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25 July 2011

A wet week and Australia wins the Tour de France

Monday, July 25,
It’s a grey day today – with a curtain of mist hanging over the valley so a good day to settle down and do some writing and reading. After a late night I am moving slowly this morning.
We have been watching the Tour de France a lot this week, and what a delight to have Cadel Evans win, first Australian ever, he dealt with the interviews by the French media quite well, he appears to speak French reasonably well.
Alain came for his English lesson on Wednesday and did some repairs for us. The iron frame of our aged gate had slipped sideways, so a straightening up was needed. He also wanted to watch the Tour de France.

This has been another wet week, I feel sorry for all of those who are on holidays. We see visitors walking or should I say trudging, around the valley with umbrellas up poor things. Everywhere is so green.
We had some guys here helping to move some old oak beams out of the caves, and into another wood store. John found a beautiful old bottle which had previously contained a marc, so that took us on a history trip to the Nuits St George area yesterday, Sunday. We found the vineyard area where the bottle came from, at the Château de Premeaux, home of the Pelletier family, for the past five generations. We had a great chat with the winemakers who were intrigued to see the bottle. And another purchase of wine to add to our cellar! We had lunch at a nice little country restaurant in the town of Nuits St George. This is an area north of Beaune. We got back home just in time to see the end of the Tour de France and the presentations, before going out to a midsummer party in the village at the home of some Dutch friends.

During the week we had a visit from Ian and Rosemary Sinclair for a few days, and has some nice walks and drives with them and some wonderful meals. I took them to Varennes sous Donne to the Plassard woollen mills. It used to be a spinning mill, but now just plies and labels the wool. However, they have preserved the old machinery and have put it in a museum on the site where they get it working to demonstrate to visitors to the museum. The machinery was driven by a mill race, which is very attractive and with the water still rushing through the huge old water gates. The old stone buildings are set in a beautiful park where they keep examples of different breeds of sheep. I had a self interest in this visit, as they have a magnificent shop selling all kinds of knitting yarns. I am in the midst of knitting jumpers with hoods for our Canberra grand children for next winter, and I needed some more wool. Mission accomplished.

I have just harvested salad, some more figs and an enormous courgette which got away on me, and is the size of a football. Lack of sun has slowed down the tomatoes ripening. A couple of sunny days would be marvellous.

It has been a wet week and quite a week for tv – The Murdoch show, the Tour de France and the dreadful Norwegian tragedy. What a shock.

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