We had arrived back in Caunes just a couple of days before hand, so had rushed around getting the pool ready, airing rooms and filling the fridge. Luckily our earlier spring visit, when we had spent 2 solid weeks weeding, had paid off, and the garden looked just about presentable.
We did all the things we always do with visitors to Caunes including the tour of the Abbey, which we discovered will not be hosting open air Vendredis Classiques this year.
It seems that the roaring success of La Cantine du Cure just beyond the Abbey walls means that the classical concerts could not compete with the noise. I am delighted the Cantine is successful. It is packed most nights, attracts the young, and les Caunois, which is excellent as we were starting to feel that many of our favourite eating and drinking haunts were being taken over by people like us...the English speaking residents of the village and tourists.
However, it is a little sad that the abbey's beautiful outside space will not be used for the regular Friday night summer concerts. Instead they will take place inside the Church, which has outrageously uncomfortable pews, clearly designed to force you onto your knees. I'm not sure I will be able to force myself to attend many of what will be fabulous concerts.....even with the help of some serious cushions.
|Breakfast in the bar|
Linda had previously devoured all the Kate Mosse books so we visited La Cite to show them the sights they had read about.
|It did rain while they were in Europe...but only for about an hour !|
|Helen and Linda at St Pere de Rodes|
We thought it would be amusing to extend their planned European tour of England and France to include Spain. With Australia being so far from anywhere else, they were amused that we could be in Spain in 90 minutes, and that no passports had to be shown. Of course, if they return in a couple of years time, post Brexit, who knows what they will find.
We took them to one of our favourite 'just across the border' spots......St. Pere de Rodes. With clear blue skies and views to die for, lunch and a wander around the restored monastery, I think you could say we all enjoyed ourselves.
Visiting vide greniers was important, as the cousins had followed my various posts, through blogging and on facebook. I managed to make a few purchases while they were with us, although I think they, like Mark, wonder where on earth I am going to find to put all the treasures I manage to find each week.
|Not sure what I was buying here.|
Meeting up with relatives can often have its stresses and strains but being with Linda and Helen for 2 of their 3 week European trip was just perfect. We talked and talked for hours. It was as if we had known each other all our lives.
|Sitting on the terrace, on Mike's bench, chatting...again.|
Mike, my dad, was Linda's mum's first cousin, and they did not know each other existed. We are making up for that !
We shared family stories, we learned new things about the shared elements of our family. Our shared great grandparents life stories, as much as we know, has been combed over. Why my bigamist grandfather never spoke of his siblings or his war experiences and why Linda's grandfather wouldn't speak of his siblings or his life back in England, or his war experiences, we will probably never know.
There is no doubt that Linda and I share a history, even if it is one that , as for now, remains mostly hidden. Our grandfathers were brothers....so we, are family.