Tuesday, March 27, 2012


We have just returned from an amazing weekend staying with Joanne and Ted in their lovely Paris apartment.

The apartment is a 5 minute walk from the Eiffel Tower and absolutely beautiful 19th century loveliness.

You do have to go up 5 flights of stairs to get their but it is worth it and the view of the Eiffel Tower is fantastic.  We discovered that it sparkles on the hour each night.
The hospitality is second to none.  Not only did Ted give us a meal worthy of a michelin star.  Many fantastic courses with different wines with each.  But George entertained us between courses.  First with magic, then with guitar playing and then with joke telling.  Excellent.
We spent most of the weekend just walking and getting a bit sunburned and eating.  We had a picnic with the family in the gardens of the Musee Rodin. 

You are given a sticker for entry and everyone has stuck it on a lamp post just outside. 

It reminds me of Kieran's apple sticker collection.
Eurostar is a pleasure to travel on compared to the cheapy airlines.  So civilized and stress free.  Trev and Erin were so relaxed that they treated themselves to what looked like an egg McMuffin but had cheese added.  Luckily the culinary experiences improved once we hit French soil.
We did attempt to go to the Mausoleum at Les Invilides as we thought we should do something indoors but apparently you can't buy tickets after 4pm!  So we just sneaked in the entry door and registered the over the topness and that was sufficient. We also went to an exhibition at the Grand Palais.  We meant to go to the Musee D'Orsey but we kept sitting on benches

and eating icecreams or chocolate eclairs instead.
Excellent weekend in every way.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spanish holiday

 We had a lovely few days in Spain, staying with Chris and Xavier and doing lots of sight seeing.  This is the inside of Sagrada Familia.  I have been to it a few times and up till now the inside has been a lovely glimpse of architecture with lots of scaffolding.  Now it is open.  And it is stunning. 

The quality of imagination in the building is extraordinary and it works completely.  The forest of pillars, the light from the stained glass, the tiny details have all come together to make a whole which is quite extraordinary. 

I urge you to go and see it.

Here we are in Parc Guell.  As you can see we had great weather - sunny and warm all the time.  We picked the right week to go, fabulous there and foggy here.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Eggcellent day out

Today to celebrate my birthday the Martin family went on the Faberge egg hunt around London.
There are over 200 eggs around various parts of London.  Basically it means you have a walk around the city with a kind of purpose.  We did the same thing for the elephants a couple of years ago.
Tea and birthday cake
We started on the South Bank where we met up at the Royal Festival Hall.  We had tea and birthday cake which Kieran had made.  Then nourished and refreshed we set off like the intrepid eggsplorers we were.
Alice at Southbank

Kieran scanning
Kieran scanned in the little barcode at each egg hence the endless updates on Facebook. We spotted several on the South Bank then on to Trafalgar Square. While crossing the Jubilee bridge we spotted men on the Clock of the Savoy Building. 
Men on the clock

Luunch in Green Park (Buck House in background)
At Trafalgar Square we didn't spot as many as we had eggspected,  but we were serenaded by an eggstraordinarily awful bagpipe musician.  Then on to St James's Park.  Succesful hunting along with entertaining  pelicans - what's not to like.
After that we went to Green Park where we had a picnic lunch over looked by Buck house.
A few more spotted and then on to Picadilly where we used the facilities at the Royal Academy and gawped at the enormous queue for the David Hockney exhibition.  We amused ourselves by then finding eggs in Pall Mall.  What a posh place that is.  Berkeley Square was lovely with some great sculptures.
Berkeley Square (no nightingales)

Egg in front of South Bank skating. (Kieran scanning again)

Alice blending with egg

We got to Hyde Park and had a tea break and then we had pretty much run out of steam.  We walked to Kensington but were a bit eggshausted by then so we all went home.

As a day it totally had the eggs factor!