My last day . Sad but happy

This morning I packed, unmade  the bed, visited the markets, had a coffee in the Place de Mairie and got into the car for the trip to Nice and the flight home.

Oh how I’m going to miss this laid back life style, the eating out, the mooching around, the       foreign accents, the walks around the villages, the autumn leaves, the neat gardens, the graceful houses, the iron work on houses, the fresh baguette, the musical “bonjour” each morning. All of it will be missed.
As will the Italian equivalent: the operatic way of life, the friendly embracing people, the “bonjourno”, the ” allora”, the Aperol spritz, the pencil pines, the caprese salads, the beautiful vegetables, the quiet villages during siesta, the blue skies, the autumn colours, loud voices, church  bells, nonnas with creased faces and friendly smiles, the markets, vino or vin (depending on the country)  rouge / blanc / rose  / rosso  / bianco.  All of it will be missed. 
But I’m so lucky I got to share it with generous Steve, and Pip my lovely niece,
beautiful smiley Pat, my lovely sister Catherine, my two “oldest” fun friends Narelle and Anne, with 
wonderful friends Lindy and Geoff, Jill and Chris, Carmel and Peter, and Margaret and John . It was an experience shared and bonds made forever. Thank you all.
I’m sitting in the Qantas/ BA airline lounge (upgraded to business – thank you Our Lady of the 
Upgrades and generous husband Steve) and I’m just about weeping with the joy of remembering the details of this wonderful adventure. I’m sorry I didn’t get to share with more of my friends from 
home but I know you were with me in spirit and have been reading the blog.
See you all soon – lets drink a glass of bubbles and celebrate together. The 16th is as  good a day as any!

Last day in Cotignac

Again, a gorgeous autumn day so we decided to say good bye to Rose and Vaughan and then wait for the Brannock’s next visitor Rachel Nolan. If the name is familiar to Queenslanders, she is the former Minister of the Bligh Government – on a four month stay in France deciding what it do next. Interesting!

Margaret and I unmade, then made beds and prepared to say farewell to Rose and Vaughan. Pity their car didn’t start so they didn’t get to go!! I wandered the village and send a parcel to Jordan, Rob’ s girlfriend in California. It’s her birthday. The French post office works in a slightly less operatic way than in Italy, but they lack the packaging the Italians have to offer. I wanted a small packet  but the ones they had were only for France. The man had to go behind the scenes and come out with a bent piece off cardboard that I had to roughly write the address on and put the wee little present inside.
He then used masking tape to make a kind of envelope. Very strange. I hope it gets there.

We spent the afternoon waiting for one group to depart and then Rachel to arrive, but life is very laid back in Cotignac so it wasn’t a problem. Margaret and I walked up to Notre Dame, the short way – all uphill! But not like the long way of last week (see story “A walk in the woods”)

We finished with a glass of rose in the village and then showered and prepared for my last dinner – at the lovely La table a la Fountaine. We arrived there around 7.30 which is early by French standards and got a table upstairs. We enjoyed a Coup de Champagne and a delicious fish dish.

Lots of laughs and my last night was over. So sad. 


Today we visited some of the little villages in this area called Var.
The weather was perfect and John and his friend Vaughan decided to ride there and Marg, Rose and I drove.
We stopped in Salernes first and sat in the sun for a coffee admiring the view and the weather. Then we walked though the markets and bought food for dinner.  Found the most beautiful looking fresh artichokes so thought we could manage something nice with them.

We continued our drive towards Tourtour and starting winding up the mountain. It’s a small hill town and the hills a covered  in autumn trees blazing in red and gold. We passed the cycling men labouring up the hill and gave them an encouraging wave as we whizzed by.
We arrived via a vary narrow street controlled by lights as two cars can’t pass.  Parked in the main piazza or Place as they are called here. It’s a vy pretty space with the usual cafes but has a vy lovely garden area overlooking the view down the valley.
We wandered around the streets and chose a place for lunch. It was a clear blue day but a little chilly so decided to sit indoors with a view through the windows!
After eating beautiful duck confit and a glass of Rose we walked around the village and up the hill to the church and lookout. It’s a gradual climb through grassed area filled with picnic tables indicating just how busy it must get in summer.

We took a few photos then headed for home and the cooking of the artichokes.
I decided to google and you tube the ” how to ” and Margaret and I set about cleaning and preparing them. It w a bit of work but oh my the results were worth it. We loved them.
This was followed by risotto with Chanterelle mushrooms. Yum
To bed feeling happy and a little sad a tomorrow is my last day.