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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Royal stuff.....

My Favorite....of coarse!

Ole Buckingham.

Wellington Arch.....I think......

Nope, she's not home.

Birds in the Parks

 This is just a small sample, they are everywhere!

 Yes, this is a Canadian Goose......mostly.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Speaking of the Horses

 This was the famous Rotten Row a few hundred years ago.  It was opened up and lit by William III as his road to Kensington Palace.  Known as the Kings Private Road, or in french, la Route de Roi.  It was the place to see and to be seen.
These are pictures that I've borrowed from Hyde Park Stables website.  I think in the one above is Tris, my guide.  It looks like him.  And they have the best horses.  Sorry, I have no pictures of my own rides.  I had my camera but I was too busy "living in the moment"!  And, on the last day, hanging onto my horse.  He was giving me an active ride, couldn't blame him as it was such a beautiful day!  So, so much fun!
And back through the neighbourhood to the stables again.  Will definitely be back to do this again. 

Riding in Hyde Park, London

 Starting the day with a morning ride in the park, absolutely became my favorite time of the whole vacation. 

Just to freak everyone out a bit, we go from the neighborhood stables, through city traffic, crossing at this intersection, to get into the park.  Street traffic in London has this whole different kind of energy!  Very exciting!

Things calm down as we go along the bridal paths.  I had signed up for a group ride, but everyone seemed to go off on different paths with their guides.  The park is so bloody huge that over the next three days, my guide and I were able to see something different every morning.

People in the park go crazy when they see us coming.  I'm talking paparazzi crazy with the camera's, screaming children, barking dogs.  We know it must be the good looking horses but Tris and I were joking that maybe it was us who are now probably all over somebody's Facebook?  Nah, you're's the good looking horses!

Monday, September 19, 2011

One Week Later....Whew!

Sorry, sorry, time does fly by when you are slaving away in paradise.  Finished work at the vineyard, made it back to Paris for last night but alas, no internet acess.  Made it to London just now.  Started at 10:30am in Paris and now it is 5:10pm, only to find out that this hotel charges extra for internet acess.  Not too, too expensive but any communication from me will be limited.  Don't worry, I'm still alive.  It just means I'm gonna have to do a lot of old fashioned research thru my guide books instead of online.

Haven't eaten yet today so I'm out to discover the neighborhood and go on the Jack the Ripper London Walk tonight.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Vineyard views & friendly Donkeys.

Things I never thought I would hear.

A frenchman told me today that he wished the grey skies were as blue as my eye' french.........  No, ICK, he's the big corporate boss.

Vendage Day Three.

Howling wind and rain all night, we thought for sure no work today.  But no, grapes still have to come in.  Turns out, cool and overcast weather is the best to work in as there is none of that dam hot sun.  As long as you have tall rain boots, waterproof jacket, gloves (I finally used mine), and a hood cause it started raining again before we were done today.  We were soaking wet.  NOBODY I know would ever recognized me up on that hill, I can tell you.  No pictures please just take my word for it.

Rataffia before lunch today, but they recognize that I am the driver so they filled me a glass with what I thought was red wine.  Nope, Port!  Homemade!

And then we were done.  The weather has now slowed everything down so no work until Monday.  Probably.  Maybe.  They will call us if they need us earlier so we today we did local historical stuff and are headed to Champagne tomorrow.

Will catch up with pictures in the meantime.

Vendage continued

The pain is there butmy body recognizes what I need to do and I thank God I have worked out this year in preparation cause I am doing better than the rest of our party in the pain dept.  I once wanted to be in shape to ride horses in London, I never even thought much about vendage. 

Hills.  We climb them six times a day, at least, cause us stupid Canadians do what is asked of us.  On y va, on y va!  A gauche, a droite!  Muscles, legs, shoulders, arms, blisters, bug bites, nettles, burrs, sunburn, windburn........what else can challenge us today?  It takes a lot of leg power to keep you "propped" on a slope while tackling a vine.  Man, is that sun ever hot!  What?  A two minute rain shower?  How refreshing! 

We have come to LOVE clouds.

Wine for first break, Pastis BEFORE lunch, more wine for lunch, and then beer and more wine for second break.  Pain?  C'est tout fini, je vais bien, Merci!

Vendage: Day Two

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ouch! Pain! Ouch! Vendage Begins!

Sorry everyone, tried to upload some pictures on this site but Google Blogger and my Pictures don't want to talk to each other tonight.  At least, I am so exhausted that I have no patience in waiting for them to be friends.  Will have to wait.

Harvest went well today, first day! Not many of us though and a lot to get through.  A mixture of university students, old neighbours, and us.   Everyone around us is talking about Les Canadiene's......Les Jeune Canadiene's to be more specific!  My french is getting better, my body doesn't hurt as much as I thought, but thank God I was in pretty good shape.  Was identified as a strong Irish worker today..........does that mean I look fat??

Was asked who was the president of Canada today, and I forgot.......HA!  I did remember that it was Prime Minister at least!

12 more days to go.  All we could manage tonight was 2 glasses of wine.....okay, 3.....premier cru' bargain, bargain prices, and dinner tonight.  Only a two coarse dinner tonight, and we are all tucked up into bed,  Lets see how we feel in the morning.

Thoughts from yesterday's trip to Chablis: we have been travelling around Burgundy stocking up on wine before we started working 13 straight days.  Most people who want wine go to this thing called a store.  We, travel to a region.  Very sureal existance.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Burgundy, beautiful, beautiful Burgundy

Sorry, sorry everyone!  I am a terrible, delinquant blogger.  Two weeks away and only one post?  And pictures, where are all the pictures????

Well, when you travel with a group and stay in a house that is full of people, your time is not your own.  I am stealing away for a bit in the "backyard" to jot this little note down, and it is so hard to keep my eye's on the screen and not on the ultimate beauty around me.  Absolutely everywhere we turn, drive, walk,'s all so damm pretty.  Gorgeous weather, fantastic wine, and all food must have a large quota of butter.  Lots and lots of butter......

We are just having a bit of a time out this morning as one of our party has caught a nasty cold and has needed to go to le doctor in Vitteaux this morning.  We are hoping she gets to see the doctor who has a shaved head, earring, tatoo's, and is the drummer in his own rock band, but as he might be on vacation she will probably have to see his doctor ex-wife, as they still run the practice together. 

We are told that he has made too many midnight house calls, and she does not like music.  Quel Scandal!!

After traveling around in our car during the day, we usually retire back to the farm around 6pm and immediately open some delicious bottle that we have picked up, get a handful of glasses, and just wander around outside until everyone has had a "swallow" or two.  More bottles magically apear, people materialize, and we gather in the courtyard of the farm to watch the cows come up for a drink of water.  Hard to say who is more entertained, them or us?  By the way they stare at all of us, I am not so sure.  Last night, they came right up but not close enough to pat.

My camera?  Yes, it was upstairs on the third floor so I did not get any shots.  Amazing red sunset last night, but no pictures.  The camera now?  Upstairs.....again, and I am not running up yet to get it.  I've already made the trip 6 times and it's only 11am.  Maybe I have worked off the cheese plate from last night?????

Picture download?  Tomorrow, I promis.  More blog enteries?  Tomorrow, maybe tonight.  They are all in my head, I just have to find a quiet spot to get them out.

All in all, a wonderful time is being had by everyone!