Saturday, October 21, 2017

Prague at the end of September

This year my birthday started early as we had trains and planes to catch. We went off to Prague to spend a few days with Oliver.

Petrin Hill

 There was so much to see. We spent a lot of time out of doors – the weather was really good to us. There are a lot of parks to visit that are not only beautiful but give you wonderful views of the town. We are walkers in our family so we spent a lot of time walking. We tried to avoid the very touristy areas – you wouldn’t believe how many people can squash onto the Charles bridge. We went early in the morning when there were fewer people.

Charles Bridge

Olivier also took us to the shopping centres; there are several and well worth a visit, though clothes are often the same price as the rest of Europe. Food is important of course when you visit a foreign country. Restaurants are cheaper, but the quality and quantity of food served it very, very good. We also drank locally brewed beer which was excellent.

John Lennon Wall

The dancing House

The Time Machine!

View from the top of the Czech Monument

I didn’t want to come home. We saw a lot more than if we’d have gone there on our own. Olivier was a good guide and of course knows the kind of places we like to visit and see. There’s still lots left over for next time!

Even drain covers can be interesting!


The famous clock

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Visiting our children

Last week we flew to the UK and visited two of our children. First were Christian and partner. They’ve not long moved into a lovely house in a tiny village. Think Agatha Raisin or Midsomer Murders, a really charming place. I’m hoping that they don’t get murdered.

We also visited a super shopping centre in Sheffield and the city of York while we were at that end of the country. After being used to the French country side around here, everything seemed to be so green and the trees so big!

Moving further south into the Midlands we took my mum out to lunch and I presented her with a signed copy of my book! After that we spend a day visiting Hay-on –Wye via Ross-on-Wye, Christian joined us on this trip. Hay-on-Wye is very, very famous for books. We visited back in 2004 when the children were small. Funnily enough, I am the book lover and was the only one who didn’t buy a book on this trip.

We finished the day eating at a restaurant which is special to our family. Rob ate there with his parents when he was a child. The first time I met his mother and step father we had a meal there and the last time Christian took his grandma out was to eat there too. It’s a very special place for us all.

On the last day we spent the afternoon with Dom. It was nice to catch up with her. We went to visit the Beth Chatto Gardens near Colchester. Well worth a visit; you must look at the lovely pictures on the website. Topped off with a cream tea! To walk the tea off Dom wanted to show us Brightlingsea Beach and all of the lovely bathing huts. The tide was out, but it was a very interesting walk.

Next week we’ll be in Prague. I’m looking forward to seeing Olivier of course and there is that beautiful City to see and explore.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Visiting Monet's garden

Even in the rain the garden is beautiful!  It really is a lovely place to visit, unfortunately the rest of the world thinks so too.  There really were a lot of people. The village of Giverny is very beautiful and interesting to look around.  I'd like to go back at other times of the year just to see the different flowers

Monday, August 21, 2017

A few days away

We had a few days away last week. We based ourselves in Cognac which is a lovely old town famous for the drink of the same name. The old part of the town is beautiful and very interesting. François 1 was born in Cognac in 1494.

We also visited Angoulême, another old town which is famous for its International Comics Festival. Indeed, there are many surprise illustrations on buildings around the town! As well as this statue.

Yesterday on the way home we visited Jarnac which is famous for being the birthplace of the late President François Mitterrand. If you like walking by the river this is the town. Absolutely beautiful!

 All three towns are on the River Charente.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Who'd have thought it?

In the last week I’ve helped my husband change the Siamp valve/membrane (I don’t really know what it is called in English)in the toilet. I got the toilet flushing again.

I took off the old doorbell and replaced it with a new one that works. I’ve put new plugs complete with chains in the kitchen sinks.

Next up, retouching some woodwork where the doorways have got scratched by the vacuum cleaner etc.

I go on to youtube and see how to do things. Strange to say, I prefer the short silent clips to the ones where they go on and on about how they can save you money by showing you how to do things...

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Long time no post

Ooops, I didn’t see the time fly at all. An occupational hazard of getting older perhaps?

Recent highlights include very, very hot weather which has now turned into cold and damp.

Dom came to stay for one night as she had a conference in Poitiers. We do appreciate the extra travelling she did to be with us for a few hours. While she was here she rescued a baby hedgehog that was determined to walk in the middle of the road and a stag beetle that had managed to turn onto his back and couldn’t right himself. She also brought chocolate from England and some delicious Madelines from Poitiers.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Aqua Manda!

I remember the spicy orange smell of the bath oil when I was in my early teens. It was our greatest wish for birthday and Christmas presents.

