Thursday, 1 September 2016

August - really Been there Done that....

So, it's time to catch up on Life through the Lens, Making Memories and Events in August, before we come to the end of September!!

It's strange today - reading so many status updates on FB about the Summer holidays coming to an end and rentrée has started here in France, for us this year we have nothing to do, no paperwork to fill out for the girls, not moving back into a small room on campus as they both rent an appartement together - this makes life truly, very easy now - until they decide to move out and get another place - until then though we are enjoying this stress free part of the month :)

 It's funny because all those years of sending papers off, filling in forms, standing in queues for books, and sooo much more - we have accepted that now this is how our lives our! The plus side of rentrée for us the pool only had 10 people in today - the downside it was back to the very short opening hour that is 1h15mins and really we only get one hour to swim when all is said and done!

Aaanyway - back to the start - August - well it's been a very, very hot month considering that July '16 was the hottest month on Earth since recording started in 1880 I can say that August was also the hottest and driest month on record!

The first event for PJP was the Mad Hatter's Kitchen Festival - a three day weekend of music, food and more music! As it was it was quite hard manning my stall, looking after Bilbo and taking photos so a lot of photos were taken by the lovely Megan - it was as good for her to be free with the camera and capture some of the musicians!

It was incredibly hot this year - unlike last year on the Friday when we had to pack everything up in a rush due to torrential rain! However this year we were prepared and shared a Tivoli which meant we were all protected nicely! Prints and Photocards don't like the rain much but boy it was hot under there! 

I also had the great joy of being reunited with the adorable Kristina from the ACTP picnic - she looked so happy, relaxed and we were so pleased to see each other again!

Friday night was the night for the Mac abbé and the Zombi orchestra ..... we had long since packed up so it was out with the camera...

The brilliant Gad Zukes - such a happy family!

Bilbo replaces one member of Coco and the Butterfields! 
There are plenty more photos to view over at my Events and Photography page - suffice to say we had a good but very hot musical weekend which included some brilliant bands not that I remember Eddy and the Hot Rods at all! But we also had the chance to hear the brilliant Coco and the Butterfields and Gad Zukes amongst the others!

We also managed another excuse to eat out at l'Auberge du Noyer as it was my Dad's birthday over that weekend - so with the thought of one of their very tasty burgers we all managed to wait a few days to go and enjoy another evening out! Having our Coffee outside meant we got a splendid view of the rising moon!

Another weekend arrived and this time we were lucky enough to go and see Tankus the Henge at MHK (they couldn't make it to the festival) they are brilliant! If you ever get the chance - I urge you go see them - they play everywhere over Europe and coming to France again hopefully next year! 

I had planned to have the evening off in all honesty so I took the little camera only - canon powershot SX710HS it performed well as usual! 

MAKING MEMORIES as always it's the best thing! I love my job end of! This little shoot was in aid of something rather fun and a new collab between my lovely and talented friend Linda and myself!
Three years ago we had such an enjoyable days getting together and taking ceramique hand/foot prints and photos of gawjus babies and toddlers....we, at the time thought it was a lovely thing to be able to do together but as always life and other things take over so this year we discussed it again and thought - let's do this! So we spoke to our lovely friend Marie who has been Making Memories with me from when her now toddler was her bump to when she was three months old - she is now three and her big sister is six! Quite poignant for us all as the "baby" has started school today!

These are a few of our fave photos that Megan took of Linda and I working with the children, it was such fun and the girls were brilliant the whole time - you can't ask for much more really! Now Marie has some more keepsakes to add to her collection.

Another friend had her grandson visiting her this summer - again I have had the chance to photograph her family over the years including last year at a wedding so when she asked for some updated photographs of her grandson it was a done deal! The day was hot by mid morning....and we thought it was going to be quite hard but no, Jacob was en forme and had plenty of ideas of where he wanted his photos taken!! Made it so much fun as we found lots of place to use this time..

