Monday, 31 August 2009

yarn shops please

Calling all knitters in France...(or not)

I'm deciding on my next project - I'm thinking cute winter patchwork blanket and was wondering where you guys buy your yarn. I always end up getting it online and would rather not as sending 20 balls to another country costs mega bucks!

So, where could I go to get my hands on chunky wool? I've found a pattern that uses sirdar big softie, but do you have any recommendations for something similar? or where to go look? purlease.... sorry, couldn't resist.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Looking for loved ones in the Battlefields of the Somme

Rachel came to stay at the weekend! J and I had already decided that we were going to visit some of the WW1 battlefields and memorials but what we didn't realise is that Rachel had lost two family members in the Great War.

We first visited Thiepval British memorial for the missing. Here there are 72,000 names carved onto a memorial to honour those whose body was never found.

Then we visited the lochnagar mine in La Boisselle which is a site of an enormous explosion on 1st July 1916. The huge crater brings it home the horrors that must have happened over 90 years ago.

At this point Rachel had got in touch with her family who were able to tell her exactly where her family members were buried and after looking at the map, we realised it was totally possible to go and find them. Both uncles were buried in small cemetaries in small villages and as ever with war graves, they were incredibly well kept. It was the first time that anyone from her family had seen the graves and I was very happy to have made it possible for her.

It was a beautiful day, and so moving in many ways. Reading the dedications in the cemetery register was choking. These cemeteries are often totally empty. We pass them in the car often and have never seen anyone in them and yet the register proves that people come in great numbers from all over the world on a regular basis. So wonderful to know that the soldiers have not been forgotten.
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Wednesday, 19 August 2009


I've got heat rash and it's horrible! I guess two weeks in the south during the heat wave didn't do wonders for my poor pale skin after all. I'm sooooooo itchy and trying not to scratch isn't working. Apparently there's not much you can do for it other than keep cool. It's 33oC here today and I was forced to go out in the sun for an appointment for my bilan de competences. Now I'm itching more. aggghhhhhh.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Back to real life.

We got back to Amiens on Sunday after a mammoth 14 hour car journey (2.5 hrs of which was spent asleep in the car in a service station). Amiens is a loooomg way from the med sea. Our hearts were lifted slightly as we went straight to the maternity to visit J's new godson who is a week old now. Then we went to pick up the hamster from the hamste-rsitter (aka, mamie) and then it was back to Amiens.

I was not too encouraged by the serious lack of post for me. I mean, I was away two whole weeks! What did I receive? A bank statement and a sephora advert. On the other hand J had loads waiting for him including a postcard! ggrrr.

I now have loads of housework to do - i've already done 5 machine loads of washing. and then there's the ironing. zzzzz. J's bro who is still on hols in the south rang me today and tried to be least I won't be bored then, he said. sniff.

We had a fab holiday, I loved spending time with J's bro and baby C, loved the beach, but was happy to meet J's new godson N back in the North.

I'm now left with happy memories of the holidays. Some of which will continue on for a bit longer. thanks to the following: . In order left to right: muscat, muscat, st chinian red, st chinian rosé, pomplemousse rosé. There's a little shop at the tourist resort that sells wine by the 1.5litre plastic bottles. Thank you giant vats of wine in vrac. Thank you!! MIL and I got through one whole muscat bottle in less than a week. Vive les apéros! Summer can now last a little bit longer...well, until Rachel comes to visit me this weekend at least!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Massif Centrale and Toulouse heaven

I'm in destination number 4 of our holiday - Cap d'agde on the south coast of France. I have time to write as J is currently snoring out his siesta. Me, I'm in my bikini ready to catch some rays and probably sweat it out at the beach later on.

Destination 2 on the holiday was the massif centrale. Volcano land. There are over 80 in the region and we spent four days exploring some of them. It was stunning.

We spent a day at Super-Besse which is actually the name of the town and not the sports park like I thought. haha. Here we climbed yet another puy, did some luge d'été (summer sledging -amazing fun) and also tried out the grass karting. It's amazing what a ski resort can do to attract visitors in the summer. At the moment I would post a video of the karting that J filmed but I don't think the holiday wifi will cope. Think MarioKart. It was fantastic. I'll try posting it later.

Holiday destination 3 was Toulouse to see J's bro, SIL and baby C. Now, this is always a toughie for me as I look forward to going so much, have a great time, and then have to leave. That my friends is very hard. I feel so at ease in Toulouse, surrounded by people who care genuinely about me. I get to talk to a real life girlfriend who is also my SIL about girlie things and then it is whipped away from me. Tough my dears, that moment indeed. J's bro mentioned in passing after his girlfriend was being stupid that it was ok for me as I didn't have to put up with her as I only see her three or four times a year. We were all joking about the silly thing that had made us laugh so much and there was me thinking 'god, I want to see them more often than 3 or 4 times a year. I want to see them every weekend.' Leaving wasn't too bad this time as they are coming to join us at destination number 4 on Friday for a few days. but still it hurt leaving.
I don't even want to think about destination finale - Amiens. That's for another time. For now, J's stopped snoring so maybe we can go to the beach......

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Holiday spot the error

I haven't fallen off the planet, I'm in ze massif centrale on holiday for 4 days as part of our two week tour of Lyon - Clermont Ferrand and surrounding areas of ze massif centrale- Toulouse - Cap d'agde.

Lyon was expensive but it was nice to see J's cousin and his nicely new constructed house. We arrived at étape two yesterday and Clermont Ferrand is just that - two town centres, Clermont and Ferrand. That was unexpected! The buildings are often made of volcanic rock which makes them look dirty so it takes a bit of time to get used to. I found Ferrand prettier than Clermont.

Today we went to the regional theme park based around volcanoes. Well, there are 70 of them in the chaine de puy! Whilst waiting (for an hour I'll add) at one of the attractions, I read the notice in English only to to be left worrying about my health and what on Earth was in store for me and all ladies ahead on the Dragon Ride.

...can you spot the classic translation error?!

I'll be posting some photos of the area soon.
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