Sunday, 29 November 2015

La Grande Dune du Pilat

On the way home from Biarritz Roger wanted to take me to see the biggest sand dune in Europe – The Grande Dune du Pilat and it was big. The pine trees that you pass on the way in are tall, but to be on top of the dune overlooking the tree tops was quite strange, they looked so small, just like model village trees. With a length of 2.7k, 500m wide and a height of 110m, you could make a lot of sandcastles with that. As you might be able to tell in the photos, we got a bit wet. The weather hadn’t been kind all day, but as we got to the dune it had stopped raining. Brilliant we thought, as we made our way up the dune, but as soon as we got to the top, the heavens opened plus it was blowing a hooley. We were absolutely soaked through but thankfully we had a change of clothes with us, but only because we were on our way back from our special weekend. We’d like to go back and visit one day but definitely when it’s sunnier.

Dune 1
Dune 2

Dune 4

Dune 3
Dune 5

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Our 30th Anniversary in Biarritz

After spending a few weeks dithering on where to go or even whether to go anywhere, we decided on Biarritz. It was somewhere Roger always fancied visiting and he wanted to be beside the seaside. We stayed at the Hotel de Silhouette, perfectly located right in the centre, close to all the attractions, opposite the market and restaurants. But being November, some of the attractions were closed but we managed to visit Planete Musee du Chocolat along with a lovely walk around the town with tea and coffee stops in-between. Biarritz is definitely luxurious, you only have to look at the prices in the shop windows and the cost of staying at the Hôtel du Palais Imperial Resort & Spa to see that, but we loved that it was small enough to walk around with a lovely atmosphere. Eating out wasn’t a problem, even though some places had closed for the winter. We had 3 very different meals and all very yummy. On our second day we took ourselves off to San Sebastian and then on into the mountains. San Sebastian was enormous, much bigger than we’d thought. Because time was pressing and we were trying to squeeze in as much as possible before it got dark, we only staying for a couple of hours in San Sebastian before driving into the mountains. A lovely weekend to celebrate our special day. Roll on the next 30 years.

Biarritz 14

A quick photo between the showers.

Biarritz 1

One of Rogers favourite treats.

Biarritz 2

Some brave souls.

Biarritz 3

Mixing the old and new.

Biarritz 12

Chocolate sculpture made with 14kg of chocolate and called Desire.

Biarritz 8

View of Biarritz with the old port below.

 Biarritz 6

Left is the Hotel du Palais and on the right the casino.

Biarritz 10

Another view of the coastline.

 Biarritz 11

Rocher de la Vierge (Rock of the Virgin).

Biarritz 13

Part of the market, open every morning, every day.

San Sebastian

Panorama of San Sebastian.

San Sebastian 2

Monte Urgall

San Sebastian 3

Looking down on San Sebastian, enormous.

San Sebastian 4

Looking towards the Pyrenees.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Leak Fixed

It was a bit scary seeing our lawn being dug up, but it had to be done. New trench dug, a layer of sand put in the bottom, new pipe work laid then covered in more sand then the topsoil. So glad we got a man with a digger because it would have taken ages to dig by hand with the amount of stone that came out of the ground. So far we’ve taken a trailer load to some friends for their garden, taken 30 bags to the tip plus there’s more to dispose off. The ones in the photo still need to be broken up and we’ve kept some for ourselves to make steps in the garden. Holding our breath as we are still waiting for the water bill to arrive.


Trench being dug.

Pipe 1

Sand and pipe work laid.

Pipe 2

Matting to warn future diggers that there’s pipe work underneath.

 Pipe 3

Filling in the trench.

Pipe 4

Just a few of our stones.

Pipe 5

Drive back to normal.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Le Pigeonnier - Mairé-Levescault

It took 2 years to restore this beautiful pigeonnier after it fell into disrepair. Most of the roof had gone and the walls were falling down so master craftsmen were called in to bring it back to it’s former glory. In 2012, it was re-opened during the villages annual summer party. The pigeonnier is located on the site of a former abbey of Mairé-Levescault, that has long gone. Inside there are hundreds of pigeonholes, but we didn’t see one pigeon the day we were there.
Pigeon 1

 The restored pigeonnier.

Pigeon 2

Inside, all the individual pigeonholes.

Pigeon 3

Looking up.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

My Mum’s Malt Loaf

Hubby is a big fan of Soreen malt loaf, but my Mum told me how easy it is to make your own. So here is her easy peasy recipe for the homemade variety. Just make sure you use the same mug for all the ingredients. Absolutely delicious, especially with a dollop of butter on top.

Malt Loaf

Ingredients Method
350g mixed dried fruit.
1 mug of any brown sugar.
1 mug black tea.
2 mugs plain flour.
2 tsp baking powder.
1 egg.
1 tsp mixed spice.
Soak the dried fruit, sugar and tea overnight or for a least 6 hours.

Mix in the remaining ingredients and put into a lined 2 lb loaf tin.

Cook on Gas 5/190c for 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Simples.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Beautiful 1st November

What a fantastic Sunday, around 22 degrees, the sun was shining, so a perfect day for a bike ride. We rode around the village of Mairé-Levescault with our friends Sue and Bob. Here is Sue admiring the beautiful autumn colours and Roger and Bob deciding which way to go. Thank you both for a lovely ride and a tasty supper of home made French onion soup afterwards.
Bob and Roger