Whoops this is late or ‘Throat support and human evolution’

Fortunately, we have Delia’s mum (F) visiting; it was her who has reminded me to write this blog. Or perhaps its because she’s here that I forgot. Who knows? If Delia hadn’t left Australia, I wouldn’t have met her and I wouldn’t be in France to write my blog anyway. But then if Ugg hadn’t hit that rock against the other to make that first axe head, civilisation would perhaps never have arisen, and don’t get me started on those proto-chimps wondering if coming down out of the trees was a good idea…

Back to today; we three are to do the other end of the walk that we overdid with K&S the week before last (see Delia’s blog).  With K&S we walked about 12kms from Chateau de Montbron to the La Grande Puyconnieux viewpoint and back in nearly 40°c heat. Today it is much cooler and we are to walk from Chateau de Brie to the viewpoint, probably about 5kms and much cooler today. When I had walked from Chateau de Brie to Chateau de Montbron with Delia’s dad and another time with her Aunt (B -who arrives this weekend too) it seemed that the viewpoint  was about half way but I now reckon that the first ‘half’ is much shorter than the second ‘half’ so the plan is to walk the shorter half this afternoon – Delia will let you know next week if her mum survives intact.

So visitor time has arrived, giving us the excuse to halt the repointing for a time! Phew no more dusty dog; Siena revelled in rolling in the piles of brick dust, and in fact loved to sit directly under where Delia would be chiselling away at the old mortar – daft dusty dog aside, the dust got everywhere, its still in the floor tile gaps despite several floor moppings. We restart in October 🙁

The highlight so far I guess is our lunch in Chateau Jumilhac la Grande courtesy of F. But we also have shown F the delights of Intermarché in both Cussac and Chalus. Covered some favourite spots such as Rochechouart (lake and chateau), Lac St Mathieu (now refilling) and the Voie Verte. Tomorrow apparently we are visiting a bra shop in Nontron.  You’d think  ‘brassiere’ was a French word but no, the French for it is soutien-gorge  or ‘throat support’.  Nontron is a town set in a deep valley that we’ve not visited before (though passed through numerous times) so I am hoping for something a little more tourist-orientated (though I believe we will also be visiting a fabric shop!).

 

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Olympian antidote and a LEMP stack

So here is an antidote to the Olympics. It’s been a very sporty year what with the Euros and now the Olympics with Wimbledon in between (I think). However my ignorance of all three knows no bounds, if I cared I could find out who won but I don’t. Its is hard to avoid the Olympics though and Delia looks at the medal tables occasionally. I did catch a few minutes of synchronised diving but otherwise this (non) sporting life continues.

I have (more or less) finished creating an interesting web site recently. I got the opportunity to design logos and add photography with an almost open brief. The main business focus was a Chambre d’Hote just across the border in the Dordogne. I visited to take some interior shots and some of the local scenery. The actual room they are renting out is more like a small gite, a very compact room with a bath and a minstrels gallery. A perfect little honeymoon retreat. I had planned to take some shots of villages and houses but got lost in the views of sunflowers, vineyards and fields. The views there are more open than here. The Perigord Vert, where we live, is a fairly heavily wooded region, there are fields of crops and pasture but somehow the Charente and Dordogne to the west of us is more open rolling countryside, perhaps slightly flatter so the views are more distant. Have a look below and here.

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Yesterday we collected our two friends returning from Massachusetts (her parents’ home and whilst they live and work in Aberdeen, we actually know them from Leicester…). Picking them up from Angouleme station (where the relaxed coffee plans failed – “closed due to refurbishment”). The station patisserie plans (ditto) also failed. We did however manage to get some elaborate patisseries on the drive home, l’éclair de caramel du sel, le trio des chocolats, la passione and l’Italien were all eaten before we even thought to take a photograph so you’ll just have to imagine them. They were fabulous.

Jet lag and a bit of catch-up work online for them means a slow start to their week here. I am looking forward to some technical help from him with my new vps droplet with wordpress installation on a LEMP stack (that’s Linux Ubuntu, nginx, mysql and php) or blah blah blah blah,blah blah…

It’s a glorious 30°c outside, and our house with its metre thick walls stays nice and cool. Siena alternates between basking and cooling sprawled out on the tiles. We are all looking forward to a nice walk around a lake somewhere this afternoon – in this ‘land of a thousand lakes’ we have a lot to choose from.