Tag Archives: ‘Ping Pong’

Whistle-stop France

I have to say, I do love France, I do, I do, I DO. I love the life, the style, the lifestyle. I love the people, the countryside and the weather. The love fails me, however, as soon as I get to the traffic (taxi strikes all over the place!). And, although it shocks me slightly to say this, the bistrot/restau food can be a bit indifferent. Blimey, I had to pause and reconsider when I wrote that sentence, but its true!

Banks of the Saone

Lovers on the banks of the Saone

 

Admittedly a whistle-stop business tour isn’t the best way to see everything. But good for snippets. Lyon is just delightful. How a big city should be. Lovers on the banks of the rivers. Marseille has vibrant character – a pastis in the Vieux Port and you can still hear Pagnol in the background.

Vieux Port view

Vieux Port view

Masts in the water

Masts in the water

 

Nantes is my favourite. Especially here at Le Chateau de la Garnison, an idyllic escape from the big city, wonderful service, lovely country-chic rooms, and the best breakfast I’ve had for years. So idyllic we had to have a ping pong tournament (…) Here are the other two battling it out for second place.

Chateau de la Garnison

Chateau de la Garnison

Second and third place wiff waffers

Second and third place wiff waffers

And then Paris. Where the traffic doesn’t move until about midnight, and I had to lots of iPhone trickery to get some perception of speed… And the food is indifferent and expensive. Rip off wine and cheeky service.

A blur, after midnight.

A blur, after midnight.

Go taxi, go...., please go!

Go taxi, go…., please go!

 

Ooops, the Opera looks like it’s falling down. Get me back to Nantes, double quick!

 

Wobble photo

Wobble photo

 

Like France? Check out wine in the Dordogne or champagne in Champagne and if you’re not bothered by booze, how about scorpions in the Luberon!


Polite Olympics Fever, So British!

It’s been a fantastic two weeks in London, in the whole of the country! No talk of division, recession or secession. All talk of Team GB, fantastic sport, nations coming together and even the rain stayed off (mostly)

Britain has really shone for the last 2 weeks. Wonderful that Scotland, Wales, N Ireland and England can come together as Team GB. This is what makes our country great. Why would we ever want to split it up?

What will I remember? Lots of great sport, of course. All the famous big sports. But much more I will remember the less known sports – which can be so exciting.

Spot the ball...

Spot the ball…

Spot the spin…

It’s going over there…

The best of the best, for spectacle, was…. White Water Canoeing! Awesome:

She got a mouthful…

Ooops, he’s over…

Team GB golden winners!

Judo is fast furious (and slightly incomprehensible to the novice viewer)

I’m gonna Ippon you!

Told you!

For sheer athleticism I loved the diving, and the ladies!

(This is 10 metres up)

flying…

twisting, turning

Kissing the water…

Another brave 10m girl

The enthusiasm of the volunteers is infectious. Singing, cheering, joking, smiling. None of that British reserve everyone expects of us. Brits have been so nice, friendly and polite. The fans have made the Games. Everything has been sunny and joyous. We need to capture this and put it in a bottle. Of course there’s been massive support for Team GB, but also so much cheering for everyone else. Brilliant!

Proud boy…

Typical lad

Brit girl

Trendy gran

I wonder who she’s supporting…?

USA Today declared Britain “the happiest place on earth”, Der Spiegel called these “the good mood Games”. That is what it feels like, an incredibly happy welcoming feel-good two weeks.

Back to the sport – I saw the gymnastics. OMG! What these kids can do. Just amazing!

Beautiful!

How scary is that!

She’s just vaulted way up into the sky…

I can’t believe it’s almost over! So, Thank You to the Olympics. The Games have brought out the best in the country. Let’s hope the closing ceremony is as awesome as the opening. And the last photo should be in homage to the greatest sprinter of the day, displayed by a fan + the volunteers.

We’ll never forget it!