Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Chartres cathedral, and other matters

This evening I thought "Right! That's it!" and so here I am.

I haven't blogged for over a month (a month! my biggest lapse ever?), not since we went to France at Easter. Golly, how time flies. I'm up to my neck in Ofsted inspection prep at the moment, but I've had a glass of wine, it's gone 9pm, and xxx it, I'm going to stop doing paperwork and do this instead!

Yes, we went to France. After a horrendous end of spring term, due to allergies (now tracked down to birch pollen, which also apparently explains my new "funny mouth and throat tingle" after eating unskinned almonds and hazelnuts, and peaches and pears - all related, allergy-wise), we were just about ready for a holiday.

But it was a long way.  Mostly motorway, but with a large detour around Paris via Rouen, Evreux, Dreux, and last but not least - Chartres. Of the cathedral fame. The whopping great cathedral you can spot from several miles out, looming on the horizon. 

Here is a photo:

Do you like the digger and the caravans? No? Here is a better one:

Like the graffiti...the cathedral is behind that bush, honest.

Anyway, several many lots of hours later, we arrived somewhere just south of the exact middle of France. The next morning there was a bread van, and funny croissants:

The weather was glorious. We had a lovely enclosed garden, one sun lounger to fight over, four different sitting and eating spots

a view over the nothingness of the Creuse

a rope swing in the cherry tree (there is a Girl in there if you look closely) 

and a gate, so the Whippet couldn't chase the three cats (oh go on, Mum - please can I?)

The garden had a lot of nettles, so I proceeded to embarrass and horrify the Girl by brewing up daily potions of nettle tea - it's a natural antihistamine, apparently. Seemed to work a bit, but relaxing with my feet up on the woodburner with a glass of wine to hand, and having hours of lovely sleep also seemed to work their magic!

Having learnt our lesson last year, the first thing on the list when looking for a gite was said woodburner. Here is the Whippet, after a busy day on the sun lounger. He's still on the sun lounger cushion here...

It may have been warm during the day, but the evenings were tres nippy. And there was still snow on the mountains, so we went to have a look.

Blimey, Mum. Didn't know we were going skiing!

We can also say that we took our bikes to France and went up the Puy de Dome. Here is the Boy with very uncertain ears, on the train going to the top of the Puy.

And here is the view:

What we didn't realise when we booked it up, was that the towns of Aubusson and Felletin were a short drive away. Aubusson, famous for the tapestries, and Felletin, home of the European wool and felt festival! Who knew???

So I obviously had to buy some wool (I may have wool, but I haven't got any from Felletin...) and I proceeded to make a miniature pot for the gite owner's 50th birthday. Possibly the tiniest, most strangely damp present ever!

and I found these wonderful spindles and ball of (linen?) in a junk shop. I wanted to go back for more, but they shut for their three hour lunch break so we ran out of time. Boo.

Then home again home again, via Chartres as before. Look!

I think this is my favourite shot:


one parting glimpse...

Right, got all that lot out of my system. Next time, some embroidery! We've been busy in the classes (as usual) and I've got to get my bottom in gear for Art Trail, so lots of embroidery will be appearing here soon - promise! Just got to get Ofsted out of the way first....


  1. Iz- your blogs always make me laugh! Whippet X says the gate was most unfair! He does however approve of the sun lounger!

  2. You prep for Ofsted? I'm clearly going wrong somewhere! It sounds like just the break you needed and feet up with glass of wine sounds a much nicer remedy than nettle tea!

  3. Enjoyed reading about your adventures. It is an amazing cathedral.

  4. Those hills (& the cathedral!) look great with the broken up snow, reminds me of home! Nothing like a bit of a holiday, great finds, too ;)

  5. Sounds like the perfect break to me!


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