Thursday, 31 January 2019

Last night in 'Auld Reekie'...

For our last night in Edinburgh we took one of the city's new trams, 10 minutes from Michael and Rose's, into Princess Street for a great value price of £1.60. We walked by the impressive Scott Monument, apparently the *second largest monument to a writer in the world.

Sir Walter was looking rather splendid!

View over Waverley Station towards the castle

We were heading over 'the bridges' to take in Mara performing with the 'Spontaneous Players' at the Monkey Barrel Comedy Club. They have Spontaneous Potter & Spontaneous Sherlock on alternative weeks - we had the Sherlock show which, due to the abundance of talent on display, was very funny and a great way to end our visit.

*Largest is the José Martí monument in Havana

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

The best of times...

It was a magical time up in Scotland with Ada and the rest of the family, the best of times! She is such a joy and although everything isn't exactly rosy in everyone's lives at the moment she is what keeps our spirits could you not love her?

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Wee Burn's night...

We captured and brought back a haggis from a visit over to Ayr during the Scottish leg of our trip for Pauline's sister Eileen. She successfully cooked and served it in the traditional way...very nice it was too!

 Eileen also hosted us, both going to and coming back from generous with her time! We were also able to break the journey up with a stay with good friends just outside Preston.

Monday, 28 January 2019

Not so smart...

A long stretch of the M6 motorway currently has a 50mph speed limit while work takes place between junction 16 and junction 19 to convert the section of road into a 'smart motorway'. The 20 mile stretch of motorway is being converted into an 'All Lane Running' Smart Motorway.This is where all four lanes are open to traffic, with regular refuge areas available for emergency use in place of a hard shoulder.
Unfortunately on our way south on Saturday we got caught up in traffic jam which meant it took us 25 mins to do 2 miles, very frustrating although we hope it wasn't due to someone being involved in an accident - no real clue as to what the cause was.

As for smart roads, these will be useless while we still have the not-so-smart drivers. At various points of our journey we had man driving between two lanes while on his phone,another driver with head back finishing off a packet of crisps with one hand on the steering wheel plus I had to take evasive action when 'white-van-man' to my left wandered into my lane while munching on a sausage roll!

On Sunday on our way down to Dover we switched on our new travel companion, Google maps, on my smart phone which we have only recently started to use more, especially for getting in and out of cities. Our lady friend,who I have to confess has suffered a fair bit of verbal abuse recently, was at it again, directing us off the M 20 as it was apparently closed. Pauline wanted to follow her route but as the motorway peeps had no information displayed re any problems I stayed wasn't closed!

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Busman's holiday...

Just returning to France after a great time with family. Stayed with Michael and Rose at their new home in Edinburgh for most of the visit where I was delighted to be able to contribute a bit of DIY in repainting what will be the guest bedroom. When we arrived the room was pink (on the coombe ceiling) and mustard - should have had a before picture! 

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Looking back - June 2017...Parc Oriental de Maulévrier

In June of 2017 we went with friend Mike & Liz to check out the Parc Oriental over at Maulévrier in Pays de Loire. We had intended going back last year at a different time of year to check how it looked in the spring but the year just seemed to disappear.
You can check out images from that visit here.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Ada's birthday bash ..

'En famille' 

Other grandad Jim

Paul,Mara & Michael

With gran

Graunty Eileen

Friday, 18 January 2019

Ada is one today!

...but she still had to go to nursery. Party tomorrow so family can join us.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Flower carpet

While looking through photos from last year for my 'Re-running 2018' posts on Experience Loire's blog I came across these autumn pics of the cyclamen in a garden in Le Grand Pressigny...beautiful every year. 

Monday, 14 January 2019

Best dressed restaurant in Tours...

When Pauline and I went on our company outing in December to Tours we were impressed by the Christmas decorations around the city. We ate in 'LaRuche' in Rue Colbert where again the shops and restaurants had been brightened up for the festive season but our vote for the best dressed facade went to Le Laurenty Restaurant.

Friday, 11 January 2019

La petite promenade dans la foret de Tours-Preuilly

Some friends invited us to join them for a short walk in the forest of Preuilly yesterday and we were blessed by a very pleasant afternoon of winter weather.

Leading the way!

After the walk our friends then hosted some treats and drinks back at their home nearby - good end to a lovely afternoon!

Monday, 7 January 2019

If I were king...

Shared a Galette des rois with friends last night but was not the one who was chosen to be king that honour went to Jean-Pierre...who would I am sure use his positon wisely!

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Paper Roses - In the blood.

Recently the subject of my local football team, Kilmarnock F.C. (Killie) came up in a discussion with friends over here and I was explaining that our club song happened to be Marie Osmond's 'Paper Roses' though I wasn't sure why as supporters, we had adopted it...but it is! As the club starts to celebrate 150 years in existence it is great to see them enjoying one of their best seasons in a very, very long time. 

Fans singing paper roses after winning league cup way back in 2012.

I am proud of the fact that Paul our oldest son also has Killie in his blood and didn't follow the route of many locals who sent their support up the road to Glasgow to bask in the success of the 'Old Firm'. Michael and Mara didn't follow suit, probably had more sense! I have a couple of memories of Michael's attendance at 'Rugnby Park', the teams home ground. One, when were winning a game to get promotion, he was caught on camera reading a book as Killie scored the winning goal. On another occasion as we sat one evening in freezing temperatures watching a 0-0 game against 'Hearts', he asked "dad why do you do this?", at the time I was stumped for an answer but what I should have said  was it was 'in my blood!' 
'Away the Killie'

Friday, 4 January 2019

Wrapped up for a winter walk...

Yesterday friends organised a walk in the countryside around Le Grand Pressigny on what was a beautiful winter's day looking out but was a bit chilly once you were out there. Wrapping up was the order of the day. After the walk our hosts put on a lovely spread which included some very welcoming vin chaud .

Two views of the chateau yesterday.