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Welcome to the Tuesday ramble:
Cheers and have a good week.
Wednesday, 28 May 2008
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
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Monday, 26 May 2008
It poured down today. I haven't seen anything like it.. since.. well, since every other day in Auckland.
This thick heavy rain just seemed to come and go all day. It fortunately missed Ange's trip to the market and Beynac which is the subject of the next blog.
This afternoon Henry was driving his mum and brothers crazy so I took him out for a walk to survey the neighbourhood for flood damage. We both got thoroughly drenched and had a nice hot bath when we got home.
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Today is Mothers Day in France. This made me realise that I must have missed Mothers Day in NZ, which yes I understand was 2 weeks ago.
Henry and Jack had both made me small boxes at school and James had made a wind chime which is now sitting in pride of place on our door to alert us to any visitors arriving.
Don had taken Henry into Villefranche yesterday to buy me something and they chose two boxes. Don did not know what the kids had been up to at school and suggested to Henry today that he might have mentioned it yesterday. Oh well I now have plenty of storage for all my bits and bobs. Don does know I am a hoarder and now you all do too!
Friday, 23 May 2008
Gosh the pressure I am under now to write this blog. Don has already tempted everyone with one of my maypole photos for our Tuesday tune-up, now I have to front with something else interesting for the reading public.
Well, the start of the maypole story begins when our closest neighbour all of a sudden had this 'monument type structure' in their driveway, aka a maypole.
He had stood for the local council and and yes he was successful and as tradition goes here in France (and they are BIG on tradition) the locals turn up with this big maypole which they duly erect in your driveway in recognition of your new standing as a councillor for the village. If you look closely at the photos you can see the words HONNEUR ELU which translate to "honour of being elected" in English.
You may be interested to know that councillors are elected here for 6 years, not 3 like in NZ, so great news if you want a big project done and completed, not so good if you want to get rid of them (I guess.....)
So as we have been driving around different villages over the past few weekends we keep seeing these maypoles and we know "oh someone there has been elected to the council" etc, etc.
It is quite liberating actually, imagine the months needed to obtain planning consent in NZ to get this sort of thing erected.
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Thursday is market day in Monsempron-Libos which is adjacent to Fumel township.
It is one of the bigger markets in the area and we jostled with throngs of market goers to navigate down the narrow passageways. I took the camera along and took some sneaky shots "from the hip" (literally).
Looks like something has caught Ange's eye, I'll have to go back and "rescue" her.
This is a map of the Fumel area. Our main destination for shopping trips 23 kms away. While made up of a number of towns everyone seems to refer to it as Fumel.
Thursday, 22 May 2008
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After a couple of quiet weeks I felt that we were somewhat overdue for another adventure. I was really keen to try out a few caves and had read good things about this cave just outside the town of Le Bugue.
Le Bugue is a beautiful town on the Vézère river, along which many of the great prehistoric caves of Southwest France are located. Check out our Adventure Map for location details.
I was expecting a large cave system but this was a large caven. The rather dangerous sink hole entrance was known to the locals back in the 18th century but the caven wasn't explored until 1907.
The caven is 57m deep and roughly 80m wide, it has some really amazing stalactites, stalagmites and various calcium draperies and column formations.
The tour was quite short around 35m but we saw everything. I was a little disappointed, I suppose I prefer the sort of caves that go on for miles. The sort of place you can get lost in or at least loose a kid or three. We will have to keep looking.....
"This isn't as big as the black-hole cave in NZ, Dad"
Wednesday, 21 May 2008
Welcome to the Tuesday Ramble:
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Today we decided to get back on the bikes after a few weeks rest. Benjie and Oscar were most disturbed to find out that they would not be welcome to tag along. After my initial attempts to trick them failed, I had to resort to some french instruction to get them to "stay" - "house".
Much to my surprise this actually seemed to work so I sent Ange off ahead while I repeated the stern instructions at the gate. Anyway, I flew past her somewhere near the neighbours house, lets just say that I miscalculated her downhill speed:)
I stopped down in the village and when Ange appeared in view I could see that her bike had grown four little legs just behind the back wheel. So we abandoned this attempt and decided to have lunch early. On the way back up the hill we found the other four big legs, sitting on his bum, gasping for breath.
We had a relaxing lunch, a swim, a rest and then set off again.
This time the dogs found themselves locked in the garage. They were not at all happy but they had everything they needed and I gave them some special attention when we got home.
I should also mention that the cat, Morfeat, has returned after a worrying 10 day absence. He was very skinny, very hungry and covered in ticks. He has spent the last few days staying very close to the house and has been wanting lots of attention.
Back to the bike ride: we ended up on a shorter course, out the back way through Mazeyrolles, down through Le Got and looping back via the Le Got - Monpazier road.
The village of Mazeyrolles will need another visit, there seems to be quite a few interesting things (touristy) going on that we didn't know about.
It is really amazing how much the landscape has changed, everything is just so green. In winter we could see deep into the bush, whereas now it is just a dense wall of green. Very beautiful.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
We are the dead. Short days ago
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
Monday, 19 May 2008
Friday, 16 May 2008
Well the day time heat and the almost nightly rain showers are helping the garden along nicely. The first lot of spuds, garlic and onions that I planted are doing well.
Lots more has gone in and today I spent a backbreaking afternoon planting capsicum, aubergine and courgette that I bought from a market this morning with the help of a friend.
Don came to the rescue and helped plant 6 new tomato plants as well. So far the pests seem to be staying away "touch wood" with the help of some coffee grounds and egg shells. But I am just a beginner to this gardening lark so any of you who are old hands at this please send me a comment with any helpful tips you might have.
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
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Welcome to the Tuesday Ramble:
Tuesday, 13 May 2008
The pool has seen quite a bit of use over the last week... wetsuits are no longer required! Yes. It is surprising how our two non-swimmers are coping with the lack of a shallow end (the pool is 1.5m deep end to end).
James is jumping in with abandon and paddling his way to the side, he'll be waterborne in no time: a very good outcome. On the weekend I had been trying to convince the kids to go out for another adventure but all they wanted to do was "play in the pool dad"!
Yes.. these pictures don't actually show anyone swimming. It is a bit hard to take a picture with one hand while still poised to jump-in to effect a rescue: just relax don they'll be fine.
And what's with the wetsuits.. I thought.. OK so the pictures are a few days old.