Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sunday 23rd September

We arrived in Camogli, a very pretty fishing harbour, just after lunch. Once again The Italians were out in force promenading and enjoying the late Summer sunshine.

Just time to take in a beer, Panini and an ice cream!

before moving on to out next stop - Levanto.
Saturday 22nd September

We arrived for lunch in Monaco.

This is the Palais du Prince where the Government runs the state.

We took in a ride around this vibrant town, including part of the Formula 1 race track and the famous Casino

which is surrounded by exotic gardens, cars and err- people!

The Cathedral is where Grace Kelly married.

And so late afternoon we took off for Italy arriving in San Remo at dusk, where the streets were packed with Italians chatting and Promenading! After finding our Hotel we took in the town and found a good simple Italian restaurant- what else!
Friday 21st September

We headed off for Italy, stopping on route in Port Grimaud, where my former business Partner has a house. After a spell on the beach, swim in the sea we went out for dinner at a very nice restaurant. This is the view we woke up to on our first morning.A pretty good start!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

No Blogging for a week - we are off to put the MX5 through it's paces in Italy, on the Riviera

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

We were working out its been Karen's Mum 9th Visit since we moved here which will be an incredible two years in a fortnight! how time flies when you are having fun!

Whilst I was out side painting I could hear raptures of laughter coming from the lounge - on entering I find Karen and my belle mère (the mother in law!)making themselves beautiful for dinner out on Friday! And here is the result - what a fantastic product!

We have excelled ourselves over the last week, we even worked Saturday & Sunday getting all the windows painted - so apart from a little touching up here and there the project here is completed. Here is the before

and after.

The new houses are gradually advancing with the main focus this last 10 days on the second house. The Floor beams will soon be added after which the concrete floors will be laid as they will be to the Gites.

So far we have only encountered small problems on the build, the most recent being that the entrance to the garage on the second house was too tight but we have been able to change it to 3 metres which should accommodate most vehicles!

This week has also bought a change in the weather - until Monday we were still basking in temperatures of near 30 degrees. Monday night the most amazing storm rumbled in with lightening and torrential rain for about 3 hours. When we awoke Tuesday morning we could not see our neighbours for the mist. Within hours the Mistral blew in clearing the mist, drying the air and reducing the temperature , albeit to a rather fresh 20 degrees!

The overnight temperature last night fell to 5 degrees and I awoke to a superb clear sky. I had a meeting with an agent this morning in Bonnieux, it is a wonderful drive with the roof down,

through vineyards (well not literally!) with views to Mont Ventoux, seen here from across the valley in Bonnieux.

After this we headed across to Nimes to look at bathrooms - very exciting! but we stopped for lunch just outside Avignon at one of those special places you occasionally stumble across. By 12.30 we just found a parking space, on entering there was an instant buzz and atmosphere, it was also evident that it was full of office workers. My menu comprised a green salad with Garlic dressing, Chicken with pasta and a lovely cream and tarragon sauce followed by ile flottante for desert , coffee and a quarter of wine for 13€ - thats 9 pounds. Superb!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Well since last blogging we have been in blighty! Great to catch up with lots of people, managed to fit in a curry and Gurka meal, something we do not get here.Thanks to all those who made it to the Swan.Thanks also to those who accommodated us particularly Sue & Tim for giving up their luxurious Master suite!.
As ever in the UK it struck us, despite the reasonably warm weather how cloudy it was! sorry! how expensive eating & drinking is although by contrast the consumer still does well in the UK compared to France and of course how painful the M25 is, over just 4 days we enjoyed two stationary traffic jams after major accidents - Joy!

And so we returned home, to the blue skies of Provence, on Tuesday we had
to abort our French lesson as I had a meeting with clients seeking land together with the agent & vendors. We met at 11am on their pool terrace, over looking the Luberon and sat in hot sunshine drinking rose till almost half past one! Where else in the world do you conduct negotiations like this!The deal is almost done!

Wednesday I was grape picking on a friends Domaine,

it's the first time I have seen the sun rise for quite a while! We picked from 8 am to 12noon after which we enjoyed a well earned lunch in the courtyard before resuming picking till 5.30.

We picked almost 3 tons of grapes between 9 of us and this year looks like its going to be a gooden!

This is the juice as it is extracted from the grapes

Monday, September 03, 2007

On Sunday friends invited us Stock Car racing which takes place locally, annually. I confess I was not to keen , but we thouroughly enjoyed it. What fantastic fun! Although I don't think I will be taking it up as a sport!

It was the Marshalls who were most at risk trying to avoid being run over or hit by a flying car - literally!

This was our favourite together woith the yellow/green van which despite losing its rear wheel still went back into another race after!

We are currently embarking on the final phase of work to our current villa, namely repainting all the windows. Concealed behind one of the shutters we appear to have a pet Bat living and trying to get thru the fly screen was this rather unusual critter - thank goodness for fly screens!