Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gone with the wind

My mother-in-law has lived the 69 years of her life in the Chamonix valley, more precisely in our village of Les Bossons, and has never experienced anything like it!! Last night 180KM winds ripped through the valley causing substantial property/environmental damage but miraculiously no casualties.  This afternoon we took the boys to the lake just between our village and Chamonix town to see the damage suffered in the surrounding woods.  The place was littered by huge uprooted or snapped trees, apparently the woods the other side of town are in an even worse state.

Many of our neighbours are missing parts of their roofs, so we are counting ourselves lucky that the extent of our damage wasn't much worse that the garage storm door being ripped off and some of our garden furniture and my Spring Wreath getting 'shredded'!!
But as they say "It's an ill wind that blows no good" - my friend and neighbour Jane arrive home this morning to find that 6 very large trees had very thoughtfully fallen all around her house and not actually on it!! but as she pointed out she'll get alot more sunshine on her garden this year!! and I guess if she manages to chop it all up she be good until the next millenium for firewood!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Sunday

As Richard wasn't working this Easter we spent a lovely sunday 'en famille',

with a leisurely breakfast, easter egg hunt and a visit to La Flatiere - a catholic church and spiritual retreat nestled high up in Les Houches, a neighboring  village.  We avoided going durning Mass time as with Rémi and Tino in tow this would have inevitably ended in disaster.
Lyliane (in the middle)
We were given a 'private' guided tour by Lyliane who is my father-in-law's cousin and who has lived there for the past 47 years!  A 'community' of 40 people, who have relinquished their 'earthly' possessions live as permanent residents and look after not only the day to day running and maintenance of things but also take care of any guests who come there on a 'retreat'.   Guests can either stay in one of the main buildings or stay in individual cabins in the wooded park just behind the main buildings.

There is no fixed charge and guest leave what ever amount they wish.  Lyliane, at 80 years of age drives a tractor, cooks for large groups, changes beds and is the in-house electrician! she is also fantastic with unruly 7 and 3 year olds!!
What is incredible about this place is that since starting off in the 1700's as just a chapel and house it has now become quite a large complex of 'seemingly' separate buildings build on a steep mountain side.  Appearances are in this case deceptive!! as all the buildings are linked by underground tunnels!!
Thus you can go from down here (white building)

via a set of tunnels

up to here (4 'levels' higher)

inside the above building

without getting your feet wet!

They get their water from three mountain streams and now have mains electricity which enables them to cater for disabled visitors also.

AND to add to the days enjoyment Rémi and Tino were so well behaved!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Reading the tea 'bags'

My aeslight shawl has taken a back seat for the moment whilst I work on my spring and easter decorations.

I made this 'spring wreath' after seeing an idea from Courtney on Rhythm of the home, and added a daffodil to mine using a free online pattern.  I modified it slightly from the original as my first attempt came out looking more like a pansy than a daff - maybe the trumpet was too big or just too orange.
Pansy or Daffodil?
Also been making a few crochet easter eggs for our easter tree,

and planning on making one of these from With a grateful prayer and a thankful heart.  

Still reading 'The reason for God' (Timothy Keller) and still finding it very interesting if a little tough going at times.  I'm currently reading the chapter dealing with evolution and morals - the dilemma being that if evolution is a survival of the fittest why and how then have we developed moral standards?  So I was very amused to find this little quote on my tea bag yesterday morning!
"It is important that there is something sacred in human life"
And not forgetting to mention that I am linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along.