Saturday, 9 December 2017

A little respite

After too many very cold, grey, wet and windy days the sight of sunshine for a while today was welcome.  After an overnight frost, the temperature reached just 03C but, with a keen wind, felt colder and although there was the urge to go out for a walk, neither conditions were conducive to arthritis or trigeminal neuralgia.  Instead we settled for a drive and enjoyed being out of the house for a while but sheltered from the wintry conditions.

The snow and frost had mostly disappeared but large puddles in water-logged fields were icy and one or two hills had retained a little snow.  It was still very cloudy in spite of the sun peeking through from time to time and some hills were a bit hazy as a result…so I had to ditch some of the photographs I took.  But these few show the varying conditions…

Approaching Delut from Marville.

We drove through Vitaraville and Delut to Marville, visited plan d’eau there, then returned home via the same roads, spotting birds of prey, rooks, blackbirds, a herd of cows and a couple of horses.  The birds will need to top up their food intake and we hope the beasts will be given shelter as the forecast is pretty dire for the coming days. As for ourselves, we will probably return to our hibernating state and thankfully are well stocked after a supermarket shop a couple of days ago.

The little respite over, it's time to batten the hatches once more!

Friday, 1 December 2017

First snow.

The forecasted snow arrived in the evening and more overnight but it was light and didn’t linger on the roads - just on rooftops and cars which had been parked overnight.

Centre ville this morning...

The statue has a white hat!

Seasonal lily berries and just a touch of snow.

Under the glass roof.

It really is time for that fly-screen to come down! Our "garden room" is cold enough!!

These days it is unusual for us to be out and about before 9.00.a.m. but today we had to in order to catch the nurse for our anti-'flu injection - and a nurse in only available at the health centre between 7.30. and 9.00.  Oh well, another tick on the to-do list and a chance to use the camera on the way there and back!  Now, where's that coffee...

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Before the snow!

Lovely to see the sun for a while this afternoon after so many grey, wet and windy days but it is still cold - 0C.

We took a drive past farmland and forests, many of the roads ones that are not treated in winter so may not be accessible for a while as “light rain and snow” is forecast for later afternoon and evening with more predicted overnight.  The building clouds slowly hid the sun;  the forest at the top of the ridge between Etraye and Consenvoye was covered with frost and, on the top of the hill at Haraumont, I felt the first flake of snow sting my face. 

There were some lovely cloud formations but with hints of pink as we returned home, maybe the outlook won’t be as bleak as the forecast indicates.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Lit up

With the countryside lit by late-afternoon sunshine, we took a drive through Vitaraville, Dombras, St Laurent…

…and Mangiennes…

I would have added one of a buzzard who ignored a couple of moving cars but was very wary of our slow, stop and start approach and, each time took off, gliding on his magnificent wing span and refusing to pause on posts long enough to have his photo taken!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Foggy days

On Tuesday we drove to Luxembourg Airport to meet friends who had come from Essex via London City airport.  It was very foggy until we got to where the borders of France, Belgium and the Duchy of Luxembourg meet so we and they did see some of the countryside on the way back to Meuse as the fog had lifted a bit on the way back but hung around over the next few days.

On Wednesday we took them to some of our favourite local places managing to get longer-distant views from time to time…Les Ballastières on the edge of Damvillers, through Vitaraville to Marville and the Plan d’eau there.  Then on to Montmédy and its Citadelle where we enjoyed a very nice lunch at L’Alcazar and, afterwards, a stroll by the river at Stenay and back home through Brandeville, Breheville and Ecuréy-en-Verdunois.

Reflections in the River Meuse at Stenay

Today, Thursday, through Etraye then over the ridge to Consenvoye by the river, back to the main road, Vacherauville, Bras-sur-Meuse, Bellville-sur-Meuse and to Verdun to the Bishop’s Palace - now a World Centre for Peace - where we viewed an exhibition - and into the adjoining Cathedral. 

Part of the exhibition in the old, impressive rooms of the Bishop's Palace...

...and a view from one of the windows.

It was too cold to be outdoors for long (04C) so we took a drive through the city centre and back home via Douamont - where we could barely see the buildings and memorials because of the fog! - back through Bras to Vacherauville, over the Meuse Heights and home in time for a late lunch.

This afternoon, our friend, Glen, who is a professional snooker referee was more than happy to find he could watch the game from Shanghai on our TV.  He was probably grateful that it was too cold and foggy to be out long today!

Of course sunshine is forecast for tomorrow - when they will be heading back to the UK! - and we hope that is so for our drive to the airport.

It may be foggy but we were glad to welcome the little rays of sunshine of our guests.  Thanks so much for coming Sue (a childhood friend of our children, when both families spent a lot of time together) and her husband, Glen.  Bon voyage!

Monday, 6 November 2017


A dry, mostly cloudy day with a cold wind and just 09C this afternoon.

There was a patch of blue sky and we drove towards it, catching a little sun at times. The forests are glowing shades of gold and some fields green with the new growth of crops.

We take a 'panoramic' circuitous route, left, through Dombras, Rupt-sur-Othain, Marville, Flassingy, back through Marville to Vitaraville and, as we near the road to turn left towards home, stop for a few panoramic shots (left to right) of the countryside just 5kms from Damvillers. No sunshine here and so the distance is somewhat hazy...

A hint of blue .
... had my brain not been somewhat hazy earlier I could have got some brighter snaps!

Saturday, 4 November 2017

The Birthday Boy

I thought we were in for a wet day so was very pleasantly surprised, after early-morning fog has dispersed, to be able to enjoy lots of blue sky and sunshine with a temperature of 21C.

As Ron, my husband, is 82 today, we decided to celebrate with a lunch out and returned to the river-side Bar/Restaurant at Consenvoye - our first visit there since new owners arrived.

We sat in a sunlit window with views of the river and enjoyed a glass of vin rosé  with a lovely meal of moussaka followed by apple tart and ice cream, with Ron choosing to have squirty cream as well - I explained to “Madame” it was his birthday…she asked how old he was - so it was lovely of her to present his dessert with a lit candle and the numbers 82.  Later he made her laugh by turning the numbers around as his "new age" - after the dessert has been demolished of course!

Afterwards we lingered for a while by the river...

We went back to Damvillers but continued on the road north of town as previously he had spotted an unusual stone he thought I would like to see.  It was on a narrow turning to Lissey, off the main toad and erected near a small bridge over the River Thinte.  It appears to be a memorial stone with just a few names etched into it.

It was a little treat for Ron to drive our old Jag as we mostly use the high-seated Nissan X-trail these days and regretfully fear the days of our owning the Jag are numbered as it becomes more difficult to get in and out of.

The countryside looked beautiful in the sunshine and still so very green.

Many happy returns to the Birthday Boy!