Monday, 19 October 2015

Autumn update

A lot of the time I don't have much of interest to share, and therefore don't post, but I've noticed that I still enjoy it when other people post about everyday stuff, so, here's a little catch up, just to say hello.

I had to pop down south last week to deal with some family stuff. My big sis still lives down there so it was a lovely opportunity to go and see her.
My sis works in the cafe at a vintage bazaar. She's always been good with food and is very sociable, so it's the perfect job for her.

After she finished work, we went to visit a relative in hospital. I knew it would be the last time I would see him, so it was the chance to say goodbye. Now he's gone, the last of his generation. As kids we adored him, he always made us scream with laughter. Even to the end, he retained his sense of humour. When the nurse came in, he said with a massive cheeky grin, 'I've got a present for you' and produced his bed pan.
My accommodation and me, the morning after the night before, feeling a little bit delicate. The cheeky tenants took the bathroom mirror with them when they left, so I had to use my ipad as a mirror. Necessity is the mother of invention.
I was staying in my mum's empty house and was a bit worried about how it would be, whether memories of how she was when she was living there would make me sad and keep me awake. I needn't have worried. My sis took me out on a pub crawl. Turns out it wasn't maudlin thoughts which kept me awake, it was the wine headache! But we did have fun. A friend from when we were teens has a wine bar in town, so we ended up there, having a good old laugh with him.
Get home, take shoes off, drink coffee, eat toast, go to bed. There's our newly tiled fireplace in the background there, still getting used to it.
I spotted this dress in the vintage bazaar. It's a paisley maxi dress, probably late 60s or early 70s. I wore it out last Friday night when we caught up with friends for drinks.
Then on Saturday after work, my lovely friend Angela came over, bearing gifts! This mirror belonged to her uncle. When his house was cleared out, she discovered it and thought I might like it. She's not wrong!

Thanks Angel-face! xx

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

A few days in the Dordogne

At the back end of September we had a few short but lovely days in France, in the Dordogne. It's wine-growing country. We had quite the eventful journey out there, but when we finally landed, the first thing we noticed was that even the tiny airport was surrounded by vines.
The number of vineyards is only equalled by the amount of castles. We only had time for a taster, so our three remaining days took in a chateau, a vineyard and a few little bastide towns.
We went with our friends Claire and Serena. They had the genius idea to do a wine tasting, and since it would have spoiled the experience if one of us had to drive, we found a vineyard near to our gite, strolling down country lanes to get to it.

Chateau Terre Vielle, that's our wine drinking table right there

There we spent an idyllic afternoon in the autumn sunshine, drinking red wine and having big fat juicy psychology discussions. The only thing that was missing was some tasty snacks. We spoke of olives and crisps and cheese. All that talking made us hungry, so we bought another couple of bottles and skipped off home all perky, to eat and drink some more.

Chateau de Beynac, Dordogne
The castle we went to featured in a Luc Bresson film called Jeanne d'Arc. It was everything a castle should be; huge and imposing, and the view over the river Dordogne was beyond compare.
The stables containing three old nags :)

It turns out that the village below the castle was used in the filming of Lasse Halstrom's Chocolat too. I'm going to have to rewatch it to see if I recognise anything.

We spent three days chasing markets. The booklets and the tourist information clearly stated where they were and on which days. We travelled expectantly here, there and everywhere. No markets to be seen!
We finally screeched to a halt at the market in Bergerac just as they were packing up. With minutes to spare, Serena and I both managed to bag ourselves a straw basket. Our dedication and tenacity paid off!
We had a nice mooch around Bergerac with its half-timbered buildings and impressive church. We even found Cyrano, lurking in the undergrowth.
Other than that, we ate, drank, chatted, laughed, basked in the sunshine, swam in the pool and generally enjoyed just being together at our gorgeous gite.

 A wonderful time was had by all. I generally only have one question after a holiday, and that is, where to next?