And we were leaving. A short drive ahead just to get us to Le Couvent – an old convent turned into a bijou chambre d’hote. On the way we visited Clermont L’herault for old times sake. We went there first about 10 years ago to visit a close friend . Then we went with the family while we were on holiday and a couple more times on our own, so we feel we know it. The air was still warm and we lunched in a familiar restaurant . Le couvent is in a small village on the edge of a forest. The furnishings were sparse but perfect. Antique lamps and old glass vases. Painted and stressed chairs and tables – a soft grey green. White cotton sheets, hand dyed curtains and in our room an old iron balcony looking over other old buildings and gardens of sorts.



Even the trays were lovely

TUESDAY –FRIDAY Drove to see a friend of ours recently moved to a village in mid France. Lovely to speak just English for a night and a morning. Then to Amboise where we stay in a chateau beside the Loire. Walked across two bridges with an island in the middle – the Loire is enormous at this point. Suddenly cold – has been getting chillier the more northward we go. Then Le Touquet which is a golf/tourist town with shops cafes, arcades etc. We stayed in the Grand Hotel which advertised an indoor pool and a restaurant, and as we had had virtually no exercise for a week it seemed like a good idea. However the pool was closed as was the restaurant so we had to brave the squally wind and rain and walk to find a restaurant in the town. Luck was in – we found La Coupole and even though we were the only people out in that ferocious weather, the food and service were fabulous. Worth remembering if you are ever in Le Touquet. The rain and wind cut through our holiday heads and we began to think about work waiting for us when we got home. Neil going into the studio to record the song he has been working on, for a musical based on a Henry Fielding play. Then a concert he is organising for the Slapstick Festival and after that a gig with a fabulous band – Police Dog Hogan, while I brooded on the various layouts and planting schemes for gardens I am working on. We got to sunny Calais and looked across the channel to see a huge grey cloud just about covering all we might have seen of England and wondered again why we lived there.

We got back on the 17th January and Neil was straight into the studio to record the songs for the aforementioned musical. All went well and the project is progressing. More of that, hopefully, next time.