France May/June 2011

At last I’ve got round to opening a new page. We’ve been very busy doing all the DIY after a few months away. Regular readers will remember that I created a garden of Eden out of the wilderness – well, by virtue of a reverse miracle, it resembled the Sahara Desert again.  Anyway I brought loads of plants this time stored rather craftily in the spare wheel compartment of Jean’s car and, although not ready for a photo yet, victory is in sight.  

You probably don’t want to know that the weather has been hot and sunny every day since we arrived (Tuesday evening 24th May when it was 31 degrees)

A reminder of our club pool

Well, a week has nearly gone by and most of the gardening and maintenance is complete.  We’re back into some sort of routine – walk 6 miles a day (usually first thing to avoid the hot sun) – sounds a bit steep, but  it’s a small price to pay for enjoying the local food and drink with a clear conscience.  You will be relieved to know we had some rain last night – and there’s more to follow according to the forecast. Hopefully the sun will find its way to Cornwall for half term week, although rain is needed there as well.

getting there

Wednesday 1st June.  Another pleasant sunny day.  After our walk by the sea at Cavalaire we are settling down to another hard day at the office, although I have found 2 more pots that need filling with plants. One thing that has changed over the past few years are the state of the toilets, particularly the public ones. On visiting a village yesterday Jean remarked that we Brits could learn a thing or two about public loos from the French – unimaginable only 10 years ago. 
F0r those contemplating a visit to these shores You should know that Nationwide are giving me a rate of 1.15 whereas Barclays (I only tried once) gave 1.09 the same day.  Post Office also give a good rate.
We promise to take some new pics today!!

Starting to show

Wednesday 8th June. LL OD  sudden 2 weeks have passed in our small house, and I can’t think of too many excuses for not updating the blog. We have been walking, reading, sudokuing, eating and drinking: and time just flies by.
Today we ventured farther afield,nearly to St Raphael to do a coastal walk we have read about. It was well marked although a little rough in places. A few pics of our morning:

Weather has been generally good – not too hot (mid 20s) – but the other night we had the worst thunderstorm we’ve had down here, although there was not too much rain our house shook with the thunder and lightening. Electricity and water were not affected although the traffic lights in the area were.

Nice experience yesterday – we went to open a French Bank account at Credit Agricole. The manager noticed us in the queue and summoned us into his office. We had taken all the details (ID utility bills etc) and we have an appointment to see him on Saturday morning to finalise the details after they’ve checked up on us. If he spoke English he certainly didn’t try it our on us.

We are getting our diesel at about £1.13 a ltr and Jean’s car did 60 mpg on todays trip. Virtually everything else is more expensive except of course the wine.

We have no TV and have to go to the clubhouse to get the internet. Being without the knowledge of another war or financial crisis we can live with – it’s not knowing the test score that is rather frustrating.

Friday 10th June.  Went up in the hills for a walk around Plan de la tour. 2 hours of  up and down but great fun and only got lost a couple of times.

  Off to a concert tonight in Cavalaire – Wind Quintet playing mostly Russian music.

Starts at 9 pm as is customary here – so no-one misses dinner!

Nearly a week since the Wind Quintet concert which was very good. They did one half quintet music and then did an arrangement of Peter and the wolf (Pierre et le Loup) in the second adding a keyboard for the strings and percussion.

Most days we end by walking along the sea to Cavalaire Port between 6 and 8 pm. Right along the beach there is a footpath which ends up in the small town and we go out to the end of the pier.

On footpath by beach – port in background


We walked from the other side of the bay.

Today we went early up in the hills and walked a 7k ‘randonee’ . Bit up and down but well marked, and great views. Hot even at 9 am.

Time flying by and only 2 weeks left! We did the Gigaro coastal walk yesterday – easily the most strenuous because of the sheer climb up to Cap Lardier. Still, managed to recover, and went out for a superb meal last night – seared fresh tuna and scallops. Delicious. Prior to that we entertained Zoe and Philand Liv for tea. They left today so should be back in St Austell any time now.

Pics from our latest walk

Time is certainly going on now – only 3 days left before we set off up to Roscoff. It’s time to go – getting seriously hot. It was still in the 80s when we sat down to eat last night at 9 15.

We had a great trip to St Tropez on the bus and some pics will say it all I think.


 This private yacht is about the size of a cross channel ferry.

This last pic is for those with sideways vision

4 Responses to “France May/June 2011”

  1. Jim Jiwa Says:

    Nice photo in The Voice last Wednesday

  2. please send some warm weathew over here. we have had some rain ,quite heavy and the gardwns are looking good,but still quite cool T. hamk you for your phone call on subnday. Frankie was down for the week The electician is here tonight working on the garage. Your time has gone quickly you will soon be home. You sound to have had a lovely time. see you soon love Dot.

  3. Jim Jiwa Says:

    Good to know you are having a great time. We are off to Turkey on the 30th and will be back on the 15th of July. So, see you around then. Have a safe journey home.


  4. Just discovered your blog! Holiday sounds wonderful + am jealous! You were certainly very active dear boy!

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