Settling into the Farm Guest House at Chateau de la Motte

Having unpacked bags, unloaded all the bikes, bought up what feels like half of the local InterMarche, we can finally relax and enjoy our surroundings.

The main room of the Farm Guest House
The main room of the Farm Guest House

The main part of the Farm House that makes up our gite consists of a lovely, atmospheric, big room with a large, circular dining table and a couple of sofas.  The front door leads out from here into a private garden area

The Farm Guest House's private dining garden
The Farm Guest House’s private dining garden

with a dining table and chairs.  This in turn leads onto a large grassed area looking across to Usseau under the gaze of the chateau above.  The kitchen has a table and everything you need to cook, eat and drink!  Upstairs are two very large bedrooms and a third smaller twin – plenty of room for the six of us.  There are also three bathrooms. Continue reading Settling into the Farm Guest House at Chateau de la Motte

The Tribe have a French history lesson

As the UK gets ready to batten down the hatches with the imminent arrival of Hurricane Bertha, we head for the Channel Tunnel and our summer French affair.  Driving towards Paris however, it feels as though we’ve found the epicentre of the hurricane as the sky turns black, the rain turns torrential and visibility is almost zero – the traffic on the autoroute stops due to weather rather than volume.  Despite this (and the usual horrendous traffic around Paris) as we drive into Usseau, a small village just outside of Chattelerault, we are surrounded by glorious French countryside – small fields of sunflowers and sweetcorn stretch as far as the eye can see and there, in the distance, is the most perfect princess’ castle any child (or adult, come to that!), could ever dream of.  Chateau de la Motte. Continue reading The Tribe have a French history lesson

The Centenary Commemoration of the start of WW1

At 11pm on 4 August 1914, Britain declared war on Germany, 11 hours after Germany had invaded Belgium, a neutral country and a country that Britain had a long standing treaty to protect.  The German’s had wrongly thought the agreement a mere ‘scrap of paper’; and so began a global human tragedy.  Lasting for 4 years, the war mobilised 65 million men; more than 21 million people died including 13 million civilians.  With these sobering thoughts in mind, I walked with the Tribe to our local church, St Mary’s, for a vigil service commemorating the centenary outbreak of the First World War. Continue reading The Centenary Commemoration of the start of WW1

A Family Afternoon at Amport Fete

A rather belated post, but life has been moving at quite a pace and my writing time is currently sitting at the bottom of the list of stuff to do; the end of term for the Tribe and the summer holidays is the obvious reason.  We have never been to the Amport Fete before, but as two of the Tribe were still at Amport School, we obviously felt that we should go along and we had heard that it was a lovely family day.  It is held annually on Amport Green and is another quintessentially English setting particularly this year with the weather forecast of thunder, lightening and downpours in between warm sunshine!  As soon as we arrive, the Boy and Gerald Durrell run off to find their school friends; the Eldest soon joins them with the Littlest while I make a beeline for the bric-a-brac stand where a friend from school is helping out. Continue reading A Family Afternoon at Amport Fete