20 June 2012


The answer to the first puzzle, with the tree legs, was Château du Rivau, which many people spotted.  We had a lovely afternoon there and I will be telling you all about it later. 

However, at the risk of putting the cart before the horse, I will deal with the second puzzle first, the one with the graffiti on the wall.  This was at the Château at Fougères-sur-Bièvres, which is south of Blois.

chateau fourgeres-sur-bievres9e

We spotted this château in a leaflet in the tourist office in the village and we had never heard of it before.  So on a beautiful sunny afternoon, off we went in search of it.

chateau fourgeres-sur-bievres9cThe outside is all windows, turrets, gargoyles and neat gardens.  A lovely old bell and clock sit over the entrance.  The bell chimed every half an hour while we were there.

chateau fourgeres-sur-bievres

Inside the courtyard the château is nothing short of delightful – multitudinous windows and archways on different levels, inviting the visitor to dive in and see what’s inside.

chateau fourgeres-sur-bievres9f chateau fourgeres-sur-bievres8chateau fourgeres-sur-bievres6 chateau fourgeres-sur-bievres5 chateau fourgeres-sur-bievres9 chateau fourgeres-sur-bievres9gAnyone who enjoys taking photographs would love it here – everywhere you look there are little architectural features and angles just calling out to have their picture taken.

chateau fourgeres-sur-bievres9b In the garden there is one of these.  I don’t know what you call it but it was fun to sit inside.

chateau fourgeres-sur-bievres9a From the garden we could see this.  I have no idea whose house it is but I wouldn’t mind a snoop around it. chateau fourgeres-sur-bievres9n chateau fourgeres-sur-bievres9m

chateau fourgeres-sur-bievres9k

chateau fourgeres-sur-bievres9p In the village there is a lovely church to look around, a little park to sit in and have a picnic, and a bar serving snacks and drinks.

The sun shone brightly,  little clouds floated by and it was exactly the right temperature for a spot of sightseeing.  A perfect afternoon and I shall tell you all about the inside of the château in the next post.  It was wonderful, in a very French way !!

13 June 2012


I was reading Going Gently’s post about bad driving and revenge, one of my favourite soapbox subjects, and was led to this little video.


(It occurred to me that it was staged but it’s funny anyway – that will be me with the shopping bag before long !!)

I’ll be back soon with the answers to the puzzles and more……nearly finished the ironing.

11 June 2012



Last Saturday I went to the Elton John concert at Chesterfield’s super new football stadium.

When I was a student in the 70’s I only owned three albums (LP’s!) and Tumbleweed Connection was one of them.  Since then I have always enjoyed his music and, whilst I don’t think I would travel any huge distance to see him live, this time he was too close to home to resist.

The previous time I saw him was when he performed in the park at Chatsworth House about ten years ago.  It was the middle of June, perishing cold and it chucked it down all day and night.  Seats were laid out precariously on the grass and we squelched our way through the mud to find our places wearing a full set of motorcycle waterproofs !!

Last Saturday, the weather was much kinder.  Considering the torrential rain we had had the previous few days, the rain stopped mid-afternoon and, amazingly, the sun made an appearance part way through the concert.


First up were these two lads, called the “2 Cellos”.  It seemed an odd choice for a supporting act to me but when they played “Highway to Hell” with just the drums to help I was convinced.


Elton did the right thing, played all his oldies and made everyone happy.  There was lots of pink on stage – pink drums and Elton’s vivid pink satin shirt – just as it should be. 

From my seat I couldn’t see him at all – he was much too far away at the other end of the pitch and I forgot to take my binoculars !!  In any case the seats were incidental as the moment he came on stage everyone stood up and stayed standing up.  So unless I had my stilts with me there was no way I was going to see anything.  Luckily I was positioned with one of those huge screens right in front of me so I didn’t miss a thing.

When he played “Candle in the wind” shivers went down my spine and everyone sang along with him.  When he played “Crocodile Rock” the audience burst into life. 

Except for one woman, standing opposite me across the aisle.  She stood absolutely rigid all night, staring at the screen with no expression at all, not even a smile crossed her face and she never clapped or cheered or tapped a foot.  She seemed completely unmoved by the whole thing.  There are some strange folk about.


The band were great and if I looked away from the stage towards the crowd, I could easily think I was back in the 1970’s, the sound was that good.  Elton sang his heart out and did a fantastic job.



So it was a great night and an excellent venue.  Big enough to get the big crowd atmosphere but getting away from the place was easy – much better than the concerts I have been to where there were 50,000 people and it takes hours to fight your way home.  Mind you, Elton’s helicopter was buzzing over our heads before I got to the doughnut stall – why does live music always give you the munchies? – and no doubt he was tucked up in bed before I was.

Here’s a sample of the two lads on cellos for your amusement, and my favourite Elton John song ever.

I never thought you could make a cello sound like this !!


Possibly my all time favourite Elton song.
The song starts after 45 seconds – you can skip the talking by sliding along.

9 June 2012


Ok, so everyone, well most people anyway, knew where the last picture was taken.  Although they didn’t say so as not to spoil it for anyone who didn’t.  If you still don’t know I won’t tell either……..there will be more later, when I can see the bottom of the ironing basket.


Click on the photo to enlarge.

Although it’s obvious what this is, I wonder how many people know WHERE it is !!

As the wind howls and the rain lashes down here in Derbyshire, my poor little hanging basket plants swim in a thin emulsion of compost, thanks to enthusiast watering by my dad while we were away followed by torrential rain since we came back.  Even beastlier weather than the previous beastly weather (over-use of a favourite word for which I make no apologies!).  A typical English summer in fact…….and in two weeks’ time the nights start drawing in.

I hope it’s warmer and drier where you are.  Bon weekend !!

6 June 2012


Just back from a great week in Le Grand Pressigny, where we had a few surprises including wonderful weather (mostly).

Whilst I get stuck into the mountain of washing and other stuff that now surrounds me I thought you might like a little puzzle or two.

puzzle1 Any idea where we saw this ?