During a month of blog-silence I have been busy with stuff in the real world...
Finally arranged a nice place to sit on our balcony at home...unfortunately "lounge" weather disappeared shortly after our "lounge" appeared. But it was nice while it lasted.
Sitting, from left: Mathilda, Clas, Sarah (please avert your eyes when looking at my feet. Sheepskin slippers. Not very LOUNGE. What can I say? I need to practise my lounging) - eyes peeping out and dark forehead sticking up at front of picture, far right, Marcus (our hound). Missing from the family gathering - Stanley the pug. Unfortunately he was too short to make it in to the shot. (photo: Sarah)
We also had a family holiday on the island, Ile de Ré, France (cycling, baguettes, morning markets, stock roses everywhere, cottages, picturesque villages and harbours, oysters, sea salt & sunshine. Bliss)
(typical street on Ré)
The terrace of our apartment on Ré. We weren´t actually supposed to be staying here, but I messed up the bookings completely and we almost couldn´t go on holiday to Ré at all! Thankfully however I managed to find this apartment in shear panic at the last minute. As it turned out it was a brilliant place to stay - right by the daily market and two minutes away from the harbour. Sometimes you need a bit of luck, don´t you. Good luck and a holiday (to rest tired brains which are so frazzled that they can´t book houses properly).
by car, via Bruges in Belgium (Such a lovely town. Old as old gets and incredibly beautiful yet it doesn´t feel "done", if you get what I mean. Wonderful food/restaurants, pretty little bars & cafés, fabulous shops. And such hospitality. They really know how to make to feel welcome. Such a cool place & so inpiring. Will definitely be back to Bruges. Soon. I hope)
Lounge at The Pand Hotel where we stayed (photo: Pand Hotel)
Our room at The Pand Hotel (photo: Pand Hotel)
Another bit of our room at The Pand Hotel (photo: Pand Hotel)
and Monet´s Garden in Giverny (lovely, but a bit of a disappointment because it´s not really all that well kept and there were WAY too many visitors)
The lake at Monet´s garden, Givery. See all those dots on the banks of the lake? Visitors. In swarms. It was like a traffic jam on a motorway making your way round that lake. And some of the other "drivers" didn´t know how to drive! However, at 7 am we got up and went for a jog through the village. Much better. Everything was so calm and picturesque. The only people we met were a couple taking their Jack Russel for a walk...who looked a bit peeved to see tourists out jogging and spoiling their quiet morning constitutional (photo: Sarah)
Our hotel in Givery. We had rooms in the tower part. It felt like one of Monets paintings had come to life and we were in it. The hotel was rather eccentric. Amongst other things they kept wallabies and pigs. Not in the same field, thank goodness. (Photo: Sarah)
on the way there and with a detour through Champagne (*Hiccup!* Booked a hotel in the wrong bit of Champagne entirely, but had an amazing evening - including an open air concert which turned out to be the best gig I´ve been too in years and years and years. French soul guy called Ben. Amazing)
and the Mosel valley, Germany (unimaginably pretty) on the return trip.
Was it as wonderful as it sounds? In a word: YES. Or in four: it was even better.
After that it was off to London to do some buying for the Storegarden clothing department, which is due to open mid-to-late September (hopefully). Shopped till I dropped. How on earth I´m going to squeeze all those gorgeous garments in that one room I cannot imagine.
Even managed to fit in a theatre trip while I was in London - War Horse. At the New London Theatre, Drury Lane. The play is not brilliant, but the horses/puppets (lifesize!) they use are truly amazing. The horses are the stars. Even if you´re not a "horse" person - which I´m not. It made me cry. Twice. But in a good way. All in all I would definitely recommend you go to see War Horse if you find yourself in London and have an evening to spare. Check out a clip showing those amazing puppets, below:
After the play I couldn´t help wondering about the people who play the horses. I mean, how many times do they do these shows per week? 6? Or are there lunch time shows too? 9 times maybe? I wonder if they end up kind of becoming equine (horse-like) even off stage, when they´ve been playing the part for a while. I mean they are VERY convincing as horses. Can´t be easy to live with an actor playing a horse who brings his/her part home with them...
- Good morning darling.
- phhhhhewwww (sound of horse blowing down it´s nose and lips)
- Cup of tea?
- scratch, scratch (hooves being drawn along floor)
- No? Sugar lump instead perhaps?
Goodness, I´m on form in the polite-wit department this evening.