France, Summer 2021, after all.

Discovering splendid municipal architecture in Évreux, and castles in Lapalisse and Châteldon (the home town of Pierre Laval, though that doesn’t get much of a mention in the tourist office!)

I am also quite a fan of the N7, but I think this rather large sign in Lapalisse is new:

Likewise this rather alarming roadside cross that has appeared right outside the front gate… I think over the last year European money has restored several of these 19th century calvaires which had disappeared during the late 20th century.

We’ll get used to it!

Reading, walking, eating….and several sessions with the dye pots, mostly sock yarn this time.

I also took some pictures of a corridor my daughter decided to decorate some years ago:

We are holding a memorial event to celebrate her life on Sunday. This is necessary, but not easy. I think I will take my late September tree pictures on the same day – still a really useful prop!

Hic sunt dracones….

And plenty of them…

Half term fun. Dragon hunting with a five year old in Brighton Pavilion.

She was less keen on this:

She refused to believe anyone had ever eaten it. In fact, I think we may be heading towards more vegetarian choices quite soon….

The most interesting thing in the Pavilion apparently has nothing to do with poor old Prinny. It is Queen Victoria’s bed – with SEVEN mattresses, carefully counted!

Moody weekend

Weatherwise, certainly….

Definite dampening of the spirits – but can’t believe how lucky we were to snatch a couple of hours out on the Downs – we didn’t get soaked till we were 10 minutes from home! The charming church is at Streat, near Hassocks. It is listed as 11th century, but what you can see is mostly Victorian. Plenty of traditional Sussex knapped flint around here.

And it’s not quite over yet – cheerful remnants of late summer colour here and there. And also a little swag – some brilliant pink crab apple jelly which I have failed to photograph.

OK, no excuses….

(And definitely no resolutions, either!)

But this is where the time went – late Autumn in the Auvergne, then a family wedding in the West (with another visit to Salisbury sneaked in). In the photos it all looks rather brown. The picture of the leaves on the black grass has recently evolved into a skein of tweedy speckled handspun – so I have been fitting in a bit of work….

December was much more urban.

Paris, the first week of the French strike….Eurostar cancelled, no metro, no buses – and no **** Opera, which had been booked since September!

The Orangerie was also closed – but they let tourists into the Monet waterlilies – AND they didn’t charge! The dramatic metal figures (outside, along the river) are free to view anyway – such upmarket street art and so French!

Then back to Christmas. Rather traditional this year – family, books, music, puzzles….ridiculous quantities of food…. The decorations have got to be the best bit – I spent a great deal of time staring into the depths of the tree and was fairly gutted to have to take it down!

Some silk dyeing has been going on too – but that is for next time.