Provence sabbatical day 10 – freezing my socks off

I froze my socks off. And then my toes defrosted! It turns out that not all socks are equal … the fuzzy socks that I normally sleep in do wonders at keeping my toetsies warm, but get painful if you walk in them too long. And walking socks on the other hand, are pretty damn useless at warming your toes in Cotignac!!

A touch more DIY

According to a little French brochure, it’s a good idea to add linseed oil to the wood before adding the window panes back. At least, I hope my French has interpreted it correctly!! I carried on in Pen’s room. Tomorrow some panel pins, and then the window can go back 🙂

Muddy’s Bootcamp – final touches

When making videos, it’s much easier to do the major editing if you’ve done the filming because you know what footage is available. Marcel had done the major work a couple of days ago, and I’ve been meaning to do the final edit. But hadn’t had the time. Sharing our life with you takes at least 3 hours a night. C’mon honey. Gimme a break 😉 We have a lot of fun making these videos with Rob Stewart, our Land Rover guru, and it’s nice to see how we’re all relaxing more in front of the camera, and Marcel’s shots are great. The outtakes are getting funnier and funnier. Perhaps the best part of this video, is how I just don’t have a clue that there’s so much oil on my face. Uploading was fun … 387 minutes (in Holland it would take about 15 minutes). And we noticed that we’ve got over 6 million views on YouTube … DOUBLE YIPPEE!!!

Today’s post is very short … we’re about to go to the village church, who’s bells have been ringing loudly the whole day, for Christmas Carols, and then after that to Sidsel for dinner. Patricia warned us that the church gets really cold, so we much dress warm. “Get changed? What do you mean I can’t wear my snow boots and ski pants?!?

Provence sabbatical day 9 – la terrasse du soleil

I woke up early to get some bookkeeping done. What do you mean it’s Saturday? Really? Already? Patricia collected me around 11 am for our stroll down to the village, and said she was looking for a gift and wanted to visit a friend in an Antique store. They’re normally treasure troves for great photos, so I was happy to tag along. Browsing with a cup of coffee, served in an antique cup of course, Patricia didn’t find “that object” … you know the kind? You have no idea what it is, until you see it, and then it’s perfect. So we rushed off to the florist before it closed. It’s a lot of fun watching an English rose order flowers in French, using Latin names. Especially considering the said rose is a botanical artist. Her green fingers have done wonders in Pen’s magnificent garden. Further down the alley, Patricia bought her weekly paper and we joined Sidsel at Café du Cours.

Possibly the last warm day until March?

Marcel joined us by bicycle. I haven’t had the guts yet to try the hills. Don’t know what’s worse… 36km’s an hour downhill weaving around steep hairpin bends, and trusting drivers to leave the obligatory metre around you, or the 1/2 a kilometre per hour uphill – leaving my lungs on the curb side? Where are those lovely flat cycle paths we get in Holland? Maybe I’d start slowly and head up to the main road, which is one kilometre uphill(!) and see if I’d dare the route back down again. I could see Marcel strapping the GoPRO onto his bike to get the most excellent footage of me screaming my head off. Um, no thanks!

Marcel chose the steep inside road to cycle back, and Patricia and I walked. I’m very impressed. It usually takes her 45 minutes to walk back from the village … uphill all the way. And she does it a couple of times a week. After the sun escaped the terrace near the house, Marcel and I hopped aboard the Mudster. The views are even bigger, and we extended our dose of vitamin D. Our neighbour’s stereo continues to play the blues; reminiscent of Jazz in the Park … but without the crowds. Wow. Still can’t believe we get to enjoy this view alone – just the two of us. Priceless.

LRCH coldest Easter weekend in 100 years

Karen and Taryn came to Holland over Easter; and that was the tipping point for us to join the Land Rover Club Holland in Germany for a little camping in the snow. We’d been considering selling our offroad trailer because it was too big, but after lugging tents, blankies, sleeping bags and a gazillion pillows, we figured it’s better to hang on to it. Literally, of course. They’re known as “hang on wagons” in Dutch [aanhangwagens].

Brrrr … especially when you’re camping!

The Easter bunny’s arrival was announced by Landy hooter and the excitement of kids around us was infectious, “the Easter bunny, the Easter bunny is heeeere!!!”. Then as the sound faded along with most of the kids, one little boy said forlorny, “the Easter bunny is gone”. Ah man. You could see the Easter eggs vanishing in his eyes.

I must say that my favourite thing about these weekends is the family time, and kids being kids outdoors and getting ridiculously dirty. How childhoods are meant to be!

But it’s not just the little kids that have all the fun. Check out the grin on my husband … Marcel and Simon took his 90 for a test drive, after it had been modified for more extreme offroading. Needless to say, it wasn’t long before a little TLC was needed.

All in all, a fabulous unhurried long weekend. As they say in Dutch, “Niets hoeft, alles mag”. Nothing is necessary, everything is possible.