Monday June 18th 2012
Olivia reporting from Galicia, The Coupe des Mousquetaires is Spanish, the Motorola press conference, a reunion in Orléans and home again.
|Me enjoying our visit to the Cheverny chataeu in the Loire Valley near Orléans this weekend.|
|Oli worked from TVE Galicia this week|
|Olivia reporting live from Lugo on Monday|
|Rafa Nadal and his 7th Coupe des Mousquetaires|
|It was lovely to see Phoebe again|
|With my journalist friend Ana at the Motorola press conference on Tuesday|
Wednesday was a quiet day. I worked from home most of the day, only stopping to read by the pool with Eladio in the early evening and going for a walk after dinner, which seems to be our routine this month. You may be wondering what I was reading and here I hesitate to tell you. Recently I read an article about the English woman write E.L. James and her very popular trilogy called Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. I was astonished to learn that millions of women around the world were enjoying or rather devouring this new genre, which in short is erotic literature but with a wonderful romantic story as the backdrop. I must say I devoured the first book in less than two days and am now on the last book riveted with the story of ex student Anastasia Steele and the man who fascinates her, CEO Christian Grey with his mysterious and disturbing past. It’s not my usual genre, but I must say I am smitten with the story. When my friend Sandra told me she was reading it and asked whether our friend Adele in France would like it, my answer was “any woman would”. So if you are a woman and my friend, I highly recommend it. Please men steer away as it’s not your scene.
|Women all over the world are reading the Fifty Shades trilogy and I wasn't to be left out. It's steam stuff.|
Finally Thursday 14th came, the day we had been looking forward to for months, the day we were going to France for another reunion with Sandra and Adele and their partners Jeffer and Bernard. The last time we had all been together was in June 2011 when we stayed with Sandie in Brussels. This time we were going to Orléans, the home town of Joan of Arc, some 1.5h south west of Paris, to stay with Adele and Bernard. We flew to Paris Orly where Adele met us and where Sandie was arriving by train from Brussles via Paris. We were all together at about midday and excited to see each other again. Adele and Sandra, as you may remember, were my great friends from Nottingham University and I lived with them both before we left in 1980.
|With my two great friends Adele (left) and Sandie (right) in Orléans this weekend|
The great thing about our renewed friendship is that our husbands and partners get along just as well. So there you have English Adele who is now very French, Italian and Hungarian but Indian born and English bred Sandra (a real mixture), myself, with my Russian and English blood and Spanish habits and our husbands, each from a different corner of the world. Eladio my husband is a Spanish philosopher, Bernard, Adele’s husband is a French psychiatrist and Jeffer, Sandra’s partner, is an American marketer, amongst many other things.
|Our three men, the Spaniard, the American and the Frenchman|
|Adele and Bernard's house in Orléans|
|Adele and Bernard's delightful little garden|
We commented the house looked like something out of a house and garden glossy magazine and I’m sure you will agree from the picture below.
|The front room of Adele and Bernard's house|
As soon as we had settled in, Adele took us out on a walking tour of the pretty town on the Loire and here we were to see lots of medieval tudor style houses, cobbled streets, and pretty squares, as well as take a walk by the majestic river Loire of chateau fame.
|By the statue of Joan of Arc in Orléans|
|Adele cooking in her little kitchen|
The whole weekend was to be about food, laughter and some culture and shopping. Thus Friday morning started off with a great breakfast before we set off for a day in the Loire Valley. It was to be just the three “girls”· and Eladio again as Bernard had to work in the morning and wouldn’t be free until the late afternoon. Adele was to take us to two lovely chateaux in the Loire Valley, on a drive through the impeccable and pretty French countryside.