The Car Park of Destiny.

It’s a long time since I’ve updated you about my daughter Ellie. Here, in her own words, is the latest instalment.

Fanny the Champion of the World

I haven’t written an update for a while, and to be honest, I’ve been enjoying getting back to normality (and trying to learn how to parent teenagers), with limited success. I think that writing Fanny through my grief and treatment was my way of releasing stress when I had nobody else to tell. Now, I do have someone to tell, who loves me deeply, but with that happiness and contentment has come a bit of Writers’ Block. Our stories don’t end as long as we’re alive, but perhaps I wanted Fanny to have her happy ending, and I wasn’t sure if there really was any such thing.

In fact, I suppose I thought a new beginning had come instead – in July last year, when my husband’s ashes were interred in the graveyard of the church where he and I had married 15 years before, almost to the day. I’d…

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Crepuscule Mark Two

My last post showed a sunrise over Corrèze. This is the sunset from our friends’ house in Laroque d’Olmes. You can’t see the Pyrenees from here, but the foothills, the Plantaurel.

Here’s the view from town.

Lovely as it is to see our friends (five hour lunch, eating, drinking, talking and laughing on a shaded terrace anyone?), Laroque has been a horrible disappointment.


Since we left, quelques petits commerces have closed. InterMarché has come to town. And McDonald’s. They’re building a Lidl, so I took a picture of the town through the webbing and netting of the building site. It’s not a small town any more. It’s one of those out-of-town roads lined with out-of-town stores. I’m just glad we no longer live here.

Snapshot Sunday: the Rhine and the Mosel

I promised you a rest from my eternal blogging from Germany. But this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is ‘Liquid’, and today, on our way home to England, we have journeyed a short way along the Rhine, watching barges and cruise ships ploughing their way from points between Basel in Switzerland, via the Lichtenstein, Austrian and French borders, through Germany and the Netherlands to the North Sea.

We looked for castles, craggy rock formations, vertiginous vineyards, and generally enjoyed the rich and varied life of this vast and lengthy waterway.

Tonight, our bedroom overlooks the hardly less interesting Mosel. I thought a couple of snapshots from each of these liquid thoroughfares was the least I could offer.

Give us this day our daily bread

Bread is important in Germany. Eating it has been almost the best part of our holiday.

Some is dense, dark, leather-brown, and perfect to accompany slices of ham, bierwurst or cheese. There’s chewy sourdough, perhaps flavoured with caraway or cumin. Even white bread is characterful and tasty.

We’ve fallen for our local bakery. It’s where we go every day for breakfast. Look what 1.80€ buys us. The bread is still warm from the oven, there’s plenty of butter, and the jam home-made. And they serve coffee too.

Every weekday, the bakery opens at 5.30 a.m. and closes at 6.00 p.m., and it’s busy at the weekend too. This morning they were queuing outside the door, buying bread and cakes for the Whitsuntide weekend.

Tomorrow is our last day. We’ll be back in England by Tuesday morning. Normal service again.

Little Switzerland in Germany

Our time in Germany was billed as a walking holiday with added culture. It’s turned out to be a cultural holiday with added walking. Which is perfectly fine. Just let me show you a couple of shots from our walk today, in an area known as Little Switzerland. Hilly, forested, with flower-strewn meadows, and birdsong, always birdsong, this is easy, relaxing walking country.