Vive La France!!

This year we spent our annual holiday in the South of France with friends. Actually they are more than friends as they are our eldest daughter's in-laws (think about it...) which makes them family. We were really looking forward to going... it's been a hard couple of years for us and we really haven't felt like we've had a holiday for a long long time.

Billy Steve decided to drive... and because we were taking Billy Fergus with us we chose the Chunnel rather than the ferry... on the ferry dogs have to stay in the car and people go up to the upper decks, we didn't want to leave Billy Fergus alone all that time. Here he is settled down in the back seat with the picnic bag. When we opened the windows he was really keen to sniff all the strange new smells.

We left on a Saturday morning getting to Folkestone about lunch time. How cool is this... a train that you can drive into.

And then 35 minutes later... Nous sommes en France!!

We made a rest stop almost straight away and were able to look back at the white cliffs of Dover just visible on the horizon.

The sun was shining bright and once out of Calais the roads were almost totally empty! How about this for a main motorway on a Saturday afternoon.

It's nearly always like this, and it prompted me to remark "every time I go to France it's shut!" And every time we go to France I say that! But that's what I like best about France...... not so many people. (Although on the way back we drove around Paris on the ringroad and after that I felt like I deserved a T shirt that says 'I survived the Paris Peripherique!' but that's another story... and I was so terrified I didn't take any photographs!)

We drove as far as Le Mans (24 hour endurance motor racing track fame) on the Saturday afternoon and booked into a hotel for the night. Just a cheap two star hotel - dogs welcome. The room was basic but clean. In the morning we opened the shutters to see a wonderful orchard gleaming in the sunshine. The hotel grew all sorts of fruit......

...and I was really inspired. I've decided to move my little potted orchard up to the allotment and grow them as Cordons or Espaliers.

Their little vegetable garden was also quite impressive (the photograph does not do it justice). Oh to be just a couple of hundred miles further south... what a difference that makes to the amount of sunshine you get - which in all honesty has been pretty poor this summer.

Even though it was a really long drive (870 miles from our house to our destination) Billy Fergus was very very good... better in fact than when we used to take the kids up to Scotland (a mere 300 miles!) he never said "are we there yet?" once. He especially liked the rest stops where he was able to sniff those French dogs and partake of his first baguette.

As we headed further south the mainly wheat fields changed to sunflowers interspersed with grape vines. The sun was still shining, the temperature climbing up to 30 degrees C. In the early evening we arrived at our destination - a little village called Lasbordes, not far from the medieval town of Carcassonne - link slow to load but worth it!

Our hosts, the wonderful Jane and David, welcomed us with smiles and a lovely evening meal on the terrace where we watched the sun go down over the sunflower fields (no longer bright yellow but turning autumnal brown). Our holiday had truly begun!

The terrace

View from the edge of the garden at sunset.


  1. Oooh Jane that looks just the ticket! I'm not surprised you want to move there... can I visit? xx

  2. I enjoyed your pose immensely, thanks for sharing.

  3. The gardens look lovely, and all the sun, I'm green with envy. I love Billy Fergus. I know a Jane and David who now live in France, don't know which part though. Did they used to run Craft Fairs in the UK?

  4. Hi Ilona... yes I was pretty green, that wouldn't be the same Jane and David... :-) Thanks Bill and Yes of course Julia... - BillyJane

  5. thanks for visiting! I have been meaning to come and visit you here, but my mind is tired from being a grandma again :)

    France!! how lucky.. what a beautiful, beautiful place. makes me want to visit. I can only imagine that kind of history..


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