Life at the chateau

SEPTEMBER AT THE CHATEAU

At this time of the year, many Britons will be all too familiar with three of the most depressing words in the English language. ‘Replacement Bus Service” can still cast fear into the hearts of the most stout-hearted individual but when during one’s distant youth, it...

THE HARVEST COMMENCES

During the late 1970s, when the world was young and the highlight of a Thursday evening was George and Mildred on ITV, “Harvest” had two meanings for this scribe. Firstly, it meant a stream of Ford Cortina Mk. IVs and Hillman Avengers along the A32 headed by a...

AUGUST – DAYS OF PRUNES AND MUSIC

Some people associate August with seemingly endless afternoons on the lawn with the Chateau grounds  bathed in golden light. Others will think of the last minute shopping before the start of the new school year. But for the past fourteen years nearly every citizen of...

IN THE HEAT OF THE DAY

Britons of a certain age – i.e. old enough to recall Demis Roussos discs and  “Fab” lollies – will almost certainly remember the summer of 1976. My own memories of how temperatures in Southampton reached  35.6 °C on the 28th June, the sheer profusion of ladybirds, the...

Joyeux Anniversaire de marriage!

The hired Austin A135 Princess that threw a piston while en route to the venue. The Best Man who told those stories of your National Service that you hoped were long-forgotten. And in the evening, Coronation Chicken and Baked Alaska -  plus the hired local dance band...

MEET ME IN THE GARDEN

For those of us (all right, me) of certain imaginative persuasion, the phrase ‘meet me in the garden’ is redolent of any number of very bad crime films. It would be typically uttered sotto voce by Alan Tilvern or any other British B-feature “heavy” to one of his...

DAYS OF FROMAGES

To understand the culinary revelation that are the cheeses of France to Britons of a certain vintage it is essential to understand life in the 1970s. Younger readers may not be able to appreciate the sheer awfulness of food culture in the UK at that time, an era when...

THE ULTIMATE OMELETTE?

On the morning of the 21st April you may well hear the cry of ‘les cloches sont passes!’; the bells are passed!  As many you already know, one of the most charming French traditions is that on Le Jeudi Saint (Maundy Thursday), the church bells fly to Rome to receive a...

AN AFTERNOON OFF

There are times in this modern life when, to use the title of a certain Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan film, you feel as though the day’s routine encompasses running, jumping, but never standing still. And this why the blog will focus on the joys of lying in the garden...

Why I Crave a Citroën Ami 6

This year marks the centenary of Automobiles Citroën, and for many a car enthusiast, the task of selecting a favourite model is virtually impossible. For some, it will be the DS, the car beloved of Charles de Gaulle and famously described by the literary theorist and...