I've just had a few days in France with my cousin Sheila and her husband Mick, pictured here outside their modest little place in Normandy ....
Ok then, that's not really their house, it's just one of the three chateaux we visited. We got a guided tour at the first one, and although we only have a smattering of French, the guide spoken slowly, and we had the added benefit of a kind French lady who was fluent in English and she translated the bits we didn't understand. So, most of it.
The second one had the most fantastic set of terraces down to a magnificently laid out parterre
The weather didn't spoil our fun though, we just stayed indoors and made jam. Well, not me obviously. Sheila made the jam, and I drew pictures of jam.
Oh, and I did play a part in acquiring the plums. Does anyone know the French for "I'm sorry officer, I didn't realise that scrumping was still a crime in France"
On the way back to the ferry on Sunday, we stopped off in Granville to see an exhibition that Sheila had read about.
It was at the Christian Dior Museum, at the house where he grew up
The house was very grand
and the gardens were beautiful
I tried to look like an elegant and chic film star, but I'm not sure I pulled it off
So I went for tea and cake instead - which WAS elegant and chic
The exhibition was really good, and involved a bit of sketching as photography was not permitted. Obviously I needed a souvenir, and I couldn't afford a frock, so settled for a book of cut out dolls (I always LOVED cut out dolls!) and some pencils.
A really lovely time - and because we hadn't had any tv or internet for the whole weekend, what a bonus to read the papers on the ferry on the way back and see how brilliantly we're doing in the Olympics. I'm not really a sports person, but you can't fail to get caught up with it all, now that it's here. I didn't initially apply for tickets, but having watched the Opening Ceremony, and spoken to people who've been to the Olympic Park and say what a fantastic atmosphere there is, I am so glad that I've managed to get tickets for the Paralympics to see some of the athletics.
Oh, and in case you wondered, here's a real picture of Sheila and Mick's place
(It's probably only a matter of time before he digs a moat)
Sur La Route Des Trois Chateaux (yes, it's really a song!) - Andre Kirschner