Thursday, 9 October 2008

le beautiful game et l'automne arrive ...

This week we dive headlong back into the all-weekend-encompassing world that is 'Colts' football, except I think it's called 'Poussin' at this level in France. Goodbye Girton Colts - Bonjour Le Gua Poussin. So once again it's Saturday touchline shouting, albeit with better weather, awfully familiar and yet a bit odd to have everyone hollering 'Allez!' followed by 'Voila!!'.

Harry has suffered the thrill of being put in the wrong team for his age yet again, too old this time, but this was rectified after only a single match (in goal naturally - the coach was ecstatic to have been handed briefly a giant foreign goalie with 5 years league experience under his belt). So Harry's moved up to play with the under-13s team, they already have a goalie so he makes his debut as a defender. Does rather well actually, scaring the living daylights out of the opposition centre-forward with some very British firm defending. Le Gua are still well beaten, mind, but H enjoyed himself. Next weekend he plays an away game at Nieulle.

Alfie also made his debut this weekend playing for the Under-10s at Le Gua Stade (yep, each village has their own footy stadium - how about that!). Alf is providing a bit of midfield muscle to a team who's ages seem to range from 6 - 9, some of them are awfully small. They don't seem to play any offside rules at either age level so there's some particulary obvious goal-hanging in this match which along with the frequently absent defensive line makes for a high scoring game. Another loss, next weekend away to Saujon.

Autumn has come in the South of France and we have felt our first spell of cold weather. The leaves are turning golden & falling from the trees, unusual only because we've only ever been here in high Summer before. Last weekend was particularly wet & cold & I had to light the wood burning stove for the first time, haven't needed it since though. Jim is fixing up the end part of the stable so that the new horse, nicknamed Black Beauty, that's wintering here has somewhere to shelter from the worst of the weather. There are 2 other stables, it's just that the other 3 horses and donkey are a bit stroppy about sharing.

Ruby came to stay for a few days last week and over the weekend. We had a few nice trips out for lunch (tres bon pancake shop and too much wine at Palais-sur-Mer) and pizza dinner (thankyou Lapin Pecheur pizzeria) plus a whistlestop tour of the local must-do sites on the one day it didn't rain - visiting Sablonceaux abbey and Ile d'Oleron for tea and cakes and a look round the Chateau. Come back soon Ruby.

My bike arrived from the UK on Monday - yay! The plan was that I would fly back, pick it up from Dan's house and ride it back here, probably via the Dover Boulogne route. In the meantime Bev managed to get a quote from a guy who would transport it down here by van for pretty much the same price. I'm a lazy git and decided a weekend on the beach was better than a weekend toiling down the motorways so a deal was struck. The bike was picked up from Dan's last Wednesday and arrived here having taken a little tour of Italy & Portugal to drop off other bike en-route (irritatingly, I've never been to Italy). Andy, the bike-deliverer-guy, slept on a load of old sofa cushions in the back of the van with the bikes for security - there's dedication. It arrived without a scatch and has taken up residence in the barn with an old Mobylette moped for company. The Honda and I went on a little tour of the local vineyards this evening to celebrate - next time I'll have to take my wallet with me ...

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

.. photos ..