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{ Monthly Archives } May 2014

Reflecting on the holiday

I’ve been home over a week now, and have been looking back on the holiday. It’s the first time I’ve been on a “singles’ holiday”, and it definitely had a different atmosphere to my more usual trips. After the flight out, my suitcase seemed to take ages to arrive at baggage reclaim at Toulouse airport, […]

Bastide Towns

One day of the holiday was spent exploring some of the numerous “bastide towns”, or fortified villages of the area. They were fought over and changed hands regularly during the Hundred Years’ War, and are a remnant from the time in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries when the Plantagenet kings of England also ruled all […]

Michelin Green Guide Game

One of the little pleasures of being on holiday in France, aside from the food and the wine, is playing the Michelin Green Guide game. This was made up by my parents when my sister and I were teenagers and we went on family holidays in France. I suspect their ulterior motive was so that […]

A mediaeval theme park

Carcassonne itself was a bit of a disappointment when we went there on the last day of the holiday. For a start, it was almost impossible to photograph. It’s a walled citadel, up on a small hill, but it was very difficult to find a spot from which to take a picture of the whole […]

Scattering the Ashes in Albi

The holiday was based in the city (well, largish town) of Albi, about an hour north of Toulouse. It has a UNESCO world-heritage listed historic centre, with the biggest brick-built cathedral in the world. It was an absolute monster of a building, and dominated the countryside for miles around. That was rather the point – […]


When my sister and brother-in-law came to stay a few months ago, they brought with them the card game Carcassonne which they thought I’d enjoy playing. They were right – it was fairly easy to get the hang of, but with subtleties that made it very interesting. I had some beginner’s luck too, which is […]

Yet more trouble with Orange

A few months ago, I had a run in with Orange who sent Christopher a letter saying that his price plan was changing. I spent ages on the phone to “Customer Services” who assured me that they would take the necessary action to delete his account. So I was surprised and very annoyed when I […]

Dodgy Electrics

The problem with calling out workmen to fix something in the house, is that they regularly seem to find something else wrong, which is usually more serious and more expensive than the original problem I had them in to fix! The electrician is a case in point. I called him out a few weeks ago […]

A Mysterious Weekend

I met my college friends, Katie and Tom, in Stratford on Saturday afternoon for a Murder Mystery Weekend. This was through a company we’ve not used before, The Killing Game, and the main attraction was that it offered single-night packages. Previously, we’ve been away for a two night murder-mystery break, which was a lot of […]