18 May 2015


In April my brother came to stay with us for a short holiday.  For nearly all of the nine days he was with us the weather was glorious.


I’m sure many of you will recall the beautiful blue skies and sunshine we had in the middle of April - and temperatures pushing 30°C at times.  It started the day before he arrived and ended the day after he went home.  In fact that weekend after he left it chucked it down and we had nearly 3” of rain over three days.  Awful. 

So awful that we awoke on the Saturday morning to that ominous sound of drip, drip, drip.  Sure enough, the leak in the roof that we had suspected was there was now very much apparent.  Water was getting in around the chimney stack, running down the exposed stonework, along the beam and dripping out of the beam further along – onto the bedroom floor!

We sent an email to the carpenter (the young man who is making our new staircase and has cut our kitchen worktops) and that very morning he arrived in his van, went up onto the roof and bunged up the substantial gap between the ridge tiles and the chimney stack with sealer to prevent the water coming in – as a temporary fix pending a devis for a permanent repair to the roof.  We were very grateful.  Although that night we relocated to the guest room just in case – the anticipation of the sound of water dripping onto the bedroom floor is not conducive to carefree slumber!


Going back to the fine weather and my brother’s visit, we decided that all work on the kitchen and garden would come to a halt for the duration of his stay and along with him we would have a bit of a holiday.

One of the places we went for a relaxing mosey round was to Descartes for the Sunday morning market.

Descartes3 Descartes4

We tend to take the markets a bit for granted nowadays.  After all, we can go there any week, to several locations, so, much as we enjoy them it’s not as much of a thrill as it used to be.  Which doesn’t mean we no longer appreciate them, far from it, but the sense of wonder has gone a bit.  It was therefore lovely to see it again as if through my brother’s eyes and to see how much of a novelty it was for him as he pointed out the things we no longer seem to notice – because they’re always there.  How lucky we are.



After our amble around the market we decided to stop for a coffee – something else that we don’t do often enough.  The café was bustling and the waitress very busy.  When our coffee arrived we thought she had made a mistake as she brought a teapot with it – but no, it contained the hot milk!


After coffee we headed for the park, passing the patisserie on the way.  We rarely buy cakes and pastries these days but I’m pleased to say that having a visitor gave us the excuse to put that right!


My brother has stayed in our previous little house in the village three times before, bringing his teenage daughter with him for a summer holiday.  It seems they have always had good weather and only one day of rain in all that time.  How lucky they were!  If he always has that effect on the weather he can come again as often as he likes!

Descartes9 Descartes9a Descartes9b Descartes9c

We love the park at Descartes and have walked around it many, many times.  There is rarely anyone else there.  In fact it’s unusual if we see more than one or two other people.  It’s peaceful, beautifully planted and well tended, a joy to walk around.  On this occasion we were just slightly too late to see the tulips at their best but it was still full of colour.


On the way back to the car I spotted something else I hadn’t noticed before.  It just shows how much difference it makes to be ambling along aimlessly instead of rushing somewhere.  I must have walked past this ghost door dozens of times before and never seen it.  Now I shall have to go back to see if I can work out why it was there!


  1. It's so easy to take things for granted, so we welcome visitors as well because they help remind us of what we have.

  2. It's so true! After a while you just get used to things and pass them by. It's amazing how much clearer I see things when I've been away for a while -- or indeed, as you say, when we have visitors. Your ghost door is very intriguing...

  3. It sounds like your carpenter is worth his weight in gold. The French do public gardens such as these so well. I spent many a happy hour wandering in the Cognac gardens which, like the ones you show here, were stunning. It's funny how we feel that we need to take responsibility for offering good weather when visitors arrive. Glad that it worked out.

  4. Oh, how lovely that your visit with your brother was all nice weather :)
    Love the market scenes!

  5. Sometimes it takes a visitor for you to become a tourist in your own town. Great to see where you live with new eyes. We've been keeping up with your house news as we are doing similar things with our home.

  6. I am currently learning about cheese, and France has a few. I almost swooned to see that table; I bet there are many there I am longing to try.

    1. Michael, you would love the cheese here!
      We can even get English cheddar too!
      It's time you ventured across the atlantic methinks.

  7. Every time we have a visitor we try to find places new to us. It is amazing how they seem to keep popping up! Hope the leak is now fixed, we have one that has been seen to twice and we still have a problem if the wind blows the 'wrong' way. Have a good weekend Diane

  8. "walked past this ghost door dozens of times"....
    The spines of a couple of old rusty hinges, superglued to one side....
    an old door handle to the other...
    and check, from time to time,to see if they are ever removed!

  9. Your header photo is great. The shine on those eclairs!

    1. That header photo is terrible... I put on weight everytime I look at it....

  10. Ohhhh those sausages! I just made myself a simple lunch with merguez spicy lamb sausages and French fries with some mayo. I have village butcher who makes the sausages. He says they are very popular! Well who would have thought that in the middle of Nottinghamshire?!

  11. That is certainly a sound you wouldn’t want to hear, especially if the weather continued to be like that. The leak should be sealed shut, and I hope you got to the bottom of things soon, before it gets worse. Good luck, and take care!

    Betsy Keller @ Above All Roofing Inc.