Monday, 17 March 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY


We are a mere hour from the Mediterranean coast so yesterday we decided to pack up a picnic and head on down for some sea air. As it was the occasion of His Lordships birthday I knocked up a Victoria sponge, still warm and filled with morello cherry jam we set off for our days jaunt.

We headed for Gruissan, a small seaside town beside Narbonne with its magnificent cathedral still only half built after 800 years and dominating the skyline. Ever one to explore an unmarked road we found ourselves on the edge of the lagoon where there was an impressive display of wildlife. Flamingo's somehow managing to stay asleep on one leg despite being buffeted by the wind. A couple of Terns hopped about while overhead Kites quartered the marshland perhaps looking for gull chicks or some other tasty morsel. We found a peaceful spot for lunch, a vineyard set amongst rocky outcrops covered in early spring flowers. Miniature narcissi, orchids, wild tyme and rue and Mediterranean pines, just flowering giving off clouds of pollen made this a perfect place for our al fresco picnic.

Suddenly above our heads a great raft of Storks appeared heading north from Africa to their nesting grounds, maybe as far as Germany or Lithuania. His Lordship got very excited whilst I did my utmost to photograph them as they soared gracefully overhead. It was quite the most amazing spectacle and if you had all the money in the world you could not have arranged a more spontaneous birthday present.

In the evening we dined on oysters, whelks and supped black velvet made with Guinness and Blanquette de Limoux and partied enthusiastically with friends.

Because, I'll let you into a little secret, we're having a joint birthday celebration and I can't think of a more perfect venue for a party.

12 comments:

lampworkbeader said...

Sounds like a beautiful day, but in my opinion storks are birds to be avoided, you never know what they may br carrying.
Happy Birthday.

Elizabethd said...

When we lived in the Gironde we waited every spring for the annual
Crane flight. Neighbours would ring up and tell each other when they were on the way.
The sound of them, the mournful croaking, was very strange and somehow very moving. Wonderful the way they fly in arrow formation, and always seem to have a couple of outriders to bring in the ones who lag behind.
Bonne anniversaire!

Cait O'Connor said...

Lovely blog, fantastic experiences. Happy Birthday!

Wizzard said...

Happy Birthday for yesterday to His Lordship.

Wx

elizabethm said...

What a marvellous sight and love your photo. Sounds like a great day altogether. Hope HL enjoyed it and still has some energy for the next celebration!

Westerwitch/Headmistress said...

Fabulous day - how wonderful to see the Storks.

Happy Birthday HL.

snailbeachshepherdess said...

I never imagined storks flying in a group somehow...just goes to show you can always learn something on here....I hope we are going to hear all about next weekend's bash!

Mary said...

Happy birthdays ! Hope you all have a good Easter weekend

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Pondside said...

What a gift for HL's birthday!....and what a perfect way to celebrate. Anyone can have a party, but where else could you have spent an hour and found yourself in a Mediterranean town, picnicing in a vinyard near a lagoon - sounds like a slice of heaven.

Grouse said...

Sally what I love about your blogs is the joi de vivre - you miss nothing and love everything around you.
The largest bird that flies over here is the heron but they usually fly alone. Always amazes me that they can fly...such ungainly creatures!!!!!