The House & Bill at Port La Nouvelle

Here are a couple of shots taken of Doris at the house at Hameau du Lac. The town’s name means “hamlet on the lake” and that’s exactly what it is. The house was actually quite a bit bigger than I had imagined from the photos, with three floors and an outside balcony and a living area at the back with a very high ceiling. Dory slept in a loft in the living area. The first photo shows Dory and Lotte in the kitchen getting ready for dinner on Thursday night. The second is Dory posing with a beautiful portrait that Justin painted of her using Nutella on a crepe on Friday morning. Crepes are sold in packages everywhere there.

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This last one is very special because it comes with a story. Later on Thursday night we went to Port la Nouvelle, which is the local resort village on the beach. We were standing on the square watching a musical comedy duo play fishing songs and polkas when Bilby grabbed Lotte for a dance and impressed the locals. Immediately after completing one dance a man in his 60s looked over at Bill and suggested gleefully that he take his wife for a spin. Bill manfully accepted the task and the lady looked like her face was about to explode with excitement as they danced around in circles. The moment captured below is when she was completely overcome and decided she should jump onto Bill and wrap her legs around him. The look on Bilby’s face says it all.

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Narbonne

Later on Thursday we went to check out Narbonne, a much larger city than Sigean with a beautiful square, a market, canals, and a small loch. In the middle of the city is a cathedral. Of course, I have photos of all those things but there’s too much to upload so you’ll have to make do with this cheesy selection of us walking around the city. Narbonne was definitely my favourite of the bigger cities close to where we were staying. The couple with us in the pics are Justin and Sara (Lotte’s sister). We just found out that Sara will be coming to visit us in Australia soon after we get back!

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Photos

We have the luxury of a reliable broadband connection while we’re in Utrecht for the next couple of weeks, so it’s time to start putting a few photos online. We have about 2,500 to choose from because we pooled all the photos from 7 digital cameras amongst our friends on the France leg of the trip! Needless to say, I’ve been through and picked only a few from the library.

Starting from the beginning, here are a few shots from Sigean, which is the closest town to Hameau Du Lac where we were staying in France. These were taken on Thursday the 23rd of July — the day after we arrived in the south of France from Toulouse. Sigean is tiny, with one doglegged main street with tiny alleys leading off it to explore.

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Bonjour from Narbonne

For those who don’t know, I’m currently on holiday in Europe. Today is our last day in France before we head up to Holland by car. So far things have been really great (apart from my health, which remains poor). We spent the first two nights in Paris before meeting Bill, Dory and Geoff and taking the train down to Toulouse. One great night in Toulouse (with lots of dancing and not much sleep) left us tired for the car trip down to Hameau du Lac (near Sigean) but it was worth it. We’ve spent the last week just relaxing and seeing sights in the Sigean, Narbonne and Perpignan region. Lots of castles and beaches and small villages to explore. We have stacks of photos but I don’t have time to upload anything right now apart from this one of Lotte being the Eiffel tower.

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One more night

Well, I only need to wait one more night before I head over to Hullabaloo for the weekend. There’s only one more thing left to do: find someone to feed my cat. That shouldn’t be too hard.

It’s boring waiting to go. Today was a very busy day though, with 4 project meetings and a couple of other casual intra-office meetings in between. Everyone is trying to get things sorted out before the long weekend. It’s strange how the effect of just one day off compresses time. The smart thing to do is leave earlier. Wish I’d thought of it.

Tomorrow I’ll work on my research project and then head to the airport. I get into Perth just in time to make it to the jetty where a riverboat will take us on a cruise down Swan river. I’m worried that something will go wrong and I’ll miss the boat. That would really suck, because the cruise goes for 4 and a half hours and sounds like fun.

Half-day Getaway

Our plans for a getaway for a few days dissolved as we realised it takes more planning and willpower than we possessed halfway into Easter. We compromised on a half-day trip up to Mt Dandenong. It would give us a chance to give the new car a good run and a sense of being away from the city for a few hours. After a small discussion over which particular lookout was the best to aim for, we put our $4 into the hand of a friendly parking attendant at Sky High. Everyone else had decided Easter Sunday was a good time to go up to this famous lookout, of course, so we were not alone. However when it came time to go for a short forest walk we found that it was really quite peaceful out there after all.

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On the way home we decided it would be fun after all to drop in at Mayfields and check out the Cairo Club Orchestra (an authentic 1920s dance band). As we pulled in we found Doz, Crinster and Linnea on the footpath waiting for us! The Swedes were actually about to welcome another couple of Swedes into the country so I went to help pick them (and their 7 months worth of luggage) from Spencer Street. We all went to eat at Umago in Brunswick Street before kicking it to the Cairo Club — and a fantastic night was had by all.

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