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Thursday, 28 June 2012

June Retreat days 2, 3 and 4

Breakfast on the terrace
The week seems to have flown by. Tuesday was brighter weather so we spent the morning relaxing at La Verderie with our knitting, then after lunch a trip into St Jean d'Angely. I had a hospital appointment, so left the girls to find their own way around the town and came back to meet them in the cafe later.
St Jean d'Angely

Beer and coffee in the square
They managed to find the kitchen shop to make a few purchases and have a wander around the town. It was warm enough to cook and eat tagine in the garden.
a warm summer evening on the terrace

Wednesday was hot and sunny, in the morning we headed off to Cognac. A quick stroll through the indoor market where Jelena bought some cheese to take home and Jacqui bought some purple garlic.
the indoor market at Cognac

Next stop the yarn and fabric shop where everyone purchased buttons, trimmings and fabrics, Jelena and I split a remnant between us, to make a skirt for her and a shirt for me.
beer and coffee in Cognac

Then up to the square for coffee and beer and back home for lunch. In the afternoon we went for a dip in our friends pool and spent a lazy afternoon sipping chilled rose and tasting the local Cognac. Back home for a BBQ of fish kebabs, toulouse sausages and salad in the garden.
A cooling dip

Cognac tasting

This morning we have been to Saintes for more retail therapy, the sales have started! More bags of shopping to cram into suitcases tonight, just managed to get the market before it closed to buy fresh prawns and moules for a paella tonight.
the museum in Saintes

Saintes market
We are just sitting down for an afternoon of knitting and magazine reading, we don't seem to have achieved much knitting so far this week, but everyone seems very happy!

Monday, 25 June 2012

June knitting retreat

The latest retreat at La Verderie is underway. Jacqui, Diane and Sue arrived at Bordeaux airport yesterday morning, after leaving Luton in the pouring rain at the crack of dawn the sunshine here was very welcome. Culli picked up Jelena at Poitiers, so by 6.30 we were all sitting in the sun with a glass of rose in hand. I managed a bit of stash sorting in the afternoon and a quick lesson in beading for Jacqui. Everyone has brought a project for the week, Sue has a choice of a lacy shawl (difficult when talking too much) and a Rowan sweater (less taxing), Jelena finished a pair of socks today and has started on a lovely lacy cotton dress, talking, knitting and drinking seem to pose no problem for her, Diane is knitting a cotton cardigan which is growing quickly, Jacqui is knitting a gorgeous lacy shawl in fluffy yarn with sequins and I have just started a really simple winter sweater for Culli, no plans on which winter it will be ready to wear.......
We have spent the day chilling, knitting, talking and eating, everyone managed a stroll around the vineyard this evening with the dogs followed by supper of pear, roquefort and walnut salad, seafood ragout with tagliatelle and tarte tatin. Culli is nagging me about getting rid of the rowing machine, methinks I will definitely need it after this week.

Tomorrow a morning of knitting and a trip to St Jean d'Angely in the afternoon, for me a visit to the hospital for the dreaded mammogram, for the girls a bit of sightseeing, the yarn shop and a coffee. 

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Catching Up

 Phew! The knitted samples for my latest book have finally gone off in the post, just a few patterns to check and that is it - hurrah!

Since the crochet workshop in May there has been so much going on here, but sadly no time for blogging or website up-dates until now.

In between the frantic knitting I helped Culli to antifoul and varnish the boat ready for the sailing season as we have guests who want to learn to sail. We have had B&B guests at the weekends and a short retreat for knitting friend Caroline and her daughter Betsy. 
Caroline knitting in the garden

Betsy swimming in the lake at Thors

Beading in the restaurant at Thors
The weather has been mixed, hot when the sun is out but not brilliant for June. Betsy braved the lake at Thors and went for a swim, whilst we sat in the restaurant and knitted our way through lunch.
The garden has gone mad, the fennel is taking over, we have fresh lettuce every day and my tomato plants have gone wild (yes, I forgot to pinch them out again....), however it looks like there are plenty of toms coming as long as they survive Bix the dog's veggie cravings.
We have another knitting retreat starting this Sunday, with four guests arriving at Bordeaux and Angouleme, we will make a plan for outings when they get here.