Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Oh The Places They've Been

Note: I have pictures which are not available yet in my icloud stream.  I will add them.  Sometimes I hate Apple

Sister Rose and her husband, Brother Rose, spent last week with us in Brighton.  Before that we had afew days visitng family in the midlands and Herefordshire.  We did many things. Sister Rose, who apparently has more energy than me, has posted about them.  And The COG has also streamed some pictures.  I have more to add on what we did, and I will do that over the next week or so.

However, at the moment we are in Normandy-  Deauville, to be exact.We arrived on Sunday.  This is how we got here:  we took the bus from the foot of our road to Newhaven.  We took the ferry to Dieppe. We took the navette to the Gare (train station).  We took the train to Rouen, then changed to a train for Liseux, then changed to another train for Deauville.  After a brief spat at the Gare about the desirability of just taking a taxi to the place we are staying, we walked, pulling our case, to La Cerisee.  Which proved to be in easy walking distance, so no problems.

A few words here about travel by ferry.  It's wonderful.  The pace of travel is so..... right.  And the hassles - lines, sullen security people, weighing of luggage, prohibitiions on what you carry (liquids, tiny folding scissors etc.) - are minimal.  Even the passport control is easy, with no long lines. Blissful.

Anyway, here we are in Deauville and its twin city of Trouville, just on the other side of the Seine across a bridge. These are seaside towns with great beaches and have been popular resorts since the 19th century.  The Impressionists painted them a million times.  And, famously, as the Daughter of COG reminds us, it is where Gaston took Gigi and her aunt in Gigi. 

We are staying in a charming little house behind a bigger house. It must have been a stable or outbuilding of some sort.  The ground floor is one room with a tiny kitchen a table and a sitting area. There are big beams holding up the second floor. There's a charming old curving staircase that leads to the second floor, where there's a bathroom, toilet and bedroom. It's all beautifully but simply decorated.  If there were just one more room, I would happily move in forever. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Home Improvement

We had a carpenter here for a couple of days doing odd jobs for us.  One of the big things he did was to build doors for this cupboard and to close in the top.  The cupboard is a really useful storage spot, but it was ugly.  And the doors were a bit of a problem because nothing is square. But the carpenter worked his magic.


You can't see it in this picture - and I can't take another one because it is gone now - but there was an ugly gap at the top, with a big hole in it.  There are meters in the back - they're covered normally with a white curtain on a tension rod that I installed a while ago.


This is the outside now.  I think it's a pretty amazing improvement.  I ran out of paint and since I want to paint the inside of the cupboard, maybe put some wallpaper at the back and revamp the shelves, I will show you the interior next time. When it's lovely.  The poster on the left says Keep Calm and Carry Your Kindle, by the way.  That's my personal motto.  


One thing I love about Brighton is the flowers.  Grocery store flowers here are so far superior to grocery store flowers in the US - they are cheaper and more various. I think it must be because there are different sources for them.

Anyway - this bouquet is so pretty. It's grocery store peonies and pink roses and 'mint' from a local florist.  I've never seen the 'mint' before but it's so pretty. The leaves don't smell minty, but the stem is square, like a mint. And they called it 'mint' at the store. It must be some kind of decorative rather than herbal mint.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


We did get into London last week to see an exhibition at the Tate Modern.  It featured Sonia Delaunay - a Russian born French artist, married to another artist, Robert Delaunay.  She did a lot of costume design, and graphic design as well as Art Art.

It was an interesting exhibition and it made me want to go back and see another one at the Tate - Agnes Martin, another woman artist who did abstractions that I love.  Maybe in a couple of weeks.  This is a picture of people taking pictures of St. Paul's and the Millenium Bridge from a balcony at the Tate.

Devil's Dyke

We just haven't been able to go out much and we were longing for the Downs.  So one afternoon, pretty late (5:30) we took the 77 bus up to Devil's Dyke. Which is an Iron Age Hill Fort built next to a geological oddity called Devil's Dyke.

It was also a Victorian sightseeing spot,  and John Constable called the view 'The Grandest View in the World.'  The COG, of course, wanted to take pictures. I just went for the ride.  And it is such a beautiful place.

The thing about it is, you can take the bus there and back, so as we didn't have time for a walk, we at least got the views and a very pleasant couple of hours.

 And the drive up the little country lanes in a double decker bus is, in itself, spectacular.  The COG destroyed all his pictures because they weren't up to his high standards.  I have low standards, so I did not destroy mine, thought I freely admit that they do not do justice to the beautiful view:

In the picture below, the distant hill - just to the right of the midpoint of the picture - is the Chanctonbury Ring. It's another small Iron Age Hill Fort, also the site of a Roman Temple and some Bronze Age stuff, too.   And, barely visible, to the left of the middle is another distant hill. That's the Cissbury Ring the largest Iron Age Hill Fort in Sussex, with a history that goes back at least 5,000 years.  Those early Britons loved hills that over looked the sea. Oh wait. So do I. 

One thing I love about the South Downs - there's Birdsfoot Trefoil all over.  I took a picture but it's not worth uploading it.  Anytime I find Birdsfoot Trefoil, I think about my Dad.  It's always nice to find it. 

Arrived Safely etc.

Arrived safely. The flat is still here, just as we left it.  We've had an odd time.  Have spent a lot of time trapped in the flat waiting for various deliveries. Plus, we had a carpenter here for a couple of days doing various small things.  I'll show some pictures later.

There's a new baby upstairs. He just turned a month old and is starting to respond and look around at the world.  The COG acted as a Baby Whisperer and got him to sleep.  He slept for quite a while, too, completely collapsed and floppy on the COG's arm.  It was really sweet.

Thursday, we pick up a rental car and start the round of visits in the Midlands. First Auntie N, at her caravan in the Cotswolds. Then, some cousins in Herefordshire for a couple of nights. Finally, on Saturday, we will pick up Sister Rose and her husband who will be arriving from the States, exhausted, at Heathrow.  Then, followed by a busy week of sightseeing with The Roses. More about that later, too. As it happens. 

Morning, somewhere over the Irish Sea almost 2 weeks ago

Soon followed by Morning, somewhere over Southern England almost 2 weeks ago.  I tried and tried and couldn't figure out exactly where.