Autumn glory

In the south of England this weekend has been an echo of summer, not necessarily this country’s summer, but t-shirt and sandals get-outside-while-you-can weather.

I’ve always thought of spring as being the colourful season, but maybe that’s just because after winter everything is fresh and bright, like youth. Breathing in all the fiery, flamboyant colours whilst walking LWD this afternoon, Nature gave me a different way of thinking. Autumn is not about resting back and taking it easy, it’s about fire and spirit and vibrance. Today’s spectacle of colour has shown me that my autumn is also about those things. Unconsciously I’ve been living in that manner since retiring, but now understanding I intend to glory in my autumn years and they are going to be even more have-a-go and feisty than ever.

Autumn glory

I’m sure none of the above is original philosophical thinking, but it’s definitely my new credo …

🙂 🙂 🙂

Grinning again

So where was I? Oh yes, leaving the Chateau and on my way down the mountain – can’t say that driving up and down in that lot was much fun. Fog cleared as soon as we were down to earth so to speak and we sped along to Colmar. Had the coordinates for a stopover but my heart started to sink as we drove into the town/city; very busy, noisy and I couldn’t see any sign of the medieval buildings, so paused long enough to look up a campsite (need to do some washing) reasonably close and drove off with no idea of where we were going other than the new GPS coordinates.

Within 20 minutes I was grinning from ear to ear and my regular reader will be aware what that means – squiggly, steep roads (no fog now) – and up we drove. Haven’t had so much driving fun since February. The road peaked at about 1,800m but the ski lift there seemed to go up a great deal more; it was running but just for walkers, pas de la neige. We descended about 1,000m to the campsite nestled in a beautiful valley between two lakes, one big, one small. Management here very friendly and helpful, shower/toilet block heated, and peace and tranquility reigns. Another corker of a site.

The first walk was round the smaller lake, Lac de Retournemer, LWD had one (or several) of her hypomanic moments  amongst the autumn leaves, racing round and round, growling with delight. At this altitude it’s a wee bit nippy so the (expensive, but so worth it) new winter coat has been deployed.

 

Today’s walk was alongside the very much larger Lac de Longemer, unfortunately the weather wasn’t as nice, low cloud and drizzle, but her ladyship and I enjoyed it.

🙂 🙂 🙂

L’Automne

Autumn is arriving in France, the temperature is dropping and my summer/winter clothing has been swapped between less/more accessible cupboards. Not that it is particularly cold – just no longer in the mid to high twenties – and as I’m making my way slowly back to Calais and the ferry home next week I’ve a feeling the T shirts will soon have to be exchanged for jumpers. I’m already wearing trousers and shoes rather than shorts and sandals.

Have to say I’m looking forward to lots of hugs. And speaking my native tongue and not having to search for the correct word will be great. I’m proud to say tho’ that I’ve been complimented on my “excellent” French and “lack of accent” but I still have to extend my vocabulary. Must work harder!!! Perhaps the Smart One will lend me his pictorial dictionary …

I spent longer than I had planned at my last campsite hence a long drive yesterday. Wakan Tanka, Camping La Bucherie, is next to the tiny hamlet of La Bucherie and is quite simply the most peaceful place I have ever been. I sat (or walked) for hours unable to hear anything other than birds twittering (do they have to have accounts?), insects buzzing and the sounds of chestnuts dropping off the trees. I was able to see the night sky as I haven’t since I was a child, blazing stars, the Milky Way … and I watched the ISS orbiting for several minutes.
I’ve always had a very soft spot for the Dutch, a cousin was rescued and hidden by them after being parachuted into Arnhem in WW2 and the families stayed in touch and holidayed together annually during my childhood. So having made friends with Olga and Bert in Cap d’Agde I now made more Dutch friends, Ans and Ries the owners of this little bit of Dordogne paradise. It was a big culture shock yesterday driving through rush hour Le Mans and now being on a campsite with a busyish road right next door.

Here’s La Belle France in her autumn glory …

🙂 🙂 🙂

Cold hands

On a very nippy but bright late autumn afternoon, I finally found the time to capture some colour at Virginia Water lake, part of the Crown estate, Windsor Great Park.

Note to self; buy a pair of those fingerless gloves with the mitten cover before you lose another finger – this time to frostbite!

Pause has not been pressed

My life is on hold ……

In fact only one thing is on hold. Apart from wierdoes crawling out from behind the skirting there is no movement on the house sale.

Wierdo One; made an offer and then dragged things along for eight weeks before rescinding his offer.

Wierdo Two; made an offer but courteously only dragged things out for five days before withdrawing.

Wierdo Three; without even seeing the property (although she says she has) three offers have been received, a low one, a slightly improved one (both rejected) and now virtually the full asking price …… however …… no-one has met her; as she’s asked for the white goods to be included and it’s a fitted kitchen she can’t have viewed, ergo she’s a porkie-pier; the estate agent has heard on the estate agents’ grapevine that she’s offered on a couple of other properties and withdrawn late stage. Adam (agent) has suggested that he is unable to get hold of me and can’t inform me of the offer, he’s tried and tried but it appears I haven’t answered my phone until after she has or hasn’t turned up for her “second” view on Saturday along with 5 other potential buyers, who apparently are genuine. This one is front runner for the prize of Wierdo of the Sale.

In the mean time I sternly remind myself,  pause has not been pressed; life is continuing. Saw Reginald D Hunter recently but not massively impressed, slight sniggers only, Canadian support act was very funny. Seeing Bill Bailey tomorrow night – Tenalady is I am reliably informed “de rigueur” wear! K is finally having her back op next week so Grandma is having care of the Smart One for five days. I was out and about with the G2 on a lovely early autumn weekend a couple of weeks ago some of the results below.