Mellow Yellow

This was the view from my terrace this morning with the pretty perched village of Cabris to the left of my photo. Although colours are slowly changing as Autumn approaches, daylight is still as intense as it was in summer. Having heralded the start of this year in a blaze of yellow mimosa, the countryside ends now with the mellowest of yellows. Gorgeous.

Friends Simon and Alison returned from Monaco delighted with their tour of the Principality, lunching on Moules et Frites near to the Palais Princier de Monaco (rue de l’Eglise) and later partaking of a fabulous Gelato sitting at the Café de Paris in Monte-Carlo.

Alison’s highlight of the day was meeting a very friendly seagull who apparently walks (yes, walks) from the street into the ‘Au Saint-Nicolas‘ restaurant for a bite of cheese – goat’s no less, as anything else he’ll totally ignore. It seems this fine fellow comes every day to be hand-fed. Having gobbled up his repast he mooches back to Les Jardins St Martin opposite the Cathedral – waiting for a flight home I expect . . .

Simon’s highlight was the fact that someone photographed his RS as he drove round the Condamine (the harbour bit) of the ‘Formula 1 circuit‘.

Nigel flies in today having filmed a Jewish wedding on Sunday in London. Although I couldn’t help with the filming due to our guests arriving, I do get to edit the film – can’t wait.

A Musical Evening & Return To France

Yesterday Nigel and I drove over to Holywell in Cambridgeshire to attend the first IOV (Institute of Videography) Area 7 meeting organised by Peter Baughan, the local IOV representative (you’ll find more stuff about this meeting here on my business blog). The meeting was a Music Video Evening  and the band (Trevor Jones Band) was surprisingly good. The lead singer and song writer, Trevor Jones, has been playing the guitar and writing songs since he was 8 and has played alongside artists such as Suzie Quatro and Jeff Buckley and has played at Glastonbury Festival twice (‘Each time in the mud’ Trevor piped up).

I much enjoyed their music and one song in particular: Old Fashioned Woman and bought their CD so I could listen to it (and their other songs) again.

The meeting was held at the Old Ferry Boat Inn located on the edge of the Great Ouse. Constructed in Anglo-Saxon times it is said to be the oldest Inn in England with mention in the Doomsday Book. It’s a large Inn, with a partly thatched roof, heavily beamed interior, open fires and various nooks and crannies one would expect in an old place like that. It is also apparently haunted. The ghost of a young girl is said to return at midnight on the anniversary of her death each year – 17th March.

Tomorrow I fly back to France for two weeks. I have so missed the dogs and to be fair the cats too (up to a point) and long to see them again. Belaugh will never truly be home until all the furries are here. And that adventure starts in October. For now the plan is to drive back with my MG – another long drive through France in store – and in rather more cramped confines than the Range Rover!

Alone in The Big House

With Nigel off assisting as second cameraman for a wedding up in Northampton, I found myself Home Alone in The Big House today. What fun I thought as I sat in the Garden Room, sipping my coffee and composing the list of things I intend doing.

An hour later I’m still fiddling with my list and a little voice is saying that if I don’t stop fiddling I’ll be sat in the Garden Room all day doing nothing but that. Though I agree with my inner voice, the antics of my little visitors outside continue to captivate me and I linger a tad longer in the Garden Room. My inner voice is now shouting at me to get my act together and Do Something! So I decide to drive the short distance to Wroxham Barns and then across to Salhouse to visit their garden centre. Big tick on my list. ‘Progress’, says I, with a smile.

Back home I head to the kitchen to warm up my coffee. I catch a movement outside. It’s a heron. I grab my camera only to remember that the memory card is still in my office from when I downloaded this morning’s batch of photos. I kick myself at being so stupid. A choice of scurrilities escape (it seems to be the week for them). I dash upstairs, run back down and slip the card into the camera. Luckily the heron is still there and hasn’t seen me. I kick myself again – the back door is closed so I can’t go outside to photograph him as the noise of the door opening would certainly disturb him.

I manage to take a number of photographs of this sleek bird through the kitchen window. He may not be a Flamingo but he certainly has the grace of one in flight. I add another item to my list – keep the kitchen windows clean . . .

Good Friends, Good Food, Good Weekend

This weekend it was my utter delight to have my old chum Ineke and her husband Michael stay with us at Belaugh. Ineke and I first met in Brussels when working for the same international company and discovered our birthdays fell on the same day of the month. We’ve been friends ever since and have shared many a laugh and a tear together.

I dazzled them with scones, cakes, bread and roast chicken – all cooked in the Aga I will have you know. Even I was amazed at my accomplishments. They loved Belaugh, its incredible peace and variety of wildlife that graces our garden. We have invited them to spend New Year’s Eve with us so I have four months to test out and perfect my Yuletide menu.

As they drove away on Sunday afternoon the sun broke through and the weather turned glorious so Nigel and I decided to go for a short drive. Although our aim was to head over to Hickling Broad we actually stopped at Potter Heigham, the Broads Haven marina. It has a medieval hump-backed bridge with just a 6ft 8inch headroom which makes it a little challenging for novice boaters.

In the fullness of time we too will hire a boat and explore the Norfolk Broads, but for the moment we need to concentrate on finishing the move from France, settle in to our new life and make a concerted effort on our business.

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