Friday, 31 January 2020

On 'Brexit' day...

Avec une joie communicative, les Britanniques des environs participent à la vie associative des communes, dans lesquelles ils sont parfaitement intégrés.

Here is the link to the article by Lisa Darrault from the Nouvelle République foollwing our interviews yesterday.

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Hot topic...

Just back from being interviewed by Lisa Darrault from the Nouvelle République about Brexit at Preuilly-sur-Claise. This was organised by our friend Susan who has been very active regarding trying to bring people together over what is a difficult subject. Other friends who joined in all made valuable contributions to the subject - we even had a Brexiteer who lives in the town, there, to air his views - was very brave of him! It will be interesting to read what the young lady made of it all, time will tell!

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Southern Touraine...lovely even in January

You are not going to choose the month of January for your annual holidays but here in our little part of France we can have some lovely days at this time of year which makes us look forward to the months ahead. We managed a walk around Barrou yesterday, something we need to keep up to get us back to our 'fighting weight'.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Back in Barrou....

We have returned home to France after our great time catching up with family and friends in the UK. We have to give a big shout-out to friends who let us break the journey south from Scotland - it made the journey so much easier...and a lot more fun! We are living in the Old Walnut Mill at moment while we do some work for the coming season, which, with all that is going on in the world, may prove to be a difficult one. More on what we are up to at the house later, for the moment it is good to be back.

Monday, 27 January 2020

Keeping my hand in...

While visiting Michael,Rose and Ada in Edinburgh I was glad to assist in the decorating of his stairway and hall allowing me to keep  my hand in. Being so far away doesn't make it easy to give practical help so I was more than happy to help.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

The last supper...

We had our traditional haggis neeps and tatties last night and toasted Rabbie.

Address to a Haggis

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye worthy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Have a great 'Burns night'

Image result for Scottish and European
 "freedom an' whisky gang thegither"

It is Burns' night tonight when our national bard's poems and songs will be celebrated the world over.We are having our traditional supper here in Epsom with Eileen...a lovely end to our time in the UK.

At the Burns Heritage Centre in Alloway just outside of Ayr there is this great painting of Rabbie with some great cronies...what a supper that would be!

Here is my homage to the great man (a steal on of his 'The Bonnie Lass o' Ballochmyle') to describe a particularly bad round of golf there.

The Grass O’Ballochmyle

That morn the dew lay oe’r the greens,
On every blade a pearl did hang.
The course I knew it could be mean,
Every hole, both short and lang.
T’wards every rough I boldly strade,
Yet did it wae a sense o’style.
A couldna seem to fin’ a ba’
Among the grass o’Ballochmyle

With careless swipes I onward swayed
A couldna seem to fin’ ma swing
There wis nae joy among the glade
Ma gemme it was an awfu thing.
Yet way friens today a couldna care
Ma cronies helped me raise a smile
No so mony miles frae Ayr
Among the grass o’Ballochmyle

Jim Craig,

The ups and Downs of Epsom...

Yesterday from Eileen's, we walked the 45 mins up to the Rubbing House by the Epsom Downs racecourse where we rendezvoused with Mike and Liz for a bit of Lunch and to extend her 'special' birthday celebration a little bit more. 

Friday, 24 January 2020

At home with customer care...

When we were visiting friends and family in Ayrshire last week I took advantage of the fact that my cousin has a tyre business in my home town of Kilmarnock. I had clipped a kerb and damaged the hub and they were kind enough to repair it and refit on the spot - great service and all for the price of a couple of bottles of sparkly. Not saying you'll get the same deal but would highly recommend using them.

We also took the opportunity to visit another business in the town - clock and watch repairers A& J Raeburn. They are a long established family company who offer an excellent service. We had a clock that we thought needed a new mechanism but they managed to repair it for the princely sum of £10.00 - which included a new battery!

As we were walking through the town we noticed this sign below on a building that has not changed since the early 70's. 'Fair City Decorating Centre' (long closed) was the first place we ever bought things for a DIY project for our first flat in the town.

Thursday, 23 January 2020

A visit to Congleton...all there in black and white.

