We were away almost 3 weeks.
The herb garden has undergone a re-birth, dormant plants are out of hiding and flowering, blueberries are fruiting, the sycamore is no longer skeletal but covered in green finery hiding the neighbours.
3 weeks of non-stop action, movement, busi-ness. Up at 7 for breakfast, into the coach by 9, a couple of hours free time in the afternoon,dinners in amazing places, bed hopefully by 1 am (except for the occasional self induced 4 am -er)
Singapore for 2 days together before the event, nothing to report, just together time enjoying the warmth, walking and talking.
Paris - everything I expected and more -
- on the taxi ride in from the airport we did a circle of the Arc de Triomphe, at rush hour - adrenalin!
- Sephora - right next door to our hotel on the Champs Elysees, girly heaven
- walking, upwards of 10k a day with Flash, just experiencing the city
- La Droguerie - I went, I figured out the system, I bought!
(Alison, you inspired me, I HAD to buy there just to say that I had done it...for both of us!)
- Bon Marche droguerie - I went, I figured out the system, I bought!
not much, 3 balls of silk garden lite in a hitherto unseen colourway, 4 balls of Bouton D'or "Songe", some regia in a kaffe Fassett colourway, loads of buttons and braids.
- Celebrity spotting in our hotel
- Macaroons at LaDuree
- lunch in a bistro in St Germain, next to a little old woman who from time to time squeezed my arm and smiled at me.
- making friends with the most unlikely people in our group.
- 28 thousand kiwis in Paris, and they LOVED us!
- the mexican wave that did 5 circuits of the stadium during the Pumas game - awesome.
The Loire Valley:
- staying in a 16th century chateau, situated on 100 acres
- wandering the oak forests by myself, going off the path to take photos - which I ceased doing after an adder was found in a third floor room...
- the bike ride to Luyns
- wine and cheese matching at Vouvray, buying special presents which I can't discuss yet.
- Petanque lessons with a team, lots of laughter, lots of wine, and I found out that I am a champion "smasher"
- Dinners at beautiful medeival places that i thought would end horribly - and discovering that our hosts thought that we were wonderful, spirited and gave the places "ambience"
London, didn't go as well as we had hoped due to the fact that we were ill, but we walked and caught buses and tubes, and saw everything you need to see - thanks for the list Alison, Paperchase was amazing, Marylebone rd took us an afternoon! and I bought a weekender bag from Cath Kidston as my birthday present from my parents.No yarn shops except Liberty.
Singapore, we needed the break - went on the Night Safari, a bit cheesy, but still entertaining, shopping for the kids (loved the DC comics store) I finally had my eyebrows done professionally (that is a definite improvement)
Home - where the girls had filled our bedroom with 300 balloons!
(when somebody tells me they have a surprise for me, the first picture in my head is a room full of balloons...always has been since I can remember...I told Blaise ages ago, and obviously she remembered)
Frasier is still having fun stalking and "killing" the balloons.
All in all...when you live in NZ or Australia the world feels like a big place, there is lots of space...but everywhere else was full of people, lots of people buying lots of stuff, lots of rubbish, lots of cars and pollution. I loved visiting, and look forward to doing it again, but there is no place like home. I still have to download the photos from Flash's laptop, but until there here is me at La Droguerie.