en vacances

For a while we thought we wouldn't make it back on time but here we are, home after our week in France. A holiday we were supposed to have taken in August only circumstances unfortunately changed all that. We stayed here, lovely and cosy, the English owners friendly and welcoming, we loved feeding the rabbits, watching the new ducklings, chickens running free range and red squirrels scampering in the garden.

However the time of year meant the swimming pool was closed up, as was the games room. The outside table and chairs remained folded away, there was frost on the ground some mornings (thank goodness I packed thick woollens, coats, hats and gloves for we certainly made use of those) and extra quilts were needed on beds.


Then there were the blockades preventing the oil tankers leaving refineries so we were running on just a small quantity of fuel and worried when we'd find some more. Our plans for a day in Tours were cancelled because, although we knew we'd get there, we couldn't guarantee we'd make it back. Then the last couple of days MLF was sick and had to stay inside. Numerous DVDs were watched but I did at least manage to get to the brocante at nearby Poitiers. Toute seule!

{clockwise from left: Poitiers Cathedral and pews, Poitiers Notre Dame, ceiling at St-Savin}

All this set me thinking about other holidays we have taken over the years that didn't turn out quite as expected. Such as -
  • Far East : the day I arrived in Bangkok there was a military coup
  • Ranthambore, India, tiger safari : riots meant there were evening curfews so it took a lot of time and determination to get there, only to find the tigers had been all but poached
  • Delhi : the most awful food poisoning had me bed ridden for 3 days (the children are obviously pleased to know Hubby refused to shoot me despite my pleas!)
  • Guatemala : we were attacked and separated on a hilltop main road, walking back from visiting a market. A passing bus refused to stop when I begged for help
  • Kenya, camping : supposed to be the dry season but we had torrential downpours
  • Zaire, trekking for mountain gorillas : during the Rwanda troubles, poachers had killed the silverback (alpha male of the group) shortly before we arrived at base camp. There was some talk about not being able to trek into the hills but eventually we were given an armed guard which, although we saw the gorillas, was pretty scary
  • Tanzania : Hubby caught malaria, despite taking anti-malarials
  • Uganda : our safari truck kept breaking down and when it failed in the middle of one of the national parks at dusk, our guide and driver finally came to blows and had to be separated by the group
  • France : during a previous holiday our car was broken into. The next day the passenger side window wouldn't close so we had to drive several hours on the autoroute with me covered in coats and scarves. The car then broke down in Luxemburg where we had to leave it, find our own way home, taking only a handful of possessions from the car
Character building stuff and definitely something to tell the great grandchildren some day!


That said, it was a lovely relaxing break which is really what holidays are all about. Plus I finally managed to achieve something I've wanted to do for ages. Tricot! I only took one skein with me so once I got to the end, I unravelled the lot and started again (so learning why yarn is far better when used for the first time). It was either that or watching Hubby getting more and more obsessed over the jigsaw!!

How are you spending your Half Term?


  1. It rained in Rouen when we went too!! You sound like the neighbours we had when we camped in France! They had a good holiday if there hadnt been a huge disaster! I was glad when they left? Your gite looked great. xxx

  2. Half-term!!! Now I've retired it means nothing to me - ha ha ha! he he he!

    Hope you have a relaxing break!

  3. Sounds like your vacations are nothing but FUN ! ! ! !

  4. Oh Kate, your holidays do seem beset with trouble but my goodness you've certainly visited some enviable destinations.

    I'm just getting back in the blog groove after a bit of a down time. So pleased I stopped by this evening. Your gite looks wonderful ... glad you got your holiday eventually.


  5. Hi Kate, Welcome back, after all your travel experiences this one does seem like the relaxing kind after all! Love the pics of France..Carol xox

  6. Glad you had a good time in spite of the manifestations and strikes! When we lived in France we were not far from Montmorillion! Sounds as if you have visited some exotic locations in you time and certainly had some probs so glad this time was more relaxed. The knitting looks good and I love the yarn colour.


  7. Please post your next holiday destination and dates on here so that we can avoid that place like the pest, lol. You seem to attract trouble wherever you go! Still, makes for rather interesting hols, I suppose. You certainly went to some fabulous places.

  8. gosh you've had some interesting trips!
    love the yarny goodness, I'm hoping to spend some time with my knitting this half term, probably wishful thinking xox

  9. Hello Kate
    Wow, what an action packed holiday you had - and the previous holidays too !
    Just let me know if you plan to travel to the same place as us ! ;-)
    Your photos are gorgeous and the colour of your knitting is divine! I went to Rouen aged about 13 on a school trip and remember the cathedral ... I also remember being very sick on the return coach trip ...!
    I hope you have a carefree and easy week,
    Denise x

  10. You do have adventurous holidays! Hopefully your day to day life isn't quite as dramatic.

    It is good to see you're knitting. It is the perfect winter thing. Have you been drawn deep into ravelry yet?

  11. Oh my goodness, you are certainly well traveled and have had quite the harrowing adventures! Glad at least you got some relaxing in and managed such a lovely stitch.
    Hope your week is serene.

  12. Your holidays have certainly been unforgettable!
    Well done with the knitting.

  13. Wow, trekking for Mountain Gorillas, that's some vacation. I really like all your photos taken in France, especially so the ducklings and Rouen. Hope you managed a good time! x

  14. Blimey - that is a list.

    So glad you had a lovely time this time round and that you managed to get away - the pictures do look beautiful.

    take care,

    Nina xxx

  15. You certainly like adventure! I think the problem is you are going to the wrong places. You need to go to places like Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Cairns, Darwin, Alice Springs, etc. Not biased or anything.

  16. Gasp! Having read your list of holiday crisis I am wondering if one of those stay-cations might be the very thing!

  17. I wish we had half-term in these parts! I read this post earlier this week and couldn't get the photos out of my mind. I loved your little recap of the places {& mishaps} you have been, wonderful memories.

  18. I'm just wondering why you go on holidays. Glad that this one was okay though.


There's nothing like a comment to stop me feeling like I'm talking to myself. If you leave one here I'll pop one back here too, so don't forget to come back and continue the conversation ..