Just thinking of the name, Aqua Manda, transports me back to those years when my biggest problems were how to kiss and how to get a boyfriend to kiss. Discos and school and for some reason it’s always winter term in my memories. Perhaps I’d used up the Christmas supply by the spring?

I looked the perfume up a few years ago and found gift sets on eBay which had been carefully put by from the 60s and 70s. The sellers couldn’t guarantee the state of the product if opened.

 I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while and guess what? Aqua Manda and Aqua Citra are back on the market, reintroduced in 2013!! I was looking for pictures and information and was very pleasantly surprised. I remember having some Aqua Citra, but I don’t remember the smell at all. I wonder how it would smell on me today, almost 50 years later.

I wanted to put a picture here, but don’t want to break the copy write rules so here is a link to the website.

Later, when I started work, I bought myself a bottle of Meadowsong perfume which smelled of freshly mown grass. I didn’t use it for long as I had a boyfriend (yes; I had found one by then) who suffered from hay fever and the smell was too much for him.

If this post has sent you on a trip down memory lane please leave a comment.  I'd love to read what you have to say.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

A good year for Marigolds?

Here I am typing away on the 3rd May wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt, roll neck sweater and long cardigan. Who would have thought it would be so cold? Even the sunny days have been spoilt by wind coming from Siberia.

It appears to be a good year for Marigolds as you can see. Last year I don’t remember them flowering at all.

Good news today; Dom is coming over to give a talk in Poitiers and can sneak in an overnight stay in the middle of June. It will be our 32nd wedding anniversary when she is here!

Olivier is still in Prague. We haven’t really heard much from him, so it must be assumed that he is happy there. I’ve had the occasional picture via WhatsApp at weekends so he’s seeing some interesting places.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Violets and a special cat

Yet another month goes by without me posting anything here. It seems to have been an ongoing theme here for a while.

Olivier is still in Prague – I think that all is well with him. He’s sent me pictures of impressive views, An Ice Hockey match and a ski slope. Oh yes; and he visited the British Embassy. He’s a real networker, I have a picture of him with the ex minister of education from a couple of years ago.

This week we’ve had some real spring sunshine. I spent around 45 minutes in the garden this afternoon, weeding. Everything is growing at a fast rate now, the birds are singing, it is lovely. We go for a walk when Rob arrives home in the evening and it is still light when we get back!

These violets appeared in February and now the lawn is sprinkled with them too. 

This ball of fluff is the cat that lives at a local café. He/she appeared there a year or so ago, thin and bedraggled and in need of a good home. Guess who always bags the best seat in the warm sunshine!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Summer of 1970

... and other stories.  Is now available in paperback, published on Amazon!  It took me a couple of days to work out how to make a cover and line up the text neatly within the margins.  Look for my full name; Angela Knutsen , on Amazon to find the book and other titles available for Kindle for the time being.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Red Alert!

Rob just contacted me to let me know that we have a red alert weather warning.  Very high winds are forecast.  I've closed all of the shutters and locked the gate.  fingers crossed...

Thursday, February 02, 2017

January ends...

Last week we were in the UK. I’d forgotten how cold it could be. Our stay started with Dom’s confirmation in her village church. We met the Bishop who knew the village where Rob grew up, so if was very easy to chat with him.

Photobombed by the Bishop!

 It was very sad to have to attend a funeral, but we met up with some of Rob’s family that we haven’t seen in years. I’m sure that Rob’s mother would have been pleased to see us all together.

 We also got to stay with our two children in the UK. It’s always lovely to spend time with them. The week went very quickly.

 We were met at the airport by Olivier who also prepared lunch for us! I think he was preparing me for the shock of all of the  things he’s storing in the loft. He’s finished his banking job and last Sunday set off for Prague where he has a new Job. Yesterday was his first day of work; I sent him a text asking him how it went , the reply came back ‘great’. That’s all I need to know. Perhaps this year we will be off to Prague for a few days – fingers crossed.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

2017 seems to be seeping in too

Christmas and New Year sort of slipped by a little too quickly – they get faster every year. Happy New Year to anyone who reads this; I hope that 2017 is a good one for you.

We had a quiet Christmas: Olivier came home for a few days and then went off to spend New Year with friends.

The good news is that Olivier will be starting a new job in February – in Prague! As his mum I am a little sad that he is moving so far away, though I’m really looking forward to going to visit him in his new country! All of this has brought back lots of memories of when Rob and I gave up our banking jobs and moved to France, 32 years ago.

We had sad news at the beginning of the year; Rob’s mother died at the age of 94. She had been more or less asleep since mid December, so it didn’t come as a shock, it’s still upsetting just the same.

I only wrote 21 new posts for this blog last year. Hopefully I’ll do better this year. The best year was 2005 with 336 posts – almost 1 a day!