Tuesday, October 23, 2007

We have just returned from 10 days away, the longest time we have spent away from France since we moved here. We flew to London Thursday 11th October and spent the night with Martin, well not literally, but we did share a very nice and much missed curry.
We flew to Bodrum in Turkey, on the Friday and stayed at my son, Richard's house which overlooks a new golf course.

We had a very decadent week, relaxing, reading, eating and drinking and he even drove us everywhere - pefect!It's nice when your investment in your kids starts to pay off!!

This is the view from the roof terrace.

We felt it was our responsibility to check out the local eating establishments which were excellent.

Richard enjoying the good life!

And a final lunch before we flew home.

We spent the weekend in Surrey, and as ever thanks to Sue & Tim for giving up their luxurious master bedroom suite for us, and to Martin for letting me pilfer his wine and liquer supply. It was great to see the Rugby World cup Final at the swan and catch up with friends.

And now we return to France where over the weekend winter has arrived, with temperatures dropping from the mid 20's last week to 5 degrees today and minus 4 over night - something tells me this could be a cold winter!

I was greeted by a speeding ticket with a fine and points to my non existant French licence which I will now have to obtain! We went today to the 'pre facture' who sent us to the 'office du Justice' who referred us to our Maire! watch this space!

And finally, whilst we have been away Thijs has been hard at it, this is our house.

And the second one.

We Have walls!!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Despite the rock we were able access and pour concrete today.

So the foundations to the garage were completed.

As were the floors to the Gites.

And finally the ground floor to the second house.

Meanwhile the sun is still shining and our friends Geoff and Wendy take a dip to cool off.

Whilst in preperation for winter the chiminee sweep does his job sending a hedge hog up the chiminee to clean it!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Another weekend and another trip to the Rugby! It has been quite a weekend with England beating Australia and France beating the All Blacks - there were some 39000 people partying in Marseille Saturday night.

Today, Sunday we are off to see South Africa play Fiji.It was expected to be Wales accordingly there was a large presence of Welsh , some of whom were clearly very wealthy and had arrived in style.

Getting in to the French way before we go any where in the afternoon we must eat and of course there is only one thing to eat in Marseille Fish and Shell fish.

And the Welsh were in fine spirits and voice - we joined this crowd on the metro !

There a great atmosphere at the match which South Africa won.

This guy, who must have been boiling was carrying a banner saying 'even batman could not save the Aussies and the all blacks!'

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Our relationship with our Irish Neighbour has deteriorated further. She has placed a rather large rock in an attempt to stop us getting materials on to the site. However a better photograph would be her face when she saw the lorry turn up with our blocks and Thijs bring his fork lift truck up and collect them avoiding her blockage! The only person really suffering is the onward neighbour, who's drive she has totally blocked although he does have an alternative access.

Meanwhile building progresses, we have mains water, Electricity and drainage. This is our house with the blocks delivered today which will be the outside walls.

And this is the second house with the sub floor and basement, the concrete floors will be poured next week then walls start going up with the prediction that the roof will be on by Christmas and the windows will be in.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Sunday 30th September

We are in a celebratory mood as it is 2 years to the day since we left the UK to live in France. It has gone so fast and we have done so much - just wish the French had come on a little better!

Today we are at the Rugby in Marseille with friends Steve & Connie to see the France v Georgia match. There is a crowd of just under 60,000,all good natured and of course before any afternoon activity every french man must have his lunch! Note the menu and interesting English translations!

This is Steve tucking his Starter rather glamorously called a seafood shandy! The French menu's are far more appealing.

The Velodrome stadium has quite an impressive backdrop.

Fans go to all sorts of lengths to show their support

And this most be the most bizarre thing I have ever seen at a sporting match! The French mascot is a Cockerel so these guys bought a live one with them - it was perfectly behaved and as far as we know was not eaten!Why they were dressed as they were we shall never know! takes all sorts!Can you imagine getting through security at Wembley.

And despite the fact that all the beer served was ALCOHOL FREE! everyone had a great time - helped I am sure by the win 64 to 7!
Thursday 27th September

As we were in our summer clothes and shoes we decided to head home as it was freezing! I had also been contacted during the week by a new client asking to view houses Saturday. We were confronted by some rather extreme weather on our drive across the Southern Alps. The earliest Snow fall in 30 years!

Wednesday 26th September

We woke to cloudy skies and temperatures about half of the day before! from 30 degrees to 15!quite a shock. We headed North to the Barolo wine region staying in a lovely small village called Neive.

Sadly the rain only persisted!

We booked into a nearby restaurant where we had a memorable meal and wine, outside under a covered and thankfully heated terrace!
Pictures from Italy, the views from the coastal paths we walked along, a boat shelering off Monaco and Italians doing what they do best - talking!

Tuesday 25th September

We drove to Rapallo where we parked the car and took the ferry to Portofino via Santa margherita. This is Rapallo, a very nice seaside town.

And this is Santa Margherita which has several up market Hotels.

We approach Portofino one of Italy's most beautiful Harbours.

Before lunch time for an aperitif

We had a superb lunch over looking the harbour and considering where we were, it was not bad value!
We continued our trek to the village of Vernazza, our favourite I think being quite lively and having a small beach.

Monday 24th September

From Levanto we were ideally positioned to explore the 'Cinque Terre', 5 perched villages which overlook the sea. We took the train from Levanto to the furthest one, Riomaggiore.

From here we walked a long the coastal path to the next village, Manarola. The railway runs through tunnels, occasionally revealing itself and taking in the stunning views.

There were 382 steps to the next village of Corniglia where we took a short rest and well earned beer!