Friday, December 31, 2010

An old bottle

One of my pastimes (for I cannot give it more importance than that) is listing and cataloguing our wines accumulated over the past twenty or thirty years.

I don't collect wines as a connoisseur much less as any kind of investment but purely for the amusement of family members when, on the birthday or other special event, I can pull out the appropriate bottle.

Some of it now may be, I fear, "over the top," as we used to say when I was in the wine trade.  Meaning it should have been drunk a long time ago and is now on slow decline.  Reds are particularly prone to this.

Nevertheless we have been very pleased with a few old bottles lately, and I have some sparkling wines reserved for occasions like tonight such as a Blanquette de Limoux and a Clairette de Die.  We drunk the Clairette on Christmas Day to the acclaim of all—pity I don't have another like that one!

Today I thought I'd show you my oldest bottle—though admittedly not that old.  It will be Raphaël's "birthday bottle" I suppose and is quietly awaiting the right moment to get savoured.

Alas, the label has not stood up as well as I hope the contents has.  1978 was in good year in Bordeaux.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Gift from Frederic & Regine

Our friends just spent a couple of days with us helping with crushing and pressing apples.  He is planning to start his own farm of buffaloes too so we have a lot in common to talk about.

They are a very nice couple and before they left they gave Raph & Camille this cheese—now we want to know where we can get it around here!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Professor Gums

Here's a picture Raph took of Ruben this evening after he'd suddenly grabbed my glasses. He balanced them on his nose, Raph called him "Professor Gums!" and grabbed his camera.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Three old photos

Last week Sarah took down a small three-photo frame containing old family photos that has been sitting on the mantelpiece for some time.  Thinking it was time to change them she slid them out only to find three older photos underneath.

Here they are:

Your questions are:

1. Where were these photos taken?
2. What is the year?
3. Were they once all three part of the same, bigger photo?
4. What is Bryan laughing at?
5. What are Wendy and I looking at?
6. Give me the name of the cameraman.

And the bonus question is number 7.  Name the cat.


Thursday, December 09, 2010


While we were out sunning ourselves on our cruise we got this shot from Raph with the one-word title—apparently we finally got a dusting on the second of the month, just one week ago today.  Here's how the children upstairs received this news:

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


Claire faithfully writing her log of the trip

We arrive in Genova

A narrow street

We didn't want to miss trying some farinata since today was the day!

Friendly wine merchant in the covered market

Monday, December 06, 2010

At sea

Breakfast fruits

Our Egyptian waiters

Napoleon at a children's party

Sunday, December 05, 2010


Horse-drawn tour

Saturday, December 04, 2010


Arrival in port
Oranges for Europe

Friday, December 03, 2010


On the rock

Barbary ape
Leaving Gibraltar for Tanger

Camel ride in Morocco

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

First stop: Barcelona

Arriving in Barcelona
Touring Gaudiland on the upper deck