Friday, July 24, 2009

Holidays at Le Chateau

Open the front door of Le Chateau, take a right turn and continue along the path. The fields are bursting to the brim as far as the eye can see with sunflowers. Scattered in between are fields of newly harvested wheat, their stumps creating a deep golden ragged carpet. On a clear calm morning such as today the entire vista is picture postcard perfect. Le Vent Marin, a warm marine wind from the Mediterranean blew this week though, and boy did she blow. It made the girlie's dance, shake and lift their faces to shiver and shimmy in their flouncy yellow dresses. It was too violent to open the windows, the old shutters groaned and strained on their hinges and I lost two of my beloved flowerpots as they flew over the terrace discarding their jolly bright red geraniums. I sat and cursed silently, pacing up and down as I watched the pool water level plummet and imagined the garden shrivelling up and dying in front of my eyes. I valiantly struggled out to pull some weeds but they were thrown back in my face as the wind laughed at such foolishness.

Progress though, and this is depending on your viewpoint or maybe its just a sign of the times, took place the other day with the installation of English satellite TV in Le Chateau. Apparently its now a real clincher so I hastily added this vital gobbit of information on the website and am now sitting back awaiting the flurry of late enquiries as people tire of waiting for the great British scorcher which hasn't arrived according to my sources and decide to come to the South of France for their own Indian summer in September/October. I'll let you into a little secret, and I don't often do this but I will on this rare occasion. I stared long and hard at the most ridiculously cheap flights in October last night but in the end decided there was nothing I wanted to do more than to stay put.

We lead such an exciting life here you see. You never know when a phone calls going to come through and you're off for a 'jolly'. Take the other day for example, completely out of the blue there's a film producer on the line wondering if 'The Grand Duchess' (my 1951 Riley motor car) can pootle along to the utterly charming Chateau de Saint Michel de Lanes . We didn't take much persuading and the old girl was given her customary buffing. Sadly though the heavens decided to open on July 14th this year so it was a rather soggy affair to say the least. By the time we arrived back home it was too late to go and see the fireworks in Carcassonne but as it was Bastille Day I rather reckoned that French TV would, at the very least, have some footage of the old crooner Johnny Hallyday warbling in front of the Eiffel Tower whilst rockets zoomed into the night sky as the whole of France revelled. No comment. Nothing. Zilch. The air turned blue.

I daresay you may be thinking that I can't have it all. Sunflowers, Chateau's, film shoots and she wants the fireworks too ?

Well yes, that's the sort of person I am.

Easy going.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Carcassonne Festival

It's on with the espadrilles and pinny for the main holiday season here in the Languedoc. As from the 4th July the French were on their vacances and as if by magic everything sprang to life. The Carcassonne Festival has kicked off, Status Quo already having rocked all over the World, fresh as daisies after a wonderful stint at Glastonbury.

We also have numerous commemerations in the region for the 800th anniversary of the crusade against the Cathars, concerts, som et lumiére, castles, abbeys, Medieval sites. It's a pity for the region that not everyone has realised the importance of maintaining the cultural heritage the area has to offer but then this is an old bone I like to chew on from time to time and believe you me it's best left in the corner.

Copious amounts of socialising have already taken place with friends. It's always a joy to sit on another lovely terrace in the dwindling twilight or relax in the peaceful coolness of someone elses kitchen whilst they slave away and I slurp and natter. Our cute kittens, one pure black and a white tabby enchanted a house party one weekend, as we drifted off from an immensly enjoyable evening they were indulging in tit bits of poached salmon, no doubt looking forward to a life of Riley. Well its only befitting as they started off life at Le Chateau !!

Blogging away has put me in touch with some interesting new friends too. Kittyb came to stay and wrote a flattering account of her holiday which was a huge success by all accounts, follow her blog for mouthwatering pics.

But I've been naughty again haven't I ? neglecting my blogspot and gallivanting off, dipping in the sea on the Dorset coast, popping in for coffee at Mat Follis's new restaurant the Wild Garlic, the fairy cake was so divine it floated, over for a chin wag with Claire at Greendrawers, buying a citron tart from Lynne at Le Vieux Four, a leisurely moment with Lu at The Apple Tree and all manner of lovely folks in which to pass the time of day in the pretty town of Beaminster.

Which of course prompted me into another wee project. All in good time as they say !!

Meanwhile there's Vide Greniers to attend, fete's, soirees, pools to be kept sparkling clean, plants to water, cats to stroke, weeds to pull, never ending laundry, Saturday changeovers, and of course life to deal with.

Which about sums it all up at present. xx