences was at the market - massive it was too and under a spectacular mirrored ceiling - we would go here again!!
Roll on nest years trip - we are going to give *M*I*C*K*E*Y* *M*O*U*S*E* a try!!


Monday, 5 August 2013

London & our anniversary

Each year S&X travel to the UK and spend a few days with us before we all travel to Lille.

This year was he first time Charlie had his passport and came along two.  At home Charlie has a glass balcony where he will sit and watch the world go by.  Here he adopted the front dressing room window and laid out on the seal.  Our neighbour came knocking and I must admit we too were worried that he might jump.  So we shut the window just in case!!

X is a plane anorak and heads off to Duxford for the day, whilst S and her daughter J and I head off to London for some retail therapy and a show.  We booked the matinee show of Mamma Mia - our feet need the rest as J can shop hard.
We made a very silly mistake when we arrived at Covent garden tube station.  There was a queue for the lift so we said we would take the stairs out.  Big mistake in this heat! The stairs are circular and I counted 180 to street level.  we were so shattered when we got to the top that we had to take a rickshaw to the theatre which was a very pleasant experience.  J thoroughly enjoyed the show and nothing was lost in translation.

Funny thing was when we were travelling back to France on the ferry we were perfume shopping in duty free and I buy the same every year (Knowing by Estee Lauder_ but it somehow made us burst into song.  "Knowing me, Knowing you, ARHH HARR"  

I think I have mentioned before that we all married the same year and only 2 weeks apart so we always have a joint anniversary party when we get back to France - really it is just an excuse for us to have a drink together.

This year was Iron.  We bought S&X personalised coasters on an iron stand (failed to get a picture of these but they were great) M&J gave us this gorgeous Iron - now in the kitchen as a doorstop and S&X gave us a iron cockerel - he fits in with the other very nicely.


Honfleur and our last night

Every year (if we can fit it in) we can't resist taking a day trip to Honfleur. It is such pretty place with some interesting shops and a great little spot for restaurants.

Picked up these "very French" red gingham napkins with lace trim and as you can see I have not hung around in utilising them.

Our last evening we took a trip out to a restaurant with Anick and Micheal and as usual plenty of fun had by all.


Chaise Dieu du Theil

Off to Chaise Dieu du Theil, for some fishing brocante shopping and a drink or two

Ooops - proof that it was not a dry trip!

We stay with Anick and Micheal and have done for the past 8 years. Over the years, they have become friends and Anick spoils us, firstly with a big welcoming hug and then with her fabulous cooking.  She has promised to share some recipes with me and I might include these on future blogs.
Each morning when we head off on our travels Anick arms us with two hampers for our day. One with a blue ribbon (for the boys) and containing three bottles of red along with lunch.  The other is identified with a pink ribbon (for the girls) and contains two bottles of white along with our lunch.

The boys fish and one of their stops is in Chaise Dieu.

This is one of M's favourite spots.  It is near to us and the hampers when we turn up for lunch and very comfortable for an afternoon snooze to sleep off the van rouge.

M congratulates J on his catch in true french style. It made some beautiful fillets, which we took home and hot smoked them.

We girls travelled out in the mornings for a little brocante shop, join the guys for lunch and enjoy an afternoon snooze on a blanket with our books. On one of our trips I picked up these charming silver (not real silver) knife rests - I got a et of 12 and am very pleased with them.


Sunday, 26 May 2013

Our hobbies & collections

I'm into horses, dogs, I have a collection mouse (not really sure how it started) and cockerel ornaments. M is into fishing (fly mainly but has also done quite a bit of sea game fishing), model ship building, reading up on the American Civil War and tackling the many many DIY challenges the house offers.

This is George Brown, the brown trout (caught by M) that adorns his study wall. Below it as a beak off a 100lb Sail fish he caught in the Maldives on a boys fishing trip. 

The mice collection is growing - I started off with one that I placed on the wooden ledge above the stairs, now they are getting into every room of the house.  They add character, well it is my excuse!


Thursday, 16 May 2013

Birthday Weekend

Had a fabulous bank holiday weekend in France, lots of fun and laughter!
We celebrated J's 75th birthday, with friends X&S and their children J &B.  We pet name B, one of the children with SB, short for Sexy Beast and he really is turning into one so there is no way he is going to loose that little label. He has just joined Gendarmerie school and looks very fine in his uniform.

Every year we celebrate our wedding anniversary with  X&S as they married two weeks after we did.  Any excuse for a party and we always have so much fun!  This year will be as in the past they come and stay for a weekend with us and then we head back to their hometown in France to have our party. This year there will be a difference "Charlie" has his pet passport and will be coming too. He's a lovely family dog and we look forward to welcoming him.


Friday, 1 February 2013

Take me back!!


Out and about

What I didn't expect are in the shots to follow? Was the huge divide between working class and rich properties. There were chickens, cockerels and dogs loose and in abundance. And the road kill - monkeys and mongoose!

Corrugated tin seems to be the preferred roofing material - noisy in the rainy season I bet


The spice market

We visited a great market with gorgeous traditional Caribbean outfits (couldn't resist a top for our great niece) exotic flowers, fruit and veg, rum punch and spices in abundance.


Out and about in the Caribbean


Having never been to the Caribbean before, my expectations were of brightly coloured wood clad properties in tones of lime green, fuchsia pinks, canary yellows, varying shades of white and bright blues.
Along with some oldie worlde french architecture, lush great foliage, exotic flowers, huge palm trees and soft sandy beaches. I was not disappointed and I got some fabulous shots. The whole way of life in the Caribbean is very relaxed and steady, there are not timetables at bus stops and lunches are long. The easy going relaxed approach is very pleasant and I corrected myself many a time when I started to rush, to just relax with the pace.