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I found a whole load of CDs today all storing photos from a forgotten time. It seems a shame to keep them hidden away, especially when they represent some major times in our life.
In this case it is the French restoration project. I had always wanted to live in France and enjoy the wine and bread culture that we all dream of. The reality is not quite the same but it is still a wonderful place. I can’t imagine what French Anglophiles dream of if they consider moving here, fish and chips in the park perhaps, who knows.
We bought a house in the Lot Valley just north of the famous Dordogne in southwest France. When I say we bought a house, I mean to say we bought a ruin and there it began in 2000.
These two photos show the house when we first bought it. The tree on the left in the first image really is growing through the roof!
It took 4 years to complete the project. French builders are not the quickest, especially when you are living in England. I remember driving back time after time with high hopes and being very disappointed to see nothing had changed. I certainly wouldn’t recommend a project like this if you are in a hurry.
Worth it in the end though. Although I think it looked perfect with the greenery growing out of it!
I bet he wished he hadn’t during the sail back from Brixham. It was eventful to say the least, good job he was with an expert sailor because when they tried to get into Salcombe the waves were so big they were at risk of sinking! They turned back to Dartmouth and tried again the next day, after a few false starts they got the boat back and she is sitting pretty in Port Navas.
I think a little trundle up and down the Helford on a sunny day is much more my thing!
We had a great week in Turkey last week mainly because the hotel was so fab. It was listed as a five star on the website and it certainly was. The service was great but not intrusive and the views of the marina and my future 100ft yacht (pending lottery win!) were a site to behold especially from the rooftop breakfast terrace. The hotel is called Ece Saray and is on the marina in Fethiye. I wouldn’t normally advertise on my blog but the service was amazing, you didn’t need to lift a finger and the facilities were great. We ate in the restaurant a couple of times in the evening, which we enjoyed. We had a suite, so plenty of space to lounge about also with fantastic views of the marina. We had a jacuzzi bath, a new thing for me, into which I poured bubble bath and wished I hadn’t in seconds!
Fethiye is a working town and so outside of the marina and the traditional Ottoman squares can seem down to earth to say the least. It does have it’s charms though and the Turkish people are very friendly. Bartering is mandatory and the traders expect it, in fact almost disappointed when people accept the first price they give. The old town can be a bit touristy but once you get past the fake designer gear and find a cafe to take a seat and watch the world go by it becomes more than a bit interesting. There is incredible history in this area going back beyond Ottoman to Byzantine times, rock tombs and ancient monuments provide plenty to wonder at.
For me the only bit that ruins it is the fact that I have to fly there. Some people actually seem to enjoy it but I cannot see the attraction of sitting in something for 4 hours that defies gravity and prevents me from moving my legs. I have to say that was probably the tightest legroom I have ever known but what can you expect for £300 return?
As I look away from my computer out of the window and across the fields I can see that it is going to be a fabulous sunset. If next door weren’t having a bonfire with black smoke plumes rising into the air it could almost be idyllic.
Been like spring today and it’s funny when the sun comes out you don’t walk very far in Cornwall without someone wanting a chat. Today was not good though, I ended up humouring the bloke with the runny nose who wanted to tell me all about his experiences with the NHS and how long it has taken to get his ‘back door’ problems sorted out.
I didn’t want to visualise it and thankfully he respected that, however he did feel that I should know that once they had polished his handle up a bit he would be fine! They must see me coming from a hundred paces!
Well last weekend was certainly one to behold. 10 of us took upon the very brave task of eating and drinking as much as we possibly could in celebration of Tonksey’s Birthday. We laughed from Friday night until Monday afternoon non-stop. Some of the party fun can be viewed on my Flickr page including how to eat an After Eight properly and how not to play table tennis. Friday night was the first night, so everyone sits around and chats nicely, has a bit of a laugh but nothing outrageous. Having said that I felt like a jumbo jet had landed on my head when I woke up on Saturday morning!
Saturday night we had to behave ourselves because we dined out at the Ferryboat. Having said that we heard a rumour that phosphorescence was occuring on the Helford River. The subsequent stampede (in full Benny Hill fashion) to view the alleged phenomenon could only be construed by the management to be a very large group of people doing a runner!
The next day we decided that we needed more food and proceeded to the Red Lion in Mawnan Smith, where I have to say we had an absolutely excellent lunch, roast dinner with plenty of everything, especially scrummy roast potatoes. I had bread and butter pudding, sheer indulgence, but if you can’t do it on a Sunday when can you? One of our number (who shall remain nameless) stood up after his dinner and found the chair still attached to him, well wedged in – probably just the 12 roast potatoes for you next time! Again, there was a steady flow of people leaving from nearby tables as our bar bill increased!
Once we had eaten them out of pub and home we headed back to the holiday cottage for our final night. We started with Charades, then moved on to ‘how to eat an after eight’ and then finally on to ‘who am I?’. The cheating was outrageous but it was very funny. Most of us had rude words taped to our foreheads at one time or another and the hysteria never stopped. We had to stop for refreshments in the form of toasted sandwiches after a couple of hours – gosh you need to keep your strength up and we were clearly starving! Once everyone had got over the shock that Wagner was still in the competition and that Cher and Paige were in the bottom two, the fun carried on (nobody seemed too concerned about the Strictly vote).
The next day we’re all a bit quiet but still alive, which is nothing short of a miracle. Top weekend, top company!