For our third overnight stay heading south, we stopped off in Congleton where Pauline and Denis continued the great level of hospitality our friends have shared with us on this trip.

The Paulines doing a little window shopping

We also managed a good morning walk around the lake (no pics. as morning mist put paid to this) behind their lovely house and a walk into the town itself.

The oldest hostelry in town...

and the 'Olde sweet shoppe'

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Continuing our journey south...

After popping into see Dave in Leeds we headed over Norman & Margaret's lovely accommodation in Tarleton just outside Preston where we were treated to more great hospitality...again how lucky are we?

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Guess who we popped in to see...

After a lovely stay with Jane & Peter in North Yorkshire we headed across country to just outside Preston for a get together with Norman and Margaret but before we did we made a slight detour to join our friend Dave who has settled back into his house just south of Leeds. He was in good spirits and says hi to all his friends in France.

Monday, 20 January 2020

Lucky travelers...

Pauline and I left Edinburgh yesterday after some real quality time with Ada,Rose and Michael to start our journey home to France. This will be a slow process as we are staying with friends en-route south and then with Pauline's sister Eileen in Epsom for a few more days. Being allowed to break the journey is a great way to do it and it is courtesy of some of the great friends we have made while in France. The image above is of the sunset that greeted us here in North Yorkshire as we headed to Jane and Peter's and a taste of their wonderful hospitality for the night.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Ada's birthday bash...

My Gran & Papa brought this little number over from France...and sent me back to the seventies!

Me getting into uncle Paul's pressie.

Girl power - with big cousin May
My new scooter 

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Still in Edinburgh...last full day but it should be great!

It's Ada's Birthday - she is a mighty 2 years old today!

She has been Adadorable since day one...

Her first birthday bash was a long for number 2!

Parting is such sweet sorrow...

Helping with a little clear out here with a trip to the dump, sadly among the items to go Michael and Rose are parting with their seahorse heads, which made their first appearance here in this Kid Canaveral promotion video back in 2014. Unless someone could give them a good home?

Friday, 17 January 2020

No Monkey business...

Caught Mara's performance last night at the 'Monkey Barrel' comedy club here in Edinburgh. The Spontaneous Players' gave us some 'Spontaneous Sherlock' - very funny, they really are a talented bunch - if you get the chance, go check them out - they are there every Thursday night.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Stepping in from the cold and climate change.

Stepping in from the cold in Scotland into a warm house with glasses on can be dangerous, as Michael knows only too well

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Family & friends...lost without them

The viaduct in the town centre in Kilmarnock
Back in Edinburgh after a whirlwind visit to Ayrshire where we manged to have 12 get-togethers between Friday evening and Tuesday morning. This included  4 dinners/suppers, 2 lunches, 1 brunch and sadly 1 funeral. Huge thanks to our niece Anne-Marie and her husband Andrew for allowing us to use there lovely home in Kilmarnock as our base...thus allowing us a bit of continuity on the bed front. It was great to catch up with family and friends  though tinged with some sadness.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Monday, 13 January 2020

Still chums after all these years...

On Saturday Pauline met up with friends in Prestwick who were at school with her from 1966 and have kept in touch ever since,

Sunday, 12 January 2020

In winter you do not come to Scotland for the weather...

Last week we woke up to this scene after  a night of high winds, plus the sight of snow in them there hills is maybe a taster of things to come!

Saturday, 11 January 2020

A bit of 'armless surgery before heading over to Ayrshire,,,


Ada is blessed with many toys and of course she has her favourites. When she visited us in France one of them was 'Baby' who,since then, has moved down the pecking order slightly but still popular.During one of my 'playtime with Ada' spots I had one of those "It came away in my hand governor" moments and somehow managed to sever her left arm!, so before heading of for our sojourn to Ayrshire I thought I should bring my surgery skills to the fore and reattach said limb...much to the delight of 'Baby'. BTW here is the look I got when she saw what I'd done!

Friday, 10 January 2020

A touch of Scotland in York

When we stopped off in York on our way up to Scotland this hotel sign caught my eye and made me wonder what the connection was to our National Bard. Don't know what it is but do know the city has a 'St.Andrews Society', a Scottish country dance club and a pipe band so there is obviously a strong Scottish connection