We even managed to re-create one of Lisa's fave photos from 2012! He really hasn't changed much he is still funny, cheeky and lovable! 

August also celebrates "World Photography Day"  this year celebrating 177 years and marking the invention of photography. For me a great excuse to get the camera out -  in the garden and seeing what flowers are surviving this incredible heat! 

The hut has been used so much this Summer and we already have a few more ideas for next summer....I am thinking Day Bed but apparently we don't have enough ROOM out there ... hmmmmm! 

So as this hot month drew to a close we had a few things that needed tying up so it was off to Niort for the joys of the Prefecture - which actually ended up easy - paying was the most painful part not the sitting waiting! That done we enjoyed a nice drink watching the world go by before it was time to drive to Parthenay to meet the eldest....The Donjon in the town always looks so lovely with the blue skies as a backdrop - even more so now it's been cleaned!

Whilst in Parthenay we realised we hadn't been there since at least eleven years - we went several times during the first couple of years we moved here as we enjoyed exploring but I guess as time goes by you discover other towns to fall in love with - and some are a little more local!! BUT it didn't stop us enjoying the scenes again and reminiscing of a lovely meal we had in the town - our first time of eating Cuttlefish - this time was a sandwich at the local HyperU! 

Views from the ramparts haven't changed everything has remained just as we remember it! Then it was off to the Station to collect eldest for a further 45 minute trip north!

Whilst waiting for her I noticed the railway station was looking a tad unloved so I popped in to see what was what,  to my delight some nostalgia! 

However I didn't see the warning notice that offered 6 months in jail and a huge fine for entering the premises! TO be fair the gates were wide open and there was no-one around...ooops! 
Still I suppose I should look around me before I go headlong into unknown territories!!
Our day had not ended there though (thankfully could have been an expensive trip to look at a car!) We did the deal and took our dear one back to Poitiers for a quick family "Chow Wow" in this instance a G&T and some fries à la maison then it was off home after a lovely, long day out!


Sunday dawned not so bright, not so hot and in fact a tad chilly! Which meant after a quick discussion it was all go for the Bikes to be loaded and off to the Marais Poitevin......obviously the day didn't stay cloudy and chilly by lunch time the skies were blue and the sun was making a rather loud appearance which admittedly we hadn't expected!

After our first pit stop of a picnic lunch *read sandwich* we were off to somewhere possibly Magné but anything can happen to us on these routes....and it did!

First and foremost the most thrilling sight we have yet seen ...... I heard a sound you see as we were cycling along and slowed to see a bird running into the reed bed - I thought it was a Heron so took the camera with me and came upon a Heron with it's back to me - then it turned around and the best thing ever it wasn't just any old Heron but a PURPLE one - these are becoming a very rare bird due to their habitats being destroyed - thankfully they have plenty of space here!! But not only was it quite happy with me the other side of the narrow watery ditch it was eating lunch!! What a sight to behold and oh my goodness it took so long!! Not really sure what type of fish it was but I guess it was a bit hard going!!

One final pose before this beautiful bird flew away!

Pit stop #2 Magné which happened to have an Epicérie selling Artisinale Italian ice-cream! 

We ended up on a new route after making the "left/right" decision and after a very steep climb decided to go via Route 7 well let me say this now - nope, nope, nope not was not the best route we have found at all! It was hilly- ok in normal circumstances but by now the wind was really, really kicking up so much so the noise was whistling around my cycle helmet and making me feel quite doolally! To add to that once we left the farm roads we ended up on many busy and main roads back to Coulon so I think in future - we may take the right hand turn dir. Niort!! Still we got to see a wonderful, wonderful thing - a Purple Heron eating lunch!!

SO that was it - August ..... I hope you enjoyed the photos as much as I enjoy making them.....somedays there is nothing better than picking up the camera and just having fun, seeing something that you have never seen before and most importantly creating memories!! 

If you enjoyed seeing my photographs then please do head over to my Life through the Lens page - where there are a few more to see!!

Thank you for reading and here's to a Sunny September!

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