Sunday, 22 January 2012

Tell me why...

Very sadly my brother Robert (56) lost his battle against leukaemia early on Saturday morning. It was a battle he was never going to win as he was born with a ‘rogue gene’
which, even after a bone marrow transplant, made this impossible. He went through with the transplant and all its associated treatment as his siblings actually gave him the option of three almost perfect matches. It seemed inconceivable that he should be given these three chances and this hope, when others can struggle for such a match, that the treatment would not yield a positive result. Sadly this was not to be – why the false hope and the loss of valuable time?
It is at times like this that any semblance of religious faith you might have is questioned. Here was a husband, father, brother who had just retired (his condition was actually discovered at his discharge medical) looking forward to spending a happy retirement with wife Pat, in the beautiful ‘Kingdom of Fife’ surrounded by golf courses. I am sure these would have been a big part of his retirement but he was denied the opportunity.
I’m sure you will forgive me for asking WHY even though I know there are greater tragedies and heartaches unfolding as I write these words. What is the point?

Why also was he given the great physical and mental strength to offer such resistance to this unbeatable foe even in his final days? Was it not enough for others around him to endure the pain and suffering that such a time brings? There are no answers it seems other than we must accept these random choices as to who lives or dies as life!   .

Yes we are thankful that Robert touched our lives but he had so much more to give, please tell me why!  

The 'perfect pitch'..

When we were up at the Sacre Coeur on Christmas eve we noticed this campervan parked in what seemed like the perfect spot with wonderful views over paris. The residents were enjoying a romantic candlelit evening - ahhh!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Friday, 20 January 2012

More Paris pics...

 Some people may see it as the seedier side of the city - 
I just saw the potential!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

More Paris pics...

 Spotted this up at Montmartre - a natural fish spa - sit in comfort  and let the fish nibble away at all the nasty bits on your feet. What would an unnatural fish spa be? Tanks with Piranhas perhaps?

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

More Paris pics...

They say love is blind - it certainly was with this display of affection we witnessed from our streetside cafe/bar- apparently Monsieur had a surprise in store for his beloved but first she had to endure a blindfolded pillion ride through the streets of Paris - I just hope it was worth it !
The cafe/bar in question had an interesting 'happy hour'.

Monday, 16 January 2012

More Paris pics...

Serving up some more photographs from our recent visit to Paris this week..

Under starter's orders on the  Champs-Élysées

Sunday, 15 January 2012

A walk around...Le Grand Pressigny

The last few weeks here in Le Grand Pressigny in Southern Touraine have been strange weather-wise with, it seemed, the days changing from glorious to dreary overnight. This has affected Pauline's and my new walking regime (minimum 1 hour per day) though not to a great extent, as even on some of the inclement days we still managed it.We try and vary our route but this obviously gets more difficult the more often we do it plus the weather can restrict our countryside walks. of the things that pleases us is that even walking a well-worn path the surroundings take on a different look during weather and seasonal changes.

On one walk 'surrounding the chateau' I managed to find a view of it, the one above, that, despite the hundreds of shots I've taken of it over the years, was new to me! It was taken from a new area that has been set out as house plots for sale on the way up Route des Roches to the troglodytes and shows the ramparts to great effect.

Here is the walk in pictures, starting with the steep climb up Ru du Chateau:

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Twilight sky, different day...

Around the village of Le Grand Pressigny

From Rue des Reaux

Taking these at the end of our daily walks around Le Grand Pressigny - every day /night seems to be different.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Monday, 9 January 2012

Barrou restaurant...

After being closed for 9 months, the restaurant and bar in Barrou reopened for business on Monday the 2nd January. Here in France, villages without such commercial ventures lose much of their identity, so this was an important event. Selfishly. it is also good for us as our guests at 'Le Bourg' can stroll across to have a meal or to sit on the terrace for a drink.

The new proprietors,who hail from Île de Ré have redecorated and added their own stamp on the place. Lunch, consisting of buffet starter,main course,cheese or desert,wine plus coffee is 12.00 - great value!

It was lovely to see the ladies of the village back having their Friday rendezvous  .

It was also good to hear that the first week had been a successful one !

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Christmas in Le Grand Pressigny...

With the festive season officially over I thought I'd let you see some pictures of how the village looked for us over this period.Here are the Christmas lights at Le Grand Pressigny - with only me around to appreciate them!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Uniform shoppers...

When we visited the Galeries Lafayette over Christmas it was interesting to see the number of Chinese in the store - apparently their visitor numbers have risen multiple times over recent years. As we were leaving after our roof terrace visit we saw tour buses arriving with their female passengers in turquoise 'you won't loose us'  puff coats - and the men in gold versions - very nice. It reminded me of when we used to dress our then, two sons,(think we spared Mark this) in similar outfits when we took them on holiday, so if they got lost we could just point to the one who wasn't and say "he looks just like him" - don't think we ever actually had to use this plan but we were prepared.! Don't think it scarred them unduly.

Friday, 6 January 2012

In the pink...

Everytime we are in Paris we head up to 'La Maison Rose' in Montmartre a place we first visited when we honeymooned here 'on the cheap' with 'Paris Travel' back in 1975! We only now stop by for a drink and to reminisce - we have eaten here in the past and found it ok without being a 'must come back here' place. A glass or two of wine on the tables on the slope,even in December, bring it all back. The location of this, our Montmartre watering hole is rather appropriately 2 'Rue de Abreuvoir'!
Guess what we normally have?

This is the nearest we get to 'hitting the slopes' in summer.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Lunch with Amélie...

For lunch on Boxing Day we headed to the Café des 2 Moulins which is at the junction of Rue Lepic and Rue Cauchois in Montmartre. Its name linking it to the famous windmill theatres of the area the Moulin Rouge and the Moulin de la Galette. The café is now a popular tourist attraction after gaining considerable fame from its appearance in the 2001 film, Amélie.This was where Amélie worked and was central to the films plot.The current owners pay homage to their heroine and it was pleasing to see they treated the tourists who only wanted a photograph with the same affection as their drinking and dining guests. 

 Lunch was tasty, good value and served by a pleasant current 'Amélie'.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Boxing clever...

We went back up to Montmartre on Boxing day to revisit some of our favourite haunts.

Art and artists were back out in force.
Windmill at Montmartre.
Music at Montmartre.
Tourists being 'trained'
Sacre Coeur by day.

Daytime view from Sacre Coeur.