Monday, July 19, 2010

So how did we celebrate July 14th?

Answer: In a tent! Thanks for your lovely comments - I scheduled three posts for while we were away, as I had some photos and things I wanted to share, and also because my mum is strong enough to go down to her computer room at the moment! It was lovely to find your comments when we got back - I'd been thinking of you all.We camped in the Ariege, an idyllic , very pastoral area of the Pyrenees mountains. It's less than two hours' drive from our house, and we resolved to drive relatively little and stay in the local area once we got there. We did a whole week's holiday on less than a tank of diesel!
It was easy enough to stay local when you campsite looks like this.
This is Ben's Make Do and Mend trailer, parked near a very cute riverside-building. The stove is very definitely his, too.I was content - I got my washing line up. (A bit worrying, if that's what it takes...)
Son 1 got a lot out of learning camp cooking with Dad.
Son 2 spent most of his time in the stream!
Our view (often filled with tents) included these velvet-red roses I'd brought from home, as they'd looked too beautiful to throw onto the compost heap while I emptied vases before leaving. The evening that they finally started dropping petals, I threw them into the water, and Ben and I watched one luminously red rose flow down the stream and away towards the little waterfall.
The next morning we found 'our' statue watching the second rose!
I refilled our makeshift vase with a few scabious and self-heal flowers from below my washing line.
The trees kept this patch of grass on the other side of our bridge quite shady all afternoon. When there was no-one camping there, we put out the groundsheet and picnic mat on the grass above the water mill, and ate picnics, drank cups of tea...... or laid down and stared at the sky through the leaves.
On to Bastille Day, our fête national, which is usually celebrated with fireworks. It was a much more mellow affair at our quiet campsite...
Our proprietor, who runs the campsite alongside a rustic sawmill, put up this sign announcing that he'd be roasting locally-farmed chickens for any family who wanted to buy one and take it back to their tent. We booked up...
A second sign, produced by one of his neighbours, announced that she'd be stopping by at the same time to sell organic produce from her garden - lettuce, onions and chard.
We bought some sweet, green lettuces and tangy purple salad onions, some drinks from the little buvette on site,
and the feast commenced!
But it looked as though the nearby town had other plans for celebrations... we resolved to go the following night... and I'll tell you all about that another day!
As you can see, we've had such a lovely time, and have so many photos and stories to share, that I hope to be posting every day this week. I'll let you know more about the wildlife, the mountains, the alternative lifestyles in the area and the things we got up to. Please do leave me a comment if there's anything in particular you'd like to know about...
And finally, in answer to your questions, both kind and quirky:
Son 1's heels and tendons are doing pretty well, and he can walk on the level and down hill without difficulty. Shame we decided to go to the mountains, really! These growing pains are indeed very real and have internet websites to tell you more about them (of course). His has a name: Sever's Disease, but there are all sorts of short-term problems of this kind, and they do go away, thank goodness. I'm so sorry to hear that some of you have more permanent problems, as that's a much more difficult matter.
My mum is tired but miraculously pain-free at the moment, so she's more mobile than she's been in ages. The doctors can't explain the lack of pain but we are all very, very grateful.
And those big knickers a) mainly came in job-lots of lace that I was buying and b) have draw-strings which, when pulled in, make all that fabric into a surprisingly neat pair of pants for a perfectly average-sized derriere! I have kind of wondered about sewing up the legs (they're open) and turning them into vintage lacy shorts, but I think no, really...


Serenata said...

Looks like a very idyllic place to camp and I look forward to hearing more your exploits! Glad to hear your Mum is pain free at the moment - that must be such a blessing for her and your Dad

Beck said...

Oh Floss, your campsite is so dreamy! I almost felt I was there with you, sipping something nice and taking in the ambience. I think that is one of the things l have always loved about your blog, the sense of being there too. You tell a great story with your words and photo's. As for those big knickers...they still crack me up! xo ps glad to hear that your mum is doing well and that your son is ok too. Looking forward to more tales from your time away xo

Jen Walshaw said...

Oh my that camp site looks like a little slice of Heaven. Glad to hear that your mum isnt in pain, long may it last

Me and Ma said...

The campsite looks completly heavenly Floss :)

Sherri B. said...

I can see why your tank of gas lasted the entire vacation, I would not want to leave that beautiful location...So sorry to hear Son #1 is still suffering, hopefully it will be over soon...How nice that your Mother is able to get around a bit, what a blessing!...Looking forward to you sharing more of your trip.

Lola Nova said...

Glad to hear about your mum, I'm sure she is happy to be able to read your posts!
What a magical holiday you had! The photos are amazing. We don't have anything like that here. We have lovely places to camp to be sure but, no rose guarding statues (nor statues of any kind) near the tents. Looks like a good time was had by all and I am looking forward to hearing more!

Betty said...

A lovely campsite and how excellent to have local produce on hand ... that's the kind of family holiday I dream of ... surprised to see the washing line though!
Betty x

Lorrie said...

Fresh produce and roasted chickens at a campsite. Quelle charmante idée!
Your idyllic spot looks like the perfect place to rejuvenate and refresh. I hope you are still feeling the effects.

BadPenny said...

Floss this looks perfect. I loved seeing your roses in the photos & then the idea of letting them drift away.

Autumn Mist said...

Oh Floss, it wouldn't be you without a washing line, would it? I did laugh. It all looks so lovely, proper Famous Five camping, not on a caravan site like you get over here. Glad to hear your mum is ok, too.

Sarah - Red Gingham said...

What an organised family you are. It looks like you could live that way forever. What a very pretty park you stayed in with a lovely atmosphere too. I love the idea of an impromptu market too. Glad you have a wonderful holiday but very pleased to hear your Mum is feeling good at the moment. Big hello to your Mum!!

Josie-Mary said...

Hello, I missed a few post so I hope everything is ok. This campsite looks beautiful.....oh I'd love to go there on my own to get away from it all :) x