Just a short blog today as we have visitors and have just returned from a village repas at Mantilly. We took my son Ian and daughter in law Emma to experience the delights of a French village repas. This one at Mantilly has all things chicken with a starter of “geziers”. A salad of chicken gizzards. Actually, much nicer than it sounds. This is followed by more chicken. This time a leg of chicken with rice and mushrooms.

Of course, all this is washed down with quantities of wine. The meals as always is followed by cheese and a fruit tart. Then coffee and homemade calvados. The entertainment was provided by a strange Frenchman who sang a whole load of songs without accompaniment. He then dressed in a military uniform and paraded around the room. All a bit surreal really. Still Ian and Emma enjoyed themselves although it was all a bit weird.

Ian and Emma experience the French repas!

We also have our daughter Amy and partner Charlotte staying. They are the vegans! So at least today we had some meat. Tomorrow we are meat free. On Thursday, we are off to our favourite restaurant, La Marjolaine. We asked about providing a vegan menu and surprisingly for France they understood what we were talking about. Often the French don’t understand the whole concept of meals without meat or fish!

Anyway, there will be a full report next week.

Mostly this last week we have been decorating the alterations to the games room and gite. The outside steps have been removed and we now have a smart new internal staircase. We have also reorganised the gite and you can see from the photos the changes we have made.

Access to the internal staircase in the games room

A key feature has been to varnish the new stairs using a French varnish described as a “verification”. This involves several coats of varnish to harden into a bas which is protected against wear. This week we have Ian and Emma and their two dogs staying so a big test!

New seating area with stairs at the rear

Having just arrived home after a full-on chicken extravaganza, with wine and calva, I feel it is time for a rest before starting again for the evening. No doubt we shall have to play some games with the children as well!

Next week we have more visitors and this time it is friends I used to work with. So more eating and drinking which may disrupt the blog. Hopefully I will get time to report on next week’s excitement and how the dogs get on with our cats!

Bonne semaine