Crissay-sur-Manse: June 6th, 2000

Saturday, 1 November 2014


Last night, around sunset I shot this photo. The setting sun was low over the main road that runs through our village. The intense yellow light was really blinding. 

The evening sky was spectacular. Several shades of blue intermingling with lace-like clouds and dissolving plane tracks. The photo doesn't do it justice. I wonder what it would look like in an open field, without the buildings blocking the view.

I was glad not to be in my car driving into the sunset. I noticed that most of the cars driving up to road were slowing down at a point where they usually start picking up speed.

Today is sunny and warm. Our weatherman Frank thinks that we will break an all-time temperature record. Never before temperatures up to 20°C have been recorded on All Saints' Day, November 1st. I remember the 60-ties and 70-ties, going to the cemetery with my cousins to visit the tombs of our grandparents, in freezing cold temperatures. We wore heavy winter coats, boots, bonnets, scarves and gloves ... and yet, we still felt cold. 

The best part was coming back home where my mother and her brother where baking pancakes for us youngsters. The aromas coming from the small kitchen in the tiny flat where my parents and I lived in those days, was utterly delicious. The six of us, my five cousins and myself squeezed around the small dining room table to gobble down the piles of pancakes that miraculously appeared from the kitchen ... Today there won't be pancakes. I think we'll have ice cream instead!

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Mystery house

If you are familiar with the BBC house hunting program 'Escape to the Country', you will know that the 'Mystery house' is the third house that is being shown to the house hunters. Most of the time the house ticks all the boxes, yet has some peculiar feature the house hunters have not asked for. That can be anything, from a strange location to a quirky lay-out. Most of the candidates fall in love with the Mystery house but, as far as I know, none of them have actually bought the place ... nor any of the other houses they visited with their BBC host, for that matter.

My 'Mystery house' has nothing to do with this TV show which, although fascinating, seems to have been on the air for ages ...Personally, I'm getting a bit tired of the unavoidable and mandatory "Wow... look at the views" comments of the potential buyers.

This is my 'Mystery house':

Click to enlarge and see the 'terrifying' details.

Loire Valley residents will probably know where and what it is. This photo was taken in June 2003, during our 5th Touraine vacation.

I had completely forgotten about this place and photo. It came back into my mind last week when at the office we were asked to come up with an original idea for an internal campaign promoting a new home insurance with the theme: "Sometimes, your house as a surprise in store for you." Do you think our team has a chance winning this competition with this photo? 

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Autumn colours - but not what you think

Now that the days are getting shorter, I'm looking for some new things to do indoors. Things other than household chores, watching TV and reading blogs. I used to do a lot of knitting when I was in my twenties and thirties. I've forgotten how many sweaters and pull-overs I knitted in those days. The results were often disappointing, though ...  Many of my creations turned out to be way to large and ended up on the bottom shelf of my wardrobe.

During my two moves over the last 15 years, most of these 'failures' were put in large plastic bin liners and taken to the community centre. I hope they have found a new owner - bigger than me - who is enjoying the warmth they provide.

I gave up knitting after my 2000 cervical hernia. The repetitive movement that knitting requires is not beneficial to cervical hernias, believe me.

This autumn and winter I've decided to give in to a new hype. I usually stay away from 'hypes' because I don't believe in 'herd-like' behaviour. So, let's just see how it turns out.

How do I plan to spend my winter evenings? The above photo is a hint. Any idea? And is it the latest craze in your country too?