The first view, the first steps, into the Magic Garden
The beating sun on the patio
The swish of the pool filter
The “chuk-chuk-chuk-chuckAH!” of the hens next door when they laid an egg
The incessant birdsong with no break for lunch
The skitter of the lizards from beneath-the-bergenia-and-up-the-wall
The humming bird moths in the lavender bushes
The red squirrel – dropping his nuts!
The walnut tree, the walnut tree, the spreading, verdant walnut tree
The soft patter of rain on the terracotta tiles
Ancient churches on a route to Santiago
Wall paintings discovered – and washed away
Cross-legs, fork-beards, musician-figures... on the western arch at Avy – who are they?
Ceramic flowers on marble tombs
The bedroom in a cupboard!
Poterie de Baignes on windowsill and wall
Baby hedgehog on an evening ramble
Elaine and her sister on a wineglass perambulation of Bran
Crumbling old buildings - dreams and fantasies – buyable for 10,000 Euros?
The dog, the sun, a ramshackle shelter and more than one tear in my eye
Sweltering lunch in the shadow of the Donjon in Pons
Precarious descent to the Lower Square in St Emilion
The tiny-train tour of the Vineyards and Chateaux
Roses planted at the end of vine rows- “to give warning of diseases”
Downloading David by his desk at dawn!
Vin rouge Lestac in a box
Fine wines in many bottles
Accordion music floating through the garden on Sunday morning
Croustade - Gascon filo and apple pudding splashed with Armagnac
Eroding limestone everywhere
A chateau lost in time
Sunlight filtering through muslin-hung windows
Leather embossed walls
A huge ceramic stove
A ruined chapel still hiding many mysteries
Sarcophagi and graffiti
Lavender and Roses
Oleander and Wisteria
A swan gliding beneath us as we dined at the Moulin de Sorgues
Glassy surfaced, lily-studded river, reflecting golden lamps on the walls above
A goat being chased by a pony, a bunny and a goose – all on the other bank!
Naughty Elaine, Camp Christophe and far too much XO Cognac!
Rain coming down, a pile of books and my journal – another sort of bliss.
Last-night -leftovers-supper – good bread, good wines, great cheese
Mist-covered vineyards, aquamarine sky at dawn departure
Strutting Norman soldiers along the Bayeux “tapestry”
Thomas a Becket being beheaded - again - in the cathedral
A heavy heart for the boys who landed on Sword Beach, Gold Beach, Juno Beach
Millpond calm English Channel crossing
The winking Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, to welcome us
For Good food, Good wine and Good Company – Godde be Thanked!
The well is well and truly filled - for now.
(Each one of these lines holds a story - a List of Memories is a great way to capture your holiday if you don't have time to write much when travelling...I'll be expanding each of these, along with more of the 700 photographs, over the next few weeks).