|4 generations of the Lieven family at Île de Ré last Sunday at Aunty Olga's house|
|My petit dejeuner at a café in Les Portes en Ré last Sunday|
|Nokia reuniting colleagues in Ars-en-Ré last Sunday - Xavier and I meeting for the first time in 15 years.|
|The little harbour at Ars-en-Ré last Sunday|
|Sophie's fruit birthday cakes|
|Suzy with her great aunt (Aunty Valya or Koka to her great grandchildren) on the last day in Les-Portes-en-Ré|
|The Russian drinking and honouring ceremony|
|The singing session on our last night in La Teillée|
|Zuka with Bruce's ashes on Monday morning|
|The old passport with the European Union on it.|
|The new passport with the words European Union gone!|
|Suzy in the garden with Pippa|
Eladio and I did the main food shopping and I came back to make a big lunch for us all as Oli and Miguel were coming. I made broccoli and mushroom soup followed by "bitki" (Russian hamburgers) which we had with home made tomato sauce and potato puré. It was nice for once to be all together that day and I know it made my father happy.
We all went to have a siesta afterwards and I could hardly believe it was 6.30 pm when I woke up. I had slept 2.5h. It was obvious I needed the sleep. I joined the rest of the family in the garden where we chatted until it was time for dinner. Miguel and Oli stayed for dinner and it was another long family meal.
When I went upstairs afterwards I saw that Miguel and Oli had installed a cot in her room at home for little Elliot. Seeing it made his arrival feel real to me. I could hardly believe that in 3 weeks time or so he would be sleeping there. This is it.
|Elliot's cot in Oli's bedroom at home|
|Everything is ready for Elliot's arrival. This is just some of the stuff Oli and Miguel have acquired for him.|
We would have new guests that day coming to enjoy the "puente" (bank holiday weekend); 2 couples with a small child each who are Brazilian but live in Madrid and would be coming for 3 nights. I was rather dreading them as babies and small children can be a challenge. In my house rules I state we don't accept children under 5 but no one reads the rules. It meant we would have to keep poor little Pippa hidden all the time. Oli and Miguel fled until they went this morning as Oli hates our house being invaded by Airbnb guests.
We had a quiet morning before their arrival. We went on our walk. After my ablutions, I decided to wear my new red dress from Les-Porte-en-Ré. I wore it with my Cuban bean necklace and matching bracelet and it looked like I was ready to go out but I wasn't. I just felt like wearing it. At one point in the morning I was sitting on our red sofa in our study with its red Jordanian cushions which we brought back from our holiday there in 2010. Eladio took a photo as everything was so red and you know what? I think he took one of the best photos of me in recent times, despite the wrinkles on my neck. I was the proverbial woman or lady in red in but in a red background. It's funny but both the red tones were exactly the same. Here I am in a photo I rather like.
|"Lady in red"|
Our guests arrived just as we were about to sit down to lunch and of course I had to welcome them and show them their rooms and the house. They immediately set about preparing a huge barbecue. We thus ate in the dining room with Pippa well hidden.
The guests enjoyed the pool all afternoon while we had our siesta and later read in the garden. It got quite hot that day with temperatures rising to 35ºc. We would have had our dinner on the kitchen terrace but it was just too hot and also there were too many flies - there seem to be more of them than any other year and I'm not sure why. Thus we had dinner in the air conditioned dining room that night.
Friday was another quiet day with not much to report really. The house was full of the Brazilian families and it was a very hot day. Suzy left in the late afternoon to spend the night at Elenita's as the next day they were going on a trip to the mountains of Madrid with Oli and Miguel. I had some work to do that afternoon and while I was engrossed in it I got a sudden Airbnb reservation for a slot at the end of August for which I had a cancellation. I could only work out that my guests were from Israel as the name was in Hebrew script: אריאל ידוובסקי. Google translate didn't help at all in this case although it usually does. The person who booked told me that he or she did so after seeing such good reviews. I have had 5 star reviews all summer with some lovely comments from our guests, including the British family from Wells who wants to come back next year.
Being Friday night, Eladio and I went out for dinner. At the last moment we chose to go a new restaurant very nearby called "El Tinglao". The food is excellent I have to admit and we should go more often. Eladio went for their so-called fish and chips and I had two first courses, a fancily cooked artichoke followed by the most divine foie. The dish is called "a dessert of foie" as it is literally ground to look like sand and it can be eaten by the spoonful. This is it.
|The foie at El Tinglao|
Saturday came. The girls went off to Lozoya, about an hour from Madrid where family of Elenita owns a house. I asked for photos and was rewarded with this one. It's funny to see all three girls wearing a similar white t-shirt.
|The girls, Oli and Suzy with Elena and with Miguel in Lozoya yesterday|
|The girls and Miguel kayaking yesterday near Lozoya|
Sunday came, the day our Brazilian guests would leave which means that we will have the house to ourselves. As I said the girls will be coming for lunch and hopefully we will all spend the afternoon by the pool together. We shall need it as today the temperatures will rise to about 36ºc again. We are thinking of going to Montrondo next week to escape the heat. Let's see if we do. No doubt you will hear whether we did or not in next week's post.
So that's it for now folks. I've come to the end of the stories of this week. Amazing to think this time last week we were still at the big cousinade in lovely Île de Ré. How time flies.
I shall leave you now to print this for my father and then go on our early morning walk with the dogs.
Till next week,
Cheers to you all,