Easter Weekend...

I'm slowly getting myself back into the usual routine - but I'm finding that the weeks are getting busier again (which is not a bad thing, but it does, as many of you know, mean the weekends become fuller of things you Must DO, instead of things you Want To Do) But I have managed to find time to blog! No menus today, just a post about our weekend away with our friend Danièle...

 I spent 2 hours this morning sorting outr my bills for March - it's not that difficult, but it just takes a while, scanning and sending copies of attendance sheets, checking (and double checking) the names and file numbers of students, checking dates against my diary and so on. Still! Finished for another month and hopefully the cheques will start rolling in soon!!

I've started writing more letters - I joined in with Silver Pebble's "Real Letter Writing" swap. I received two lovely letters, and have sent two back. Plus I wrote a letter to mum while we were away, I've written to a couple of old school friends, and to a neighbour oif my mum's, who has moved south to be in a Hospice nearer to her daughter. It's lovely receiving letters too, but I'm enjoying writing them (even though I've not got that much to write about) If you'd like to be added to my list of people for me to write to, then send me an email with your address. I splurged a bit on the Paperchase web site, so I now have some lovely writing paper to use!
We had a lovely Easter weekend: Good Friday isn't a bank holiday in France, so I had a couple of lessons to give, but as they were in Clermont, I thought I'd take the opportunity to go to the Good Friday service at Church. It was a joint French-English service with the Eglise Reformée and it started quite late. So I popped into ILS (the language school for whom I do some work) to catch up on news and do a bit of photrocopying - and to leave my car in their car park! - then I went into the city centre. I wouldn't shoip on Good Friday normally, but I wanted to get a gift for the Rector & his wife, so I thought it would be "OK" to pop into a couple of shops - I bought them a bottle of wine, a pot of artichoke paté and some mini Easter eggs. Then I went to a reastaurant that we often go to in Clermont (mostly because it serves food throughout the day) and I had a prawn-and-avocado salad. That's another of my Good Friday traditions - I don't eat meat on Good Friday. The servioce was good, but a bit long, and I'm glad I went, especially as it was the only Holy Week/Easter service I got to!

On Saturday I had to do some ironing, and I had to finish off a special present. This was because we had been invted to stay at a Gite with our friend Danièle, her family and friends. This was to celebrate her 70th birthday. To be honest, I felt really honoured to have been invited as part of her close circle of friends: when I said this to her she replied that she wanted to celebrate this time with the people who had been closest and most supportive when her husband Paul had died (If you scroll down here, you can read a little more about Paul and saying goodbye to him)

I made a scrapbook that people could write in during the weekend:

 There were pages to sum up Danièle in one or two words:

 A page to write a longer message for her to read at her leisure...

 A page to write our hopes for her future...

 A page to write our memories of our first meeting, or a funny story...

A page for the family to write on (her four children, their partners and her 5 grandchildren were all there...)
 A page to stick photos, or put them in the pocket...

 Some Bible verses...

and then, on the last page a photo of Paul, and a verse that was read at his funeral:
I will be joyful in God my Saviour. The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights

I hope she likes the book.

Every meal, the table was beautifully decorated with candles and twigs...and my camera battery died! So no photo of that. I hastily put it on charge...so here's the table later on during Saturday evening's dinner...Looking not quite so pretty!

The food was quite simple - with over 30 people to cater for, it couldn't be anything else! We started Saturday's meal with rather strong Mojitos, and bowls of houmous and tapenade. Then lots and lots (and lots...and lots...!) of Flammekeurches with salad

Then there was birthday cake!!

The following day, Easter lunch was a chicken tagine with cous-cous followed by apple tart. In the afternoon, there were walks of various lengths - some went for a short stroll, others (me and Mr FD) managed about 5 km, while others were out for hours. This group included Danièle's son, Sylvain, his partner Aurelia, and their dog, Arlo. Arlo was a bit tired when they got back!

There was much sitting around, relaxing, chatting, drawing, playing... and then more food!! The evening meal was boiled potatoes, salad, Lyonnaise sausage, and sarrason ( a type of salad sauce made with creme fraiche, shallots, herbs etc) and then fruit salad. We left on Monday morning feeling very well fed!

We had a wonderful weekend! I leave you with Arlo and Aurelia:


  1. That is such a beautiful present you made for her. You are v thoughtful. It sounds a wonderful time that you all had.Xx

  2. Hello! What a beautiful cake, and a lovely table with the candles lit. Looking forward to exploring your blog a bit.

  3. Your Easter weekend looks amazing! I am happy to see all these photos of your party. We too had a great Easter party at an event space. The venue had amazing party food and decorations were awesome. It was a wonderful weekend.


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