Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Our Week in France

You might be forgiven, after seeing the photos of our transformed bathroom, for thinking that our petite maison boasts fine accommodation but as you can see from today's photos, there is a little more work required.  
Note the well appointed kitchen...

The cosy bed sitting room....

                                                                        The .......squat!!

You can now appreciate how it was a little difficult to "chill" in such surroundings. In fact my mind was in overdrive for most of the time just thinking of all the steps required .........which step to take first.............who is going to take those steps for us...

However having said all that we had a great time, eating al fresco....

Exploring the ruined end of the property....

Stopping to admire the flowers....

Oh to be in France again.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Generation Game

It is just two weeks, one day until my daughter's baby is due.  It has come round so quickly and we are all very excited.  I have been busy at my sewing machine helping her to make custom bedding as she didn't particularly like the ones in the stores, either too gender specific or too cutesy.

I have made a roman blind for the nursery and made cushions for the rocking chair. Tomorrow morning I will go over to their house to help put up the blind and put the room to rights.

It is really hard to believe that my baby girl is about to have a baby.  It has brought up lots of memories as you can imagine.  Here are a couple of shots of the mother-to-be.

Monday, July 20, 2009


The jet lag really knocked me for six last week and then over the weekend I went down with a cold ( not swine flu - although I did check the symptoms ).  So it has been an uneventful few days, but I did read a couple of good books which I can highly recommend.
  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova and 
  • The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar. 
Both very compelling and very readable.

But more news on France, when we finally arrived, we were itching to see what have transpired in our absence and couldn't wait to see the bathroom transformation:

The before and after:

As we first saw it back in 2007, with ivy coming in through the window, a toilet you wouldn't want to sit on and a scary looking hot water tank in the corner.  Looking at the picture it actually doesn't look as bad as it did in reality but even so I think you will agree the present state is a great improvement.  Note the vanity unit built by son!
Click on the pictures for a closer look.

We were thrilled with the results of our neighbour's handiwork and rushed up the road to introduce ourselves and convey our delight.  What a lovely lady - within minutes were were sat in her back garden with a glass of wine to hand - those are the kind of neighbours we like!  

A little later back at the house we found we were in need of a corkscrew (I can't believe son and girlfriend survived for three months without one) and a bread knife to cut the bread made by same neighbour!!  So she joined us for the rest of the evening to partake in several mugs of wine (yep - no glasses either).  Welcome to France :)

Another transformation later in the week was the front yard.  Everytime we get there we have to cut back all the weeds so we decided to take the matter in hand and we totally cleared out the beds, and cut back all the unwieldy "shrubs", put down some membrane to inhibit the weeds and spread gravel.  It looks a bit clinical but we are hoping that the lavender we planted will eventually give the yard some colour.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

Bewitched by our little piece of France, just love it and never want to get back on the plane; by all the lovely people we have met over there;
Bothered that we cannot get there permanently just yet; that it will live up to the dream when we finally do;
Bewildered and befuddled by jet lag and hence the delay in posting.

Don't know where the title popped up from but it kind of sums up how I feel right now.

It was, as usual, a whirlwind trip, three days in the UK visiting friends and family, attending a great family party, my brother's 25th wedding anniversary.  A wonderful time was had by all, it was three in the morning as we poured ourselves back into the taxi!

Sunday morning included a fabulous British breakfast which certainly help to diminish the hangover before we had to rush off to catch the plane to Nice.  Wow it was very warm and beautiful there.  

We met up with son and girlfriend and drove along to Antibes where they are staying, another few drinks (it was a very liquid vacation!) down in the old town of Juan les Pins, very lively with lots of lovely street stalls selling jewellery and baskets.  Then we went up to find our hotel which was in the hills above the town amongst all the lovely villas, dripping in bougainvillea.

This is my handsome son and his gorgeous girlfriend and the view from our hotel balcony.

Then it was out to a very nice dinner with them.  When we got back to the hotel, they tried to call for a taxi (it was just after midnight) but nobody responded so they had to crash on our hotel room floor, it was very cosy LOL  (This photo was taken the morning after, wish that I looked that good after a night on the floor!)

We left them back in town early in the morning as they had to get to work and then we set off on the marathon 8 hour journey back up to our house.  The van they had purchased is ideal for picking up building materials, furniture etc and pootling around the villages, but not ideal for this journey.  It was very, very warm, no a/c, plastic was a long 9 1/2 hours by the time we reached our destination but it was worth it!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

And we're off!!

Yes I think almost everything is done, just Ralph to the kennels, pick up one more gift from the Liquor Store and hand the key over to our neighbours so they can take our mail in for us.  GWE is currently stuck in Chicago, flight delayed, so our turnaround window is shrinking, typical!  Looks like he will be landing around 3.30 - 4.00 and then back home in rush hour, re-pack the cases and back to the airport leaving home around 7.15!

It has cooled off a bit today but still very sticky.  However I spoke to our "tiling neighbour" yesterday and she said it is very warm over there, 40+ degrees.  I don't think we will need to light our wood burning stove!

One positive thing is that the boat is sold, I had to meet the buyer down at the marina at 10.15 this morning to do the deal!  That is a weight off our minds, and a little bit more in the bank account.  Perfect timing.

So watch our Europe, we are (almost) on our way.