It was a week of firsts this week, along with some seconds and thirds and fourths…
So what do I mean, well it was my aunt’s first trip to visit us in France, which while only four days long, it was really nice to have her here. We all got to do an interesting first this week, our first, first was a trip to an English inspired tea shop where we had a lovely afternoon tea with scones and butter and jam (no cream unfortunately). It was a lovely little trip and we also went to have a look at a watercolour exhibition which was very good and an enjoyable day.
Our next first which was also a first for all three of us (me, Pat and my aunt) was a trip to the Art gallery in Limoges. The art gallery is set in a beautiful old building that was once the Episcopal Palace, which are surrounded by a beautiful garden. Unfortunately we were late into Limoges so we only had 45 minutes to have a look at the art gallery before they shut for the famous French lunch break. So we had a quick look over the map and decided that the enamels would be the best place to start as my aunt likes enamels, and it is something a little bit different. The enamels were on the third floor so we headed for the lift. Now as the lift has been added to a very old building they are quite small, but very modern. You most likely could only get four people into the lift comfortably. So in we get, hit the button for the 3rd floor and off we go, except the doors don’t open on the top floor, nothing to worry about as the lift starts to return to the ground floor. We get to the ground floor, the doors don’t open. We hit one of the buttons and then the lift shudders and drops about 20 cm’s and we hear a horrible clunk. So we hit the alarm and one of the guards comes to the doors, Pat has a Franglais conversation with the guard – to which we get the comment that the service guy is on his way out to help get us out and this usually takes around 15-20 minutes. Pat is claustrophobic so not the best place for him, but after a minor wobble we were able to fill the time chatting about other things. 25 minutes later we were finally released; at this point we obviously had no time left to look at the gallery. We decided that a walk in the garden was a very good option, fresh air (my aunts fresh air also contained a hit of nicotine) and expansive views (the gardens overlook the Vienne valley). We then went off to find a place for lunch and we settled on a place which had tables outside in a lovely warm but shady square. It was a lovely lunch and we then decided that we would visit the Porcelain museum rather than return to the art gallery!
Another couple of first, visiting the Porcelain museum – which is fascinating – and the first time my handbag has been checked by security while I’ve been in France. There was a great temporary exhibition about the colour blue. Another first for me the first time I have seen a decorative “coat” made for a camel. It was very decorative and covered with semi-precious blue stones, but one of the stranger things I’ve seen.
On Friday we decided to head off to Brantôme – which was the second time that Pat and I had been there. We last visited with Dad during August and the place was heaving with people. We returned on Friday as this is market day – it was a nice day with the sun out but not very hot. It was a lot calmer than last time and we actually had time to wander through the market and see lots of the stalls which was great. At lunch time, my aunt said she would treat us to lunch so we found a lovely little restaurant on the river and sat outside on the covered terrace. Lunch was superb and after three courses I was feeling incredibly full, so we decided a walk along in front of the abbey and into the park would be a great idea. Unfortunately just after we left I made a very good attempt at fainting without actually fainting. I was thankfully able to get a bottle of cold water, so I spent the next 20 minutes sitting on the ground outside with my back up against a cold stone wall (in the shade) with my jumper, scarf and shoes off – feet on the cold pavement. It was quite a horrible feeling and I’ve only really fainted once before and that was after giving blood. Thankfully after the 20 minutes and after I had cooled down I felt fine. It was odd as the temperature would have only been about 22c so not quite sure what bought that all on.
On Saturday we had to say goodbye to my aunt. My aunt was lucky as we had some very nice weather while she was here. Today (Sunday) it is cold, grey and wet!
So what else happened this week? The building works for our house finished which was great. So the side of the house has been totally repointed and looks great. My veggie patch is getting to the end of its summer life so I need to sort that out. Not 100% sure what I will do about my capsicum’s that have been putting on a last minute spurt but I’ll sort out something. And that pretty much has been my week, interesting but I think I could have done without a couple of my firsts! Until next week…