Author Archives: Conrad

And Now The Work Begins

A long hot summer has had it’s bonuses but it has also had it’s drawbacks. The garden seems to have suffered more this year than in the past, including an almost dead hedge and very patchy lawn. This has finally given us a reason to completely re-landscape the front of the house.

We’ve both always liked the idea of a cottage style garden with lots of year-round colour with a nice herb garden outside the door, maybe some roses and it would be criminal not to have Lavender. We’d also like a nice patch of lawn to sit and enjoy the area.

The Magnolia tree dominates the area so everything will be designed from this, and while we’re digging everything up it’ll be an ideal time for an automatic watering system. I’ve worked out that we can use one of the wells for this so hopefully everything will survive another summer like the one we’ve just had.

The planning is definitely the fun bit, we’ve been wandering around laying out rope to mark out paths, driveway, herb bed, rose bed etc etc. But very soon the fun bit will stop and the digging will start…….

Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller

Ibn Battuta

Time for a Quick Break (before the work begins)

On Friday morning over the breakfast table Conrad said “Let’s have a break. The season has come to an end and we have no bookings for a while, we can pack up Rosie (our motor home) take Lily (our dog) and have a couple of days away before we tackle the big jobs which have been waiting in the wings over the summer.” So there we were an hour later pootling along the road out of Mayet off on a mini adventure. That was before I turned round to make sure all the doors and overhead compartments were fastened properly. All ok, except i noticed I’d forgotten to bring any bedding. Half an our later we were back on the road again with all the necessities. (Must remember to do a proper check list!) as you may be able to tell we are still newbies at this motor homing.

We got out the ‘All the Aires’ book for northern France and decided to go south west. Aires are stop over sites for motor homes, often they are free and some are at really beautiful locations – though some are in supermarket car parks.

We chose Champtoceaux for the first night. South of the Loire west of Angers. The site was just behind the church. We had climbed higher than I’d thought on the road up from the river because after a little stroll through the playground and the trees there was a viewpoint. The view was lovely, looking right (east) the Loire meandered lazily away up river towards chateau land, to the left we could see the side of the chateau in Champtoceaux and off to the west the sun was just beginning to go down. I woke sometime between 7 and 8 next morning. The church bells were ringing for about 10minutes – not striking the hour but going through some kind of test. After breakfast we thought we’d wander down to the ruins of the old castle which had stood on this promontory. Sadly we did not get there as Conrad’s dicky knee and poor choice of footwear would not survive the steep hill down. So we mooched round the town centre and bought some supplies ready to move on to our next aire.

This one was just north of Angers on the Mayenne river, a rather lovely spot at Gres-Neuville. Two villages linked by a bridge over the river. Our pitch, which was in the grounds of the sports centre, gave us a view of the river – we managed to stop Lily from dashing in for a swim. We crossed the bridge and wandered along the embankment to the lock gate. The village is very pretty and many of the gardens backing onto the river are manicured to within an inch of their lives. The old lock keepers house is now a nice restaurant. After our walk we went back to Rosie and spent a few hours reading in the very warm sunshine. A really pleasant place to sit back, and relax.

Now we are ready to get on with those jobs.

Our New Video Walkthrough

I’ve been working on a little walk through video for the website and I’ve just finished the first version. I do like my Mac it does make the difficult things a lot easier. Hope you like the video, I’m no … Read More

A Day At The Zoo

Before recommending attractions, restaurants or other things to our guests we try and visit them first so that we can pass on first hand information. So with my son and his partner, the four of us headed off to La Flèche Zoo.

We initially thought the €24 entrance was a little expensive but by the end of the day we were all of the opinion that it was great value.

I am always wary of visiting zoos. Over the years there have been some nightmare stories of ill-treated animals in claustrophobic cages. However La Flèche Zoo showed everything that can be good about a zoo. The enclosures were large and mimic’d the animals natural habitat, I had to pinch myself and remind myself that I wasn’t in the Canadian Rockies when I was looking at the Grizzly Bear enclosure. The animals also looked happy and well cared for. It was amazing to see two African Elephants playing in their watering hole, spraying each other, rolling around and totally submerging themselves. These appeared to be happy animals.

Al in all we had a great day out and thought it was good value for money