Monday, August 23, 2004

Pretty as a picture (and that's just Gus!) Posted by Hello

Sue accepts the well-deserved plaudits Posted by Hello

Tom looks cool but happy Posted by Hello

DJ Tams gets mixing Posted by Hello

Don't know who, but like the portrait Posted by Hello

What the well-dressed wedding guest is wearing Posted by Hello

Three generations of the family (including two Cambridge graduates) Posted by Hello

See any family resemblance? Posted by Hello

Greg does cabaret - no, he wasn't singing "We have all the time in the world", he was making an excellent speech. Posted by Hello

Oh dahlings, I'm in such a whirl! Posted by Hello

Toru Posted by Hello

Shy and Tony Posted by Hello

The Keiths Posted by Hello

Happiness personified Posted by Hello

Look - a ring! Posted by Hello

The Bishton Clan Posted by Hello

Jez mans the creche Posted by Hello

The Kiss - Maz and Angus celebrate their wedding! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

This shows the limestone cliffs depicted in the mural on the previous photos. Look - no marching cheese! Seriously though, the guided tour through the cheese mines was a treat, with animated dioramas, short films on Roquefort making, a light show in a big cavern, and lots of useful information in French on the making of Roquefort in the 5 storey cheese maturing chambers hollowed out by the Societe cheese co-operative many years ago.Posted by Hello

Roquefort - this is painted on the side of a building offering free visits and tastings, which mysteriously turned out to cost 5 Euros each. It shows the mature cheeses marching triffid-like out of the caves in the limestone cliffs behind the village. Posted by Hello

Tom & Judith at the "orientation table" on top of a pyramid in the middle of The Sidobre. Posted by Hello

This is one of the many "trembling rocks" in The Sidobre area to the north east of Castre. Tom & Judith felt the need to prop it up, as so many French tourists had tried to unbalance it by throwing small stones onto its top. Posted by Hello

This is the gite called Peuch Mouli. It is a former farmhouse, which I guess had gone to rack and ruin, and has been bought renovated by the people who now let it. It is pretty isolated, being reached up a narrow track some 1/4 of a mile from the road, and with no other buildings within a mile or so. Posted by Hello

The castle at Bourbon L'Archambault, the charming town north of Clermont Ferrand where we stayed overnight on the drive south. This was early in the morning before we set off to the Tarn. Posted by Hello

The Tarn in August

Been back from our French sojourn a couple of weeks now (my how time flies).

The holiday was great if brief. Driving the new car in France was (mostly) a treat, though it (France) seems to have a developing traffic congestion problem reminiscent of England in the 60s. This particularly applies to the A roads, which flow freely between market towns, but then grind to a halt for a couple of miles either side of town as all the traffic queues to get through the single set of traffic lights in the centre of the market square where all roads meet. I can see them lobbying for bypasses and ring-roads soon.

The Tarn area was fascinating. Rural but with lots of interesting little towns, unusual bits of geography (gorges, rivers, rocky outcropping (The Sidobre) and small mountains). We ate well (surprise) and visited lots of places, including Carcassonne, Albi, Gaillac, the Roquefort cheese mines (well, the caves in the limestone scarp where the roquefort penicillin is found, and the cheeses are matured), and the Bastide towns (fortified medieval hill-top villages).

I'll post some pictures after this, having taken 'a few' on my fabby new Nikon D70 digital camera (woo-hoo!).