Another year over, and a new one just begun.

I forgot to take photos of our food over the Christmas and New Year period, but I can assure you that we did eat well (read ‘copiously’) and that the butter shortage didn’t hamper festivities. In fact supplies of butter seem to be back to normal.

img_8990.jpgOn the return trip from Vendee to Toulouse we spent four days in the Perigord region. This region is renown for truffles, duck and geese products, and walnuts. While we were there we visited the  recently built Lascaux caves center and some of the surrounding villages including the stunning  Rocamadour where we simply had to eat some of the delicious local raw milk cheese of the same name during our picnic lunch there.

The famous Lascaux caves have been closed to the public for many years in order to preserve the important cave paintings within – estimated to be up to 20,000 years old – but the true-to-life replica in the new modern center is amazing.  To this day it is a mystery how the artists managed to paint these enormous, yet accurate, representations of animals (there are no paintings of anything else; no plants, no fire, no people….) in the deep dark recesses of the extensive caves.

Having an old school friend stay for a visit was a good way to kick off the year.  Rachael and I managed to tick a few items of her ‘must do’ list including exploring Toulouse, a visit to a local winery, eating creme brûlée, croque monsieur, and baguettes and cheese and a visit to Carcasonne



Stormy weather at Carcasonne.  At least the gargoyles were fun to watch as they ‘spat’.


Post-lunch café in Place Saint Georges – yes it is mid-winter!










Rachael also helped a great deal in planning our daughter’s 10th birthday party and I must say that the resulting treasure hunt was a great hit with our daughter and her new-found friends.


Thank you Rachael!