I am in love with Paris. I feel that I lived there in another life and sometimes I wish I lived there in this one. When we hit upon the idea of our faux Orient Express trip, of course we started in Paris. But what if you’re a Paris newbie? Inspired by The Telegraph’s ‘My Kind of Town’ set of questions, here are my thoughts … Continue reading We Started In Paris.
Normally when we’re in the Charente we do nothing. We hang out with the animals and leave the place only to go to the supermarket. This time was a bit different. We discovered the two-hour French lunch-break and the menu du jour. One day we popped out to buy a baguette. ‘Should we stop for coffee’, I asked Jim, even though the cafe was named … Continue reading The Menu du Jour.
Not many people can say that they moved to France because they had to find room to house twenty-four animals. Roland used to work at Scotland Yard. He had a colleague in the mounted police. There is no money in the British system for pensions for police work-horses. The police can hardly fund sufficient policemen, let alone keep old horses in clover. Roland’s colleague knew … Continue reading The grass really is greener in the Dordogne.
We came to the Charente in the hope of warmer weather. But the rain followed us from England. What to do? Eat. George and his James Bond villain stare. ‘Give me more biscuits or I kill you’. Play. Max lost out in the game of musical chairs and begged to play ball indoors instead. Sleep. Charley dispelled the myth that cats go out on the … Continue reading Things To Do In Pillac When It’s Raining.
‘You’re like a different person here’. I am not good at doing nothing. I get so excited when I get someplace new and want to run about and discover, walk the streets, sit on terraces, eat the food; soak it all up. To Jim, I’m manic. I envy his ability to sit and stare into space, nap in the afternoons and hang over gates watching sun-sets. … Continue reading The Charente.
We’ve just finished our fourth housesit on a small-holding in the Charente region of France. Now we’re old hands at milking, and this time, for the first time, we didn’t have to milk Bella. She’s a grandma now, and resting. Here I look back to our first stay and encounter with the She-Devil! Day One: We meet Bella. She splayed her legs, put her hooves on the lower bars … Continue reading Diary Of A Milkmaid.
Only one day in Paris! What to do? We went to our favourite museum – Musée d’Orsay – and I became spellbound by the face of a woman who lived 95 years ago. What do I see when I look in your pale, oval face? Hair neatly parted, scraped back in a bun. Deftness. Quietude. A certain passivity. You don’t look like you’d be the … Continue reading Madame Cezanne.
There is something about stairs. Transition points, they are slightly magical, other worldly, mesmerising. Literal and figurative transporters to other realms. Think Kate and Leonardo in Titanic splendour or Kermit’s plaintive ode ‘halfway up the stair’… Ordinary trappings of everyday that offer endless possibilities … Continue reading Stairways of Paris.
For drama lovers and story tellers, take a walk on the wild side to what was once a little island in the middle of the Seine and discover some tall tales in Les Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques. I like visiting cemeteries. I think of them as parks with dead people. Mostly they’re beautiful, peaceful places and not at all morbid. Sometimes … Continue reading A Tear Jerker!