Thursday, 2 February 2012

A successful 2011!

After the initial worry this time last year of not achieving the bookings that we would require to survive and continue the dream, I now realise I was stressing over nothing! Bookings took off and all the guests we have had here have loved their holiday with us. What a relief!

The summer was fantastic, with a small blip in the middle of July and the hot weather lasted well in to October with us organising a BBQ in the middle of the month and sitting outside in T shirts until after midnight! The locals though thought we were mad and were wrapped in jumpers and fleeces from 10.30pm! But still not bad for October.

We managed to get out a bit more as a family in 2011 too. We attended the locally hyped "Au Fil de l'eau" and were not disappointed. It was a fantastic theatrical open air evening production telling the history of the region over the past 150 years. It is set along the banks of the Canal des deux mers (which goes from Bordeaux to Toulouse) with 400 cast members as well as animals and lots of ancient vehicles spanning 100 years. Well worth a visit if you are in this area at the beginning of August!

We also went to Cordes sur Ciel, a bastide hilltop village, Albi and the Toulouse Lautrec gallery, which was only 90 minutes from us here. The Cathedral at Albi is a huge brick built structure with the most amazing paintings on the ceiling, we learnt lots about Toulouse Lautrec and his work and finished the day in a cafe over looking the market square, lovely!

As a special present to ourselves over Christmas, we took the family skiing in Saint Lary situated on the edge of the French Pyrenees. We stayed in Arreau village just 10 minutes from the slopes and drove up the mountain each morning to the chairlifts. The snow was great, although not deep, but plenty for us for a few days of fun. It is such a bonus to be able to hop in the car at Le Farat first thing in the morning and be skiing in the mountains before lunch!

Now sitting here in front of the wood burner, the heat of summer seems a distant memory. We have woken up to snow this morning and the grass is white, the pool has snow over the cover and the roofs of the Mediterranean clay tiled buildings look strange covered in the white stuff!
This is only the second time we have had snow here and not what we had expected when we moved south from the UK but our daughter loves it!