Recommendations of places to go….


Although there are 1000’s of travel  books and internet sites about places to go and see when we are travelling around Europe, which we will use to a degree, we thought that we might as well tap into the personal knowledge of our friends and family 🙂

As such if there are any outstanding places that you have been to on your holidays or trips to Europe, generally outside of main cities as we can do these on city breaks, then can you please let us know and we’ll add then to our list of potential places to do?


Wild Strawberries from the garden ….


It is amazing what you can do with a few little wild strawberries from the garden! 

I made lemon sorbet last week (on the left of the photo), but after a visit from one of the neighbours who asked if he could take some of our little wild strawberries to make some jam I decided to have a go at a bit of strawberry ice-cream today ….. yum 🙂

Lets hope they grow back quickly so we have a chance to make some more before we go!


World Music Day – 21st June

This was started in France to celebrate the amateur music artists, who perform free on this day at various locations around France; maybe in some other places now as well.

There were about 4 sites within Bagnoles itself in the evening, all of which we visited.  As with all of these things, not all the music is to everyones taste, but there was a very good duo that played in front of the Lake 🙂



Apologies in advance for any French followers … but you are a little backward in your processes.  Today we went to Caen to pay a deposit by card (face to face) for some work on the motorhome. Having thought that I had cracked it and managed to confirm exactly what we wanted done and that the work conformed with UK standards etc the company said they would send me an invoice that I would need to reply to as confirmation before we could book a date for the work.  WIth days disappearing quickly in my naivity I sat watching my inbox for the next couple of days thinking they were busy…… nearly a week later (and a couple of chaser emails) it turned up in the post (yep, that odd looking box at the end of the driveway that generally carries supermarket offers and not much else nowadays) requesting a cheque to cover 30% as a deposit before we could get a date in the diary…. I did see a pigeon hanging around the post box and I do have my suspicions 🙂

When I called them to try and pay on the phone I was obviously talking greek – which to be fair I have been known to do on occassion – only two options 1) a cheque sent from the UK which would take another week, or 2) ‘popping’ over to Caen….. so over we popped 🙂

Anyway, we are booked in for the work now and they were very friendly … just the french process. 

On the way back we thought we would go and visit at Falaise … birth place to William the Conquer.  Unfortunately most of the town was destroyed during the war, but what was left has been lovingly (and some not so lovingly) restored.

It was worth a stop, but why it is twinned with Henley on Thames I will never know ….

Won a TV, but…

Last night the club where we play tennis here in Bagnoles de L’Orne had a social event which about 55 people attended.  Obviously being in France they did a Paella… however, the Camembert was very local, French and fantastic 🙂

Gail had brought 5 raffle tickets for a total of 10Euros and we had already won 2 prizes before the big prize, which was drawn last.  This was for a TV, but as we had already won a few prizes and are going to be in the motorhome, we told them to redraw the prize.  As luck would have it one of our companions opposite on our table won it and was very happy; we didn’t lose out completely as he brought a bottle of bubbly to celebrate 🙂

Later on they even put the England v Italy game on without the sound on, midnight over here, just a shame about the result…

Severe storms and then ‘Summer’

I’m not sure how much you have seen/heard regarding the severe storms and hail that Europe had at the beginning of the week, but we were relatively lucky in Bagnoles.  Although there was alot of rain, and the storms were good, and the size of the hailstones were larger than normal, they were not like some areas had.  Apparently they were between a baseball and tennis ball size in some areas.  We saw the aftermath on the news as it was the headline, the damage was incredible;  I think that we can gladly say that we were lucky that we weren’t in Mika as she would have had a very sore head – some of them may well have gone straight through even though she has a reinforced roof…

However, after the storms, the last 3 days have almost been perfect summers days for us.  About 23-25C and lots of sun.  Who knows how many summer days we’ll have, so we made the most of it and had 3 consecutive BBQ’s.  And why not 🙂  We did mixed it up a bit; Chicken escalopes covered in a Dijon mustard, garlic and oil mix one evening, followed by sausages and homemade burgers the next and then Mackerel with a oil, garlic and rosemary mix this evening.  Hmm, mmm 🙂

A clean motorhome

Back again in the house in France; as you can imagine there were a number of chores to be done after our recent trip.  We gave Mika her first wash, apart from scrubbing the top, and after throwing off the mud splatters from the UK and France she is gleaming once again.  Gail cleaned the car as well just so that he didn’t feel too jealous…

With the rain and sun it was time to attack cutting the grass again; it was surprising that the grass hadn’t grown too much though the various weeds, for which there are lots, in it had.

Being in the motor home for the week gave us the bug to carry on a bit and we even contemplated trying to go and see some of the Normandy D-day celebrations a bit more up close.  However, unsurprisingly all sites were already booked up.  It did make us rethink our ideas and we are now planning on leaving the house in France a bit earlier than originally planned; currently the 3rd week in August.  However before this we are currently planning a 2 week trip to Brittany for the 2nd half of July… 🙂

La Vallee de Deauville, France (30/5-1/6/14, 16.42E/night)

Whilst in the Motor home shop we brought a book with a number of places over Europe, the majority focused in France, that give the camping at a fixed reduced price outside of the high season. We had a review of our plan and changed from going to Jumiege to Deauville, which also happened to have a place within our newly purchased book.

Again we took the scenic route, I.e the non toll road route; we don’t travel that quickly in the motor home anyway. The route was very pleasant as were the majority of the villages/towns on the way.

The camping is a typical summer large site which has a combination of camping/motor homes as well as static homes and a large amount of facilities. It’s more than fine as it’s the closet site to the seaside co-located towns of Deauville and Trouville on the coast which we wanted to visit at some point.

The weather was definitely a lot better that the forecast had said. It was great to get the table and chairs out as well as trying out the awning…


There was a very brief shower, although the skies didn’t look it would be short, whilst we were finishing off doing some exercises. Keith quickly tried to close up the chairs etc and one of the arms partly came partly off. Out came the tools and luckily it could be fixed!!! It would’ve still be usable without a problem, but for the BBQ we did that evening it was great to be sitting outside.

Deauville seems to be a rich persons seaside resort; I’m not sure if it is the race track, the yachting fraternity or the expensive cars and restaurants that lead us to this impression.  It was definitely worth a wander around, as was our walk along the very long promenade.  Deauville does have it’s twin sister Trouville on the other side of the river; this definitely caters for the rest of the population.  The fish/shellfish stalls on the key which each had a number of small tables to sell their cooked wares; it certainly looked interesting.

This time we weren’t cooking fish on the BBQ, but very tasty sausages and burgers…  Yes, and Keith does like cooking with the “Chefie” tongs.