Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Enjoying the good weather!

What glorious weather we have been having here in the West Country! I am not one for very hot weather but I have to say, I have really been enjoying these beautiful sunny days. Yesterday was Miss P's sports day at school, I went prepared. I took a parasol, a comfy folding chair, a cherry drink and snacks. The sun was beating down and I was very glad to be sitting in the shade. Miss P had a great time and came 2nd in the tennis ball relay which she was chuffed to bits with.

Today I spent most of the day doing housework and gardening. We had some much needed rain overnight, the garden smelt fresh and earthy. Don't you just love that scent!

The joy of spending time in the garden at this time of the year is seeing the beautiful flowers out in full bloom. The collage above are flowers which I picked from the front garden this afternoon.

I picked these flowers whilst walking in nearby country lane today. Nature is very generous! I love wild flowers.

Work in the back garden is still ongoing as you can see. Alan has done a fantastic job of turning the soil over and getting rid of the weeds in the centre where the lawn will be.

Now it's the tedious job of removing as many stones as possible.
Miss P has been doing her bit to help out too.

We have been finding plenty more of this...

This is tiring work!

Once we have removed all the stones, Alan will rotivate the soil. Some of the stones are huge. We found the foundations of a wall going across the garden. This has added extra work as they are very hard to remove. We aim to have a lawn established by mid August, in time for Miss P's 10th birthday... The clock is ticking...Will we meet the deadline???

Thank you for your lovely, encouraging and enthusiastic comments about my new blog/venture ;-)

Have a great week!

A bientôt!

Isabelle X

Friday, 18 June 2010

Celebrating in England's prettiest's village!

Following on from my previous post, Alan and I spent the day in Wiltshire yesterday.
Our destination: Castle Combe which is part of the Cotswolds. It is often referred to as the prettiest village in England and when you arrive there, you can see why. Neither Alan or I had been there before. We both love discovering new places and were pleased to have discovered this special one on our anniversary.
Castle Combe has been used as a location for films and TV including Agatha Christie's Poirot (1989) "The murder of Roger Acroyd" TV episode, Dr Doolittle (1967), Stardust (2007) and The Wolfman (2009).

Top right, we bought a piece of lemon drizzle cake from this stall outside a house and got chatting with the owner as he was painting his windows. He told that us he has lived there for 20 years and loves living in Castle Combe.

We had lunch at The Castle Inn Hotel. We were blessed with clear blue skies and sunshine. As it happens, the same kind of weather as we had on our wedding day 4 years ago.
We chose to sit outside in the small stone walled garden. As we sat down, the delicate scent of roses perfumed the air. It was fairly quiet, we were lucky enough to have the garden to ourselves the whole time. Had we been there at the weekend, it would have been a lot busier.
The garden overlooks the church and little cottages. It all made for the perfect lunch!

Alan soaking up the atmosphere

I quite liked the sink in the "Ladies" and couldn't resist taking a picture of it! I was keeping my fingers crossed that no one would come in whilst I was taking a picture of a sink. They had matching toilets too...Sorry no pictures! ;-)

Market Cross

On our way back home, we decided to stop in Corsham which is not far from Castle Combe.

There were some nice shops

I saw this old type writer in a shop window but unfortunately the shop was closed.

I was really quite taken by this "modern" alabaster effigy. It is a memorial to Eleanor, Lady Methuan who died in 1958. The detail and art work are incredible! Alabaster makes it look more real than stone. The effigy had a beautiful translucent quality and looked peaceful.

We didn't have the time to visit Corsham Court as we arrived in Corsham towards the end of the afternoon. That will be for another time.

Thank Alan for a wonderful anniversary!

I wish you all a very good weekend.

A bientôt!

Isabelle X

P.S: Thank you for your anniversary wishes and lovely comments ;-)

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Honeymoon in Sardinia

Today is our wedding anniversary! Alan and I married on the 17th June 2006.

A week after our wedding, we flew to Olbia in Sardinia (Italy) for our honeymoon.
We stayed in lovely little place called Porto Rafael in North Sardinia.

Porto Rafael

Porto Rafael

The view from our accommodation. A breathtaking site to wake up to in the mornings!

Before it would get too hot in the mornings, we would go for a swim at one of the local beaches. It was a small & very quiet beach, no hoards of tourists, bliss! The sea was so clear. On one occasion we got caught out when a storm started (see bottom left picture) It was fun swimming in the pouring rain.

During our two week holiday, we explored the main island as well as neighbouring islands.
We took a ferry to La Maddelena archipelago just off Sardinia. Towards the end of the afternoon, the beach emptied until we eventually had it all to ourselves. We stayed to watch the sunset go down into the sea.

On another day, we drove to Porto Cervo, the St Tropez of Sardinia. It has a marina filled with yachts, restaurants, several beautiful boutiques, including Louis Vuitton, Missoni and other well known designers. I like the architecture & colours of the shopping area.

Santa Theresa is a very colourful place. After having a lovely seafood lunch we went for a stroll by the sea. Before returning back to Porto Rafael, we had an ice cream. Something that we did most days, each time trying out a different flavour. Undoubtedly, Italian ice cream is the best in the world!!! So creamy and full of flavour. The best ones where to be found in Palau, not far from Porto Rafael.

Before we left for Sardinia, Miss P made this really sweet drawing for us to take on honeymoon. It was not easy leaving Miss P behind for the two weeks but I knew that she would be in good hands. My parents kindly stayed at our house and looked after her.

Porto Rafael is a beautiful resort, it has: Crystal clear seas, no lager louts, quiet beaches, beautiful scenery, good food, not over run by tourists, a night time market in nearby Palau and a wonderful atmosphere... Plenty going for it!

We had a wonderful honeymoon there and look forward to going back. We would definitely stay in Porto Rafael again.

Alan has taken the day off today and is going to take me out for a meal to celebrate our anniversary ;-)

A bientôt!

Isabelle X