Monday, May 13, 2013
Work is underway, as you can see, at chez nous. We always have a bit of a rush at this time of year to get the garden up to scratch. Gay has a splendid vegetable garden but, as we tend to be out of the country until the end of April, things are a bit behind when we arrive home. My job is to keep the grass under control and to assist with any heavy lifting. Not to mention trying to repair the ravages from about ten thousand moles and the odd herd of cows or horses which somehow get into the garden. This year it was horses and although, unlike the cows, they did not snap our teenage fig trees off at ground level, their hooves have left some significant pot-holes (or nids de poules - chicken nests, as the French call them).
This year we have an added incentive to tidy up not only the garden, but the house, because we have put the property on the market with the intention of moving, in our dotage, to an apartment in Narbonne, 110 kms to the East.
The third picture, the pinnacle of our gable, shows, we believe, the face of Napoleon Bonaparte. The house was allegedly built by a drum major in Napoleon's Grande Armée.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
|Morning Mist in Uriage|
|Where to next?|
|Andy tucks in to breakfast|
We are home now. Left Switzerland on 30th April and drove to Uriage, just outside Grenoble. There we had a reunion with Andy Greene. If you recall, Andy is an American chemist who we met in New Zealand last year just after he had completed the third stage of his Big Walk from the North to the South of NZ.
This year we met him again, in Oamaru, just after he started the fourth and final leg of the project, which has stretched over 4 years.
Andy has lived in France for 40 years and his home is in Uriage. We went for a walk with him soon after we arrived. We also had dinner in the evening and breakfast again the next morning before we left for the long drive home. Due to a misunderstanding, Andy had expected us to stay for longer and he had a program of events planned, including treating us to the very handsome pizzas he makes. We had to take a rain check on that. We will definitely go back to Uriage, which seems a splendid small town and we think we have persuaded Andy to visit us here in the Pyrenees (Uriage is in the Alps).
Having completed his big walk in New Zealand, Andy is now looking for a new project. Any ideas, anyone?
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
That was the song which launched his solo singing career. Prior to that he was better known as a song writer - for instance he penned the famous "Crazy". He has recorded scores, if not hundreds, of albums, in many different styles and genres. He will have a go at anything, not always with pleasing results, but some of his songs are memorable.
He also seems to be a thoroughly nice chap. You can always tell by the way they treat their guests.and Willie is supremely kind and encouraging.
Happy Birthday Willie - and many more of 'em.
And the same goes for my brother Paul, who is slightly younger, but who nevertheless shares a birthday with Willie.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
|The view from one of K&K's balconies|
|A 200-metre walk brings you to this view|
|There are boats too|
|A door in the immaculate apartment building|
Beckenried is a ski resort - the lifts are about 300 metres from the house. In the summer the lifts take hikers up the mountain to some magnificent walks, I understand.
It's alovely place.
Monday, April 22, 2013
It is an article about disillusionment among the French people about the political and economic situation. Places mentioned and people quoted are several hundred kilometres to the north of us, in the dead centre of France - "la France Profonde", so I don't know why Puivert is pictured.
A pleasant surprise to see the picture - we didn't expect our first glimpse of the village for several months to be in a newspaper.
You can read the article by clicking here
Sunday, April 21, 2013
The last two flights were on the enormous Airbus A380, as pictured above.
Coincidentally, yesterday, the same day we arrived in Rome, a friend sent me a wonderful video of the scene in the cockpit as an A380 comes in to land at San Francisco airport. It is a real eye opener not only of the technology involved but of the skill and professionalism of the pilots.
Click HERE to see it.
So, we are back in the Northern Hemisphere for the first time since January. But not home yet. Fist we spend 5 days with Nicola here in Rome. Then a drive to Beckenried by Lake Lucerne in Switzerland for 5 days with Karen. Then a drive to Grenoble for a one-night visit with Andy Greene, Amercan conqueror on foot of New Zealand North to South, then home by May 1.
Just a few days now, really, in the life of your everyday globetrotter.