Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Quelle surprise (2)…

Aire Bro open for business!

This is the first year we’ve ever seen the clematis in full bloom. We either catch it just before it flowers at Easter or the tail end in May.


We arrived in Le Petit-Pressigny at the end of last week and for three days it rained, and it rained and it rained! The journey was a bit hectic, as we came out in both cars which meant we weren’t able to share the driving and the spray on the roads made for poor visibility. Added to that the toll tag only worked intermittently.

Anyway we were beginning to get a bit stir crazy in the house so as soon as there was a small, brighter window in the clouds I thought I’d make a start at sweeping up the clematis petals and cleaning the terrace, ready to be power washed and sealed. We spend a lot of time on the terrace so this is a job which needs to be done early in the holiday before the assorted tables, chairs, planters etc are put out.



I thought I could hear someone talking, but generally this is Tim talking to himself, or to me, so ignored it. Then I realised that he was talking to someone with the familiar Stoke-on-Trent accent. To our delight Dave, a friend and ex colleague of Tim’s, had called in. Tim knew he was coming to France at sometime this summer, but not when. Dave’s phone wasn’t working properly so he wasn’t able to call in advance. However none of this mattered as we were absolutely delighted to see him. The beauty of this stage of our lives is that there is very little which we plan to do today which cannot be done tomorrow.


Planning his route to the next Aire.

We’ve spent a lovely couple of days chatting, laughing, going for very long walks and sharing memories of the past nearly 30 years. Dave was the perfect house guest. In fact he was so perfect he brought his own house with him. It truly was a mobile home!

Old Guys Rule…or so they would like to think. Mo and I, of course, know better!



Dave’s washing line.

We were very sorry to see him go but he was heading back towards Dunkirk, to Mo (who hasn’t yet retired) and to finish writing his Father-of-the-Bride speech for his daughter Charlotte’s wedding. He shared a few snippets from an early draft so it should go down well – we laughed! If we were in the UK we would be heading to the church to see him in his top hat and tails!

So…back to the gardening, but the sweeping can wait. It is so breezy that as fast as I can clear the terrace of petals, more fall to take their place.




  1. Oh, Gaynor, it looks so gorgeous as it is with its pink carpet! I know it will eventually have to go, but it does look lovely.
    Glad you had such a good time with your unexpected visitor. I'm looking forward to hearing and seeing a bit more of France through your eyes again. Give my love to the area. I had a reassuring email from the ex about my little spot there - but I'm not holding my breath just yet!! Actually, it would be rather nice to pop over and visit now I know you are so close! Axxx

    1. Any time, Annie. We would look forward to a visit from you and the family. Glad that lines of communication are established.
      I'll bet you will notice some differences but 'plus ça change plus c'est la même chose'... :o)

  2. You're garden looks a treat and what a lovely surprise to find your friend at the house! Love the clematis but I'm having the same "mess" problem with my camelia.

    1. The school I used to work in had about 40 large cherry trees lining the drive. For a few days they looked beautiful. For the rest of the time the carpet of petals went from looking pretty to messy very quickly. Then when the fruit was out and the birds got to it was a real mess with droppings mixed with fruit remains and stones.

  3. Welcome home!
    All looks hunky-doorstop...
    and I'll bet today's winds cleared all the petals...
    in fact, you'll probably be getting a complaint from N&A for covering their terrace in pink petals...
    that last pic would make a good Easter card.
    I'll apologise now for all the bits of willow and lime that have reached you!!

    See you soon...
    but not too soon...
    I'm just recovering from a real bout of ManFlu Lurgy...
    or "gripe des hommes"!!
    Wouldn't want to give either of you that at the start of your stay!!
    And can you use some pumpkin?

    1. Get well soon! Will leave it a few days before we call in to drop off the Lakeland goodies and pick up the Olive trees. Their vacation with you has been rather longer than first envisaged. Your ManFlu is something we can do without!!

  4. I hope Tim took notes about the speech, it will soon be upon him to write his own!! Don't those petals stick?? I used to live on an avenue with cherry trees... I hated the site of them the petals got everywhere!

    1. He has just under 400 days to perfect his speech...

  5. I bet you are enjoying seeing your home at times of the year that have previously not been possible. That pink carpet of blossom looks gorgeous. We head back next week, and I am really looking forward to the next 6 months in Caunes. Enjoy ! xxxx

    1. Safe travels back to Caunes and I look forward to seeing how your revised blog idea works out. x

  6. Thats the joy of being here, you can do what you want when you please. I love how the days change, depending on the weather or who stops by x

  7. Thats the joy of being here, you can do what you want when you please. I love how the days change, depending on the weather or who stops by x