Wednesday 13 July 2011

bonjour from France!

Thanks to the miracle of Ryanair we arrived in southern France this morning in time for glorious pain au chocolate and delicious coffee for breakfast. OK, so it did mean we had to leave home at 3am but it was worth it.

It's really weird to be at home one minute and suddenly immersed in total 'frenchness' in less than two hours. This is a typical Ariege street full of old houses with no gardens but they certainly love their geraniums.

We always have a number of 'must dos' when we visit France - of course checking that the patisserie is still up to scratch is towards the top of the list. We also sampled Magret de Canard with a couple of the local wines tonight - it's a tough job but someone has to do it and I am more than happy to volunteer.

The main reason for the visit (apart from catching up with my sister and her other half) is to follow two stages of the Tour de France. Our favourite, Mark Cavendish, won again today and is wearing the Green Jersey tonight so we are all happy. Tomorrow we are checking out the route to find the perfect spot on the mountain to see them whizz by on Saturday. They reach such incredible speeds downhill that it makes sense to stand on an uphill stretch. That way we get a bit more time to see who's approaching. If I can manage to focus the camera on anything other than a colourful blur I'll post pictures soon.

We did manage to fit in a visit to a huge new patchwork and quilting shop in Carcassonne this morning. They have only been open for 3 months but they had an incredible range of fabrics and notions. Quiltmaking must be very popular around here. Although I intend to have as much of a break as I can  I've packed my sketchbook and paints with every intention of filling some pages when I have a free minute. Holidays are often the most productive time for sketchbook work!

Thanks for taking the time to visit - bye for now, Linda


  1. I'm sure a certain birthday will be replayed too! Have a wonderful time in a beautiful setting and great company.

  2. I envy you! Have another great celebration while you're there. BTW did you stand all the way and did Ryanair make you pay for the loo? :0)

  3. Have a nice time in the south of France. I haven't been there for some years and oh, I miss that! And what a fun to see a part of The Tour. It goes by in a split second! Lovely to find a new patchworkshop in Carcassone. A beautiful place to be.
    And I have to wait a whole month for the Festival, I must be patient, can't wait to fly to Birmingham! If you have to finish things, yes, it is coming very soon!! Yippie!!
    gr. from The Netherlands, Marjolijn

  4. Hi Linda,
    those pastries look so yummie! is the green one made with marzipan? I love the combo marzipan and chocolate (and cake)

    Please also cheer for our Dutch fellow, the one that rides in the shirt with the Red Polka Dots (don't know the proper English term) He was thrown into the barbed wire a few days ago and has as many stitches as a quilt now. But he continues with the tour.

  5. I'm so jealous, although we have promised ourselves a visit to the area this year after several years absence. I promise to take my sketch book too.
    I saw the tour de france some years ago in Belgium. It is quite a spectacle, so much advertising before the cycalists appear - we nearly went home before the event!

  6. Mais oui. La Belle France. I love her dearly.

    Your pictures transport me back to the Marais
    and L'Occitane and a tiny patisserie we bought
    our incredible pain au Chocolat.

    Enjoy the beauty! Watching le tour de France
    sounds swell. Here's hoping you find that perfect
    vantage point.


  7. Aha we are coming on Sunday - make sure the weather is good in the Gers region please!