Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Last swim of 2012!

I think this is it!
I turned the pool heating off almost two weeks ago since when the water temperature has drifted down from 25 degrees to 18. However the recent warm sunshine has lifted the temperature to a whisker short of 22 degrees.
And with todays weather at 23 in the shade and 38 in the sun it seemed rude not to enjoy the pool probally for the last time this year as the forecast is for cooler weather at the weekend.
 I started swimming in March when the water was a cool 16 degrees and I end at 22 degrees a week short of November - not bad eh!
Still smiling! 

The Ceder Forest

Despite living here 7 years we are still making new discoveries, this one long over due.
At the top of 'La Petit Luberon' is the 'Foret des Cedres' a cedar Forest from which there are amazing views, and a superb area for walking and cycling.
From the viewing point there are spectacular views over Bonnieux, the Luberon valley towards St Saturnin with the 'Montagne de Vaucluse' and 'Mont Ventoux' behind
Bonnieux from the North side with the Perreal hiding part of St Saturnin 
the flat paths are perfect for cycling and walking, they also have plenty of shade in the hot summer.

Unusually when we visited last week the wind was coming from the south, it was warm but incredibly strong and Karen was almost blown off her feet!
On the way up you will see this 'folly,' rumour has it the owner built it hoping to get a view of Marseilles, 
but when he finally moved in it was too short so he jumped off and killed himself!

Not with standing go and enjoy - it is so not Provence - yet quite beautiful.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Autumn treats

The market in Coustellet has an array of autumn produce including these colourful squashes, courgette flowers and some amazing mushrooms.
Come and enjoy the colours and flavours of the Luberon.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lavender cutting

I have just cut the lavender at Les Cypres and the scent is truly amazing.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Last swim of the season?

13th October and our gite pool is 25 degrees helped by the black rendered finish reflecting the warm sun , oh and a little heating too!
The pool at Le chene & Les Cypres is still 21 degrees and has been used this week by the guests . So come and enjoy the late summer sun , book now for 2013!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Walking to the top of the Luberon

Both our houses & gites over look the Grand Luberon mountain which rises to 1153 Metres at the top of which is a huge telecommunications mast , but that is not all, there are literally 365 degree views ......

But the early morning mist had to clear first, which by about 10 am it leave clear blue skies..

on route up, Karen with Gene our gite client who was joining us.

one of our first stops to take a look at the view - not bad!

the lichen on the trees shows how clear the air is

 and in the more sheltered spots the rocks and trees are covered in Moss

Just avoid the cobwebs!

As we approach the top the mast becomes clearer,
 although at first we were not sure we were on the right hill top!

The final push to the top

We found a good way up, 5 kilometres, climbing 600 metres and it took a fairly easy 90 minutes.

From the top the views are breathtaking , to the North we could see the snow topped southern Alps, to the East Mount St Victoire close to Aix, in the South Marseilles including the airport and Mediterranean sea, whilst in the West we could see the Alpilles and Mont Ventoux.

Saint Saturnin Les Apt is on the lower slope with the mighty Ventoux behind.

Part of our return route was easier, 5 k down in about an hour, but still wonderful views.

Another part of our route down was this stone cobbled path, dating back hundreds if not thousands of years..

We reach the bottom and still the scenary is beautiful - this Lavander field is perfect.

Our final stopping point is the hilltop village of Saignon.
A great walk, 10k round trip , take a picnic & enjoy.

A splendid Autumn day

Not bad for 10th October, 26 degrees, all three pools still being used by our happy clients

Manual washing machine!

Our frequently photographed fountain is still be used as a laundry by one of the village residents, she collects wood to heat her hot water, has no heating but still manages to walk around the village every day, hold aperos with neighbours ( pastis) and join the locals on the nearby bench nightly to put the world to rights!

Friday, October 05, 2012

Prevention is better than cure!

Comparing living in France to England is very common topic of converstaion, and one of the most popular subjects is the health service.
Having reached the ripe old age of 50 I am offered a colon cancer test.

So, an appointment at the doctor is necessary to collect the paper work!

At this time my Doctor asked when I last had my cholesterol checked - here is part of the conversation -
"two years ago" I replied.
"What! 2 years, well we had better check that again, what about Blood pressure? - let me check that - perfect - heart - let me listen - did you know you have a heart murmer?"
 "no" I replied  - "skin specialist?" - "two years ago also - ok best see her again too!"

So here is the blood test - I hope to survive to continue to tell my tayls!
It does confirm though the pro active approach of our French Doctor to get everything checked out hopefully before I hit the slippery slope rather than when I am half way down it!

Friday morning run

I set off as the sun was coming up this morning. A great run, the vines are just beginning to change colour.

Stunning Autumn morning

October is one of the most beautiful months in the Luberon with cold mornings soon warmed by the sunshine, todays high 26 degrees, perfect to finish the grape harvesting (vendange).

Monday, October 01, 2012

Karen and I took up running in March , Karen retired in May due to an injury whilst I have kept going. I am pleased to say Karen is now back out again . Here is one of the routes we are doing. Fabulous scenary.