Wednesday, 25 September 2013

summer - part three

A quick final round of photos of the summer!  Amazing how blue skies were in the  Pyrénées.  A storm arrived the day we were leaving! 

Gatherings of family and friends at Sturget; visiting friends and our traditional family lunch.

Check out this amazing hotel near Pornic, where we attended the wedding of our friend Sam.  Yes, he did it!  Ok, now that you've recovered from the shock, look up  An old farm, complete with orchard, vegetable and herb gardens, chooks and geese, even a donkey amidst the sand, the sea... It really is one of the most charming places I've ever stayed in.

The fruits were a bit late this year, and I managed to make a few jars of jam before leaving.  Yes, the scales are real, not just props.

Above: readying themselves for work and for school, la rentree!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

summer - part two

Summer has left as abruptly as it had arrived.  It doesn't seem so long ago that we were running around in the garden in Sturget barefoot, waterfights giving us cool relief from the summer heat.  There are many ways to quench your thirst ... but in Bordeaux there is only one way, as JB and Olivier show us.

As with the last ten summers (except last year, when we were on our world trip), we spent a week hiking in the Pyrenees with my father in law.  This time we were in the Catalan Pyrenees region.  Although we had one freezing day, the weather was exceptionally good.  A memorable week (the sights, an almost-raging bull in our tracks, falconry demonstrations, even the freezing day), I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

The girls were pretty impressive; we walked four to six hours everyday.  I must admit, we occasionally had to dangle a carrot. Sometimes a magazine, a little trinket.  Or a saucisson, in Anaïs' case.  So while the temperature drops and raincoats and umbrellas are selling on every street corner, I picture myself lying under the shade of that tree looking at flying falcons in the sky, my bare feet tickled by the rustling grass and I am somewhat comforted.  Just let me go turn the heating on and all will be perfect!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

summer - part one

You may wonder if I have given up completely on this blog.  Not quite, but the summer has been so busy I haven't had any time at all!  Anais and Téa started their summer break being Red Indians for a week.  They went on a summer camp; left on a train with their friends Daphne and Hortense, and came back with arches and arrows, painted faces and wild hair.

JB and I spent the weekend in self pampering mode.  A massage for him, a facial for me; presents that were anticipated well in advance by some very thoughtful friends in KL.  It was our farewell present from almost a year ago, and we hadn't had time to claim it!  We biked to rue Montorgueil where the spa was located, leaving relaxed and spoilt, and thinking nice thoughts of our friends in KL!

Late though it was to arrive, the good weather stayed consistent and faithful (almost) throughout the summer.  A picnic in the park to celebrate our friend Olivier's birthday was shared with hundreds of  others looking to also soak up some sun.  

It was a very full summer: with friends and family coming and going, drinks and dinners with friends, a week of hiking in the Pyrenees and lots of riding for the girls.  They had a cousin come and stay.  A little cavalier herself.

Our first visitors were from New Zealand.  What better way to welcome your friends on a hot day than with a water fight?

So happy to see Liz, Rupert, and their brood!

The girls stayed with their cousin for a week, and attended a circus workshop.  Not only is Solene a cavalier, she is also a natural acrobat.  

The fetes de Bayonne must be one of the largest festivals in France.  Lasting 5 days, it includes musical and street performances, traditional dances, parades, firework.  The only missing element from this feria are the bulls - fortunately.  The dress code is white with a red scarf or a red belt, after the colours of thecity of Pamplona as the celebrations were intended to be similar to those of Pamplona, Spain.

I'm going to have to call it a night and post the other photos from the summer another day.  Tomorrow I am meeting Peter and Morten, who are here in Paris, and doing the shops - I had better get some sleep and be ready for an active day!