Showing posts from September, 2007

Skiing in the Pyrenees

You'll never believe it, and indeed you probably wouldn't if I hadn't taken this very shot an hour ago hanging out of the bedroom window but there is snow on the Pyrenees. Enough for skiing in the Pyrenees I shouldn't wonder. I would have posted it up sooner but you know I'm still busy learning this cropping, resizing malarkey with something called IrfanView so that when you send photographs the image of a red cat looking splattered appears in the corner. Oh I don't know, I'm going slightly off the ski slope.

Anyway I wake up this morning,(good start) open the shutters with a flourish and flinging back my head sing out to the early dawn 'oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day, I've got a wonderful feeling, everythings going my way'.....and so on and so forth as all of you should do every day. Because the air has a definite nip which sends me reeling backwards I peer further afield and onto the horizon. There in front of me in all th…

The tourist in Carcassonne

The weekend saw some old friends arrive for some fun. As the house was empty they were spoilt for choice. They plumped for the master bedroom with the views of the Pyrenees and vineyards stretching into the distance, I'm not entirely sure however that they appreciated my gesture early in the morning. Flinging the windows wide open so they could fully embrace the French countryside I was reminded gently that they were on holiday. Of course I couldn't possibly divulge who they were and how they swung four idyllic days with the entire place at their disposal but I will say one thing. Guests that insist on shopping, sourcing local gastronomic delights and then taking full charge of the Aga will generally find me very ameniable when finding them a quiet slot !!

'Where should we really visit when on a trip to Carcassonne' ? they enquired. My heart generally sinks at this one because there is one seriously popular hotspot that seems to heave, bulge even, at all times of th…

Carcassonne Treasures

I found myself having to go into Carcassonne yesterday but not for a particularly wonderful reason. (Yes I have off days too you know) and I don't mind telling you this because if I was reading this blog I might question whether I was real or not, Doesn't the woman ever have a duff day ? I would be thinking.

Anyway to make it bearable I treated myself and companions to some wicked croissants filled with rich almond paste and lightly dusted with sweet icing sugar. Feeling surprisingly better I found that we were near to my little treasure troves where I always find a little something for myself, or lately supposedly for Sallys Chateau, my on-line shop. Except it's not on-line yet as I'm having difficulty parting with anything, the specification being that I have to love what I sell. Whoever says you cant become too attached to things is wrong. Grumbling reluctantly the others (male as you may have guessed) mooched around. One of them spied an upright 1960's style ash…

Scorching hot and happy

I can't help but notice that words such as dank, dark, rain and autumnal are creeping up on us but if you are looking for that here then stop reading right now.

Yesterday as I contemplated having my entire 'dolls house' to myself (my nickname for Le Chateau) and relished a day of play in moving furniture and generally titivating overall I thought of some of the very many readers who peek in from around the World. What is it that attracts you so ? I floated, rather like a giant frog on a lily pad on the bright yellow lilo being swirled gently by the water pump of the swimming pool. The sky above was the sort of piercing blue that could hurt your eyes. The startling green leaves of the fig tree seemed almost fluorescent to me. Every so often a gentle thud announced the fall of another over ripe and squishy fig. From my languid position I could squint at my house and wonder as to the events that led me here. It was funny, when I was a small girl all I ever wanted was a large …


Forgot to tell you that we had another unexpected pregnancy here at Le Chateau. I know, I know before all you cat lovers descend on me I admit, completely irresponsible, shouldn't be in charge of a gerbil/goldfish etc etc. There you go, we learn by our mistakes.

Anyway it's a baking hot afternoon down here in the Languedoc. The guests are sleeping after deciding they want to stay longer, the cats and kittens are snoozing. The only mug that's wide awake feeling she has to keep working despite clearly being the only one with open eyes in this tranquil village it would seem is moi. Why is that do you suppose ? was I conditioned at birth to constant slavery or is it just the territory of Wife and Mother ? Answers on a postcard please !!

Meanwhile the zzzzzzz's emitting from the contented slumbers here is ridiculous, apart from these you could hear a pin drop. The harvester has stopped rumbling up and down the plump vines in the distance and all you can hear is the faint rust…

Houses for sale in the Aude

This morning I decided to accompany my guest to a house for sale in the Languedoc. I knew the agent so we could discount the other ten and not waste time. In fact I found the house on the internet and immediately suggested we go and visit. It ticked all the right boxes, the box that this particular client staying with me wanted ticked at any rate. Lovely small well kept village, handsome facade, private and divine garden with pool, price range ? 270,000 euros (that's 184,850 pounds) It 'had it', if you know what I mean, look at the terrace for heavens sake. The most depressing thing is though that it is the first property they have viewed so they won't realise without looking at another twenty five, and by that time this one will have sold. I like to think that I 'know' instantly when something is special. Within five minutes of walking into Le Chateau it was sold to me. Half an hour later we shook hands on the deal. Some cynics might say 'well look where i…

Another day goes by

The weekend saw the first 'friendly' football match for 2b and his team. Being forever the dutiful Mother I had forsaken the enticing clear blue pool that beckoned to me on a hot Autumn day and trotted along with The Small Cross One. We found a spot in the shade and were joined by friends. She pulled out a bag of pains au chocolat and I squinted at the mass of enormous brutes frantically running up and down and swearing wildly as though their lives depended on it. From where I sat playing with my camera it was just a game of football. When 2b went to take a corner and I took up the pose to take the shot of all shot's I was hissed at to sit down. 'You think Victoria Beckham keeps taking pictures of David' The Small Cross One said between mouthfuls. 'I'm his Mother' I hissed right back. Really and honestly.

This morning started off incredibly well insofar as it was promising to be another scorcher and the guests had left early for the market in the medieva…

Bargains in the Aude

La Rentrée (back to school) has finally arrived. For me this now heralds that delightful stretch of rising at 6am. I said delightful ? This morning the sky was a clear deep inky blue with stars dotted alarmingly bright, galaxies stretched far away and the hooting of an owl nearby breaking the eerie silence.

Soon the deluge of walkers, artists and writers will emerge all seeking inspiration and tranquility from the region that has played host to the sun seeking crowd of holiday makers in the high season of July and August. Now the house hunters also appear clutching details from the numerous Immobiliers (Estate Agents) of the Languedoc. Their aim, to find that elusive bargain tucked away, an undiscovered gem waiting to be snapped up complete with beautiful original features. Add onto that a spectacular view, preferably of the Pyrenees, a discreet and unspoilt garden with room for a pool, situated in a small village closeby to Carcassonne airport so they can jet in regularly courtesy of …