I'm so often asked what we think of France and whether I think that we made a good decision in fleeing our native land that I've created a special page to cover that topic. If you want to consult it, go here. The Brexit decision has serious potential repercussions which are currently unquantifiable - but we will take all necessary steps to ensure that we can stay here, even if we are somewhat poorer.
I was once accused on a group website by a French national of imposing myself on a country that I neither know or care about. This was so wrong that I wrote this in rebuttal.
What better way to spend two weeks in January than touring the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico? For our French group the tour took in nine fantastic Mayan sites - including Chichen Itzá - and we were well fed and housed en route. We finished with a few days at a beach resort in Riviera Maya.
There's an album of photographs of our tour here.
A totally serendipitous week - everything came together well and was totally enjoyable even though this motoring holiday in France was planned at the last minute to fit a slot in our calendar. Like many others we'd visited the Ardèche for the gorge and the famous Pont d'Arc - impressive but very “touristique”! We wanted to browse through the much lesser-known Monts d'Ardèche, the area where the Loire river rises.. There's an album of photos here and a write-up of our trip here.
Our friend Claude Schroiff and his wife Angèle threw a party for Claud's 80th birthday which was a pleasant French family "do" with all ages represented, not just the old fogies!
There's an album of photographs of the occasion here.
How nice to fly from Bergerac, just up the road from us, even though it was in a B737 with a Czech airline having the rather silly name of "Smartwings"! We got free parking, too, under the solar panels and as part of the deal. There was barely time to read the safety card before we were landing at Porto.
There's an abum of photos here and a write-up here
For our river cruise we took a comfortable coach which called to pick us up at our local town of Villeneuve-sur-Lot; the unhurried trip paused at the Abbaye de Fontfroide near Narbonne for an excellent lunch.
We met the cruise boat at Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône, were fed and watered yet again before settling down in one of the 78 cabins in the 110m vessel, destined for Arles and Avignon.
There's an abum of photos here and a write-up here .
Apart from maintenance, not a lot of DIY happened; I did paint the bathroom while Xine was in the yUK and I did a bit of woodworking with an outside gate and a deck overlooking the slope to the South.
No bright lights of Berlin this year - instead we had a Christmas at home which meant we had to find all the decorations which hadn't been used for two years! Simon & Sara with Millie and Olivia drove down from England so it was a lovely Christmas seeing the time through the eyes of 10 and 11-year olds.
My Christmas lunch in England with the old fogies of Marconi didn't happen - the lunch was scheduled just before Christmas so the flights were very expensive.
Pre-Christmas news was that son Tim and his GF Kitty were in Oz preparing for a wedding on the beach!
|Chichen Itza, Mexico||Pont du Diable, Ardèche|
|The Douro river & the Dom Louis bridge||Pope's Palace, Avignon (Rhône cruise)|
|DIY garden gate.||Observation deck/Suicide leap?|
The year's major treat was the Mexico trip, but we followed it with small holidays to the Ardèche, Portugal and the Rhône river which broke up the year nicely. So it was a good year and the holidays kept our minds off the Brexit axe and the self-seeking politicians who are ineffectually trying to wield it!
May you all have a happy and prosperous 2018!
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