Life has been getting in the way generally the last few weeks. It hasn’t left much time for posting or visiting your blogs, but I’m playing catch up this week.
Last week we managed a speedy hop over the channel. Well, under the channel, to be more precise as we travelled via the Eurotunnel. We spent a night in Boulogne-Sur-Mer and stayed in the old town – very picturesque but I can’t get the photos off my phone to show you. We also stocked up on lots of wonderful wine, cheese and other delicious goodies like all good Englishers on a “booze cruise”. So many wonderful things to choose from and I had to smile as I bought some freshly sliced beef carpaccio – thin slices of raw beef which I served over a salad with griddled asparagus and drizzled with lemon oil. (If you want a chuckle at my not so successful attempt at making octopus carpaccio, take a look at this post).
I was smiling because in England a few weeks ago with some pals we went to a Steak Grill and one of us ordered a burger which they wanted served rare. “Sorry” we were told “local restrictions only allow us to serve minced beef when it is cooked through”. Couldn’t they rely on the quality of the beef they buy and their suppliers we asked? “Legislation” we were told. So a finger up to whoever in England decides how we should eat our meat, and a big round of applause to our French cousins for letting us make our own choices.
In an effort to work off some of the cheese calories we had consumed, yesterday we took the pups off to nearby Beachy Head for a walk.
Perhaps not such a good idea to visit this beautiful headland with amazing views across the south coast on quite such a windy day, but (as my granny used to say), it certainly blew the cobwebs away!
We drove from England to Spain and arrived home late last night after a fairly slow journey through a cold, sleety and snowy France. Brrrr!
We´re a bit “Up in the Air” (and it´s not just because we´re back Up Our Mountain). We don´t know where we´re going to be for Christmas.
Maybe Spain, or maybe back to the UK to finish off House Number 2 and possibly take on some more work or help my parents out with various jobs.
No matter. We´re here right now. The sun is shining, the garden and the veggie plot have been tidied and prepared for winter.
The dogs are happy.
The day started with good coffee, a walk around the garden snapping these quick shots and we´re off out for lunch! We are a happy Chica and Big Man. Well, we´re pretty much happy most of the time, but today we´re extra happy.
More news as soon as we know ourselves what is happening, and time this week to catch up with some blogging, recipes and nesting back into our Mountain Home. Have a great Sunday everyone.
So, this is it (click there if you want to hear a good old wartime song)! All the waiting to sort out legal documents for the house purchase is done. The ferry crossing is booked from Calais in Northern France to Dover on the south Coast of England. The dogs have seen the vet and have more documents than we do. The car is packed with tools, wine, beer and other essentials. The picnic is being made. The passports are in my bag.
We´re off! The trip to the UK to renovate a little Victorian house in the seaside town of Bexhill on Sea starts tomorrow, very early in the morning. I should point out that this is a Property Development project, our grown up “job” (for now at least). We will be back to Spain and Up Our Mountain as soon as the property is fit to live in and looking nice and hopefully some lovely people will rent it for a year or so and be very happy in it!
We´ll drive across Spain, skirting around Madrid and then up to the border with France at Irun/Bayonne at the edge of the Pyrenees. By tomorrow night we hope we´ll have reached Bordeaux where we´ll stop in a motel for the night. No time for anything glamorous as we´ll be up early the next day and heading up and across to the North coast of France via the edge of Le Mans then skirting east of Paris and finally the Port of Calais.
A quick hour and half ferry crossing later and we´ll be spotting the White Cliffs of Dover, then a left turn along the coast to our destination. About 2200 km, or 1300 miles in total in 2 days. Phew.
But don´t worry, we won´t starve. We have cool bags packed with ice blocks and plenty to eat. Tortilla, of course. And an Empanada. Baked Scotch Eggs are being made later today and tomorrow night when we stop I´ll make an Ensalada Cateta as that´s an easy one and will make a change from picnic food.
We have some lovely chicken wings (they´re huge as they´re from our own chickens) which I rubbed in crushed garlic and smoked paprika then left them in a little bath of chicken stock and white wine for half an hour before seasoning then roasting them for 45 minutes in a medium oven.
Bacon butties for tomorrow morning and then on Friday I am sure we´ll stop in France to buy some lovely hot coffee and buttery croissants to start our day.
It will take us a few days to get settled, and fingers crossed that the internet I have sorted out will work. Apologies in advance for possibly not being able to keep up and comment as much as usual, but I´ll do my best as I would miss you all too much.
Hopefully I can keep you updated on our progress with some “Cooking Under Fire” thrown in. The kitchen is being pulled out this week and the new one won´t go in for a week or so, but I do have an oven, a sink and a table. Honestly, what more do I need?!
So, wish me well, we´ll drive carefully and I´ll see you all again soon. Maybe we can all share an extra-large portion of Fish & Chips on the beach?
So in 2016 I turned 50. I was in Italy for my 21st, 30th and 40th. To keep this birthday tradition going I always knew I'd be in Italy for my 50! This blog starts with my 5 week adventure in Puglia but my love affair with Italy continues.....