Monet’s Gaff and Garden

My regular reader will be totally unsurprised that there has already been a change of plan.  This CoP took place halfway across the somewhat choppy channel and was in addition to the CoP that occurred before main engine start, so I’ll deal with them in order.

I’m not headed for Spain straight away and the Picos will be left for spring as I’m already a month behind schedule and am now delaying my arrival in Spain by a further week. Along with thousands of others K & L had their holiday plans snafued when Monarch went into receivership last week. They will get all their money back (eventually) but both were so disappointed not to be going on holiday in a couple of weeks. I felt for them especially as I was about to swan off again. So I threw a suggestion at them – and return flight only for two was booked within minutes! The only flights that were left at a halfway decent price, well it will be half term that week of course as both are teachers, were flights to Nice or Toulouse. I nixed Nice as it’s too far out of my way so I’m picking them up at Toulouse and they will have a few days in the van with me. Depending on temperatures we can either Atlantic or Mediterranean coast it and see some sights along the way.

Main engine start had me with a vague plan to go to Bilbao for a few days before heading back over the Pyrenees to pick up the girls. That was before I met Jo. I spotted her whilst we were queuing to go through passport control and clocked her as a fellow lone traveller. Then we met in the cafe on the ferry and decided to sit together for a while; well actually the whole journey, so busy nattering we hardly noticed the Rough. As you do, we exchanged views of the world (similar), frustration at people who think we’re “sooo brave”  and others who think we must be lacking something as we don’t have men – you get the picture. Amongst other topics covered were overnight stops and Jo told me that there is a motorhome stopover at Giverny. I pass by the sign for Giverny every time I come over and return but’ve never got round to stopping. Jo was right to reassure me that the gardens are still very colourful at this time of year, but only a couple of Monet’s waterlilies to be considered. (I really have watched far too much Python!)

So first night in France since June, in the car park at Monet’s Gaff and Garden …


Off to a great start.

🙂 🙂 🙂

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 …

🙂 🙂 🙂

Liberty of London

Over recent years K and I have fallen into the habit of having an afternoon of girlie time each December admiring all the glitter, bling, tinsel and bauble of Christmas decorations. We mostly go to garden centres, the one at Henry Street, Aborfield being our favourite locally. After discovering that Liberty’s Christmas shop is already open and as we’ve missed the last two years because in ’15 I was in Spain and in ’16 K was unable to walk, K decided a return to Liberty of London was called for – we haven’t been for several years. Okay it’s only September but I leave for the winter in a few days. There was a certain lack of yuletide excitement but there was sparkle and colour in abundance, all inside that wonderful Tudor revival building –  and there was Afternoon Tea …

we had a great time.

🙂 🙂 🙂

The Girls from Brisbane –

A contact on Blipfoto published this photo of two ladies she spotted visiting a museum. I think they’re awesome older women and was inspired to write a few words;

val and margaret rs

Val and Margaret – photo by Trisha Wilson

I refuse to wear shapeless and pale,
forsake make up and not paint my nails.
I’m sporting the bright and quite stylish
with bling on my fingers and ears.

I will not move into the shadows
curl up in the gloom and just fade.
I enjoy having brand new adventures,
and love how I’m living my dreams.

I’m uncaring most years are behind me
packing sparkle into the rest,
I still have some heartaches remaining
but I’m not getting old with regret.

I’d love to meet these two, I’m sure they’re so much fun.

🙂 🙂 🙂

A bit of a sunset

Last night’s sunset was a bit special – the colours were so intense that my little white dog, who had to forego much of her walk whilst I shutter clicked for ages, turned pink! A rather larger gallery than usual, for which I offer no apologies …

Sunset crop

Burnished barley



Sunset squaredSunset squared

June sunsetJune sunset

Sunset reflected

Sunset reflected



Fiery skyFiery sky

 … an awesome spectacle

🙂 🙂 🙂

Different journeys

The wait for the house sale to be processed is agonisingly long and I’ve started to think about it as part of my journey to retirement as a way to counter the frustration I feel. Driving back from work in the late summer sun and warmth today reminded me that next year I shall be journeying through sun and warmth in very different places at a slower pace, able to take time to just enjoy. And I thought about my journey through summer this year, a journey of colour, blue skies, warmth, sun and fun. A true summer such as we haven’t had in the UK for seven years. So here are a few of my memories of the long summer of 2013.