Going Forward but Looking Back

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I might be slightly unusual, but I miss the noise of the children. I miss the mess, I miss the chaos and the endless trail of wet footprints throughout the house. But now it’s the weekend and the weather is as good as any day in July or August; everyone’s at home and I’m back to picking up soggy swimming towels and hanging them out to dry; the mat outside the front door is once again littered with flip-flops waiting for someone to trip over them – everything is right in my world again! Read more

Breakfast with Friends

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Breakfast is perhaps my favourite meal of the day. During the holidays it’s invariably rather late and it’s one of those meals that just sort of happens, somewhat miraculously it all comes together without any planning. The youngest children will usually have been awake for hours, and they will have had an early morning snack, a yoghurt from the fridge or a banana; they know the routine and wait until everyone else stirs before they attempt anything else. Read more

Summer Evenings, Ancient Traditions and Moules!

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One evening last week we decided to go out for dinner. Hustling all the children into the car in a reasonably timely fashion we headed fifteen minutes down the road to the enchanting village of Mornac Sur Seudre. Listed as one of the prettiest villages in France it is something of a magnet to tourists. We weaved our way in between hundreds of likeminded people, content to stroll and soak up the atmosphere as we wandered through the narrow streets. We passed several restaurants already full and headed straight to the river and the little harbour of sorts at the very end of the village where the buildings meet the marsh. Read more

Summers in France

 

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We are spiralling far too quickly towards autumn. I don’t want summer to be over, not yet. If only I could press pause for a while.  The crowds are here, the tourists are here, and for once I am glad. So much of life here in the Charente Maritime is based on the tourism industry, and not just here but throughout the country. It’s been an horrific time for France of late, and I am so pleased to see the holidaymakers and tourists out enjoying all that this beautiful part of the world has to offer. There are cars from all over France here right now, along with the ever-present Dutch and a few British vehicles, a smattering of Swiss and German drivers and who knows how many other nationalities in other rented vehicles. They are filling up the hotels and guest houses, the gîtes and Chambre d’hotes. Read more

Friends for Tea

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I remember when we first arrived in the village; a couple of weeks later our two youngest girls started at the tiny local school, a pleasant five minute walk from our house, past the 12th Century Church, past the old Presbytery with its time-worn wrought iron gates and along the narrow winding lanes flanked by ancient stone cottages. Read more

Olympics, Blogging & French Life

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The Olympics in Rio have started and are now dominating the headlines. Being a very sporty family the games are a big event. My background is in horses and riding, having competed since I was a child, so I will want to watch everything equestrian-related. Then there is the sailing and of course the tennis. But we don’t want to waste these beautiful summer days inside watching television, thank goodness there are highlights every night!

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French Gardening and Summer Rain

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I am rarely the first person up in our family, I leave that badge to Roddy or the youngest girls. I prefer to remain in bed a few minutes longer where I like to lie and gather my thoughts; often Gigi will come in for a snuggle and I will plan my day, but yesterday I broke my own rules and I was up and out before the rest of the family had stirred. I wasn’t going anywhere special, there was no important meeting in my diary, I just wanted to capture the early morning light. I’ll do this every now and then; everyone wonders if I am feeling ok, but once in a while it’s fun to be the first to rise. I unlock the front door and open the french windows in the kitchen and let the cool morning air rush in.

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The French Market Experience

IMG_4685A visit to the weekly French market is the best way to buy food. But don’t be fooled into thinking it is just about fish and meat, fruit and vegetables.  Because it’s also most certainly about the people and their passion for the produce they are selling. It is an experience not to be missed and it is also one that simply cannot be hurried.

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France on the Go

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If anyone had told me I would be writing about Pokemon on the blog a while ago, I would have laughed, but it has taken France by storm. Yes it may all be rather silly, but there is so much tragedy in the world and so much horror that I thought something light-hearted from the school summer holidays, (rather like the hanging umbrellas in Rochefort) far removed from everyday normality, might be fun and if that means getting involved with the children and helping them find some rare Pokemon then so be it! Read more

Going Round in Circles on the 14th July

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Today I am going round in circles! One train of thought has led to another and then another, but stick with me because it does make sense – sort of! Today is the 14th July; today is La Fête National, the French National holiday, more commonly known as Le quatorze Juillet,  the fourteenth of July